A multicriteria analytical framework for sustainability evaluation under methodological uncertainties

Joel Opon, Michael Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Multicriteria analysis is widely used to perform sustainability evaluation for purposes such as decision making or progress assessment following a chosen sustainable development concept. The stages of multicriteria analysis include indicator selection, data characterization, normalization, weighting, and aggregation. However, due to the various framings of sustainability, non-equivalent approaches could be adopted at each stage, introducing methodological uncertainty. Consequently, depending on the methods chosen, divergent and conflicting conclusions or decisions may result. This paper addresses the issue of methodological uncertainties in sustainability evaluation by analyzing how methodological uncertainties arise during multicriteria analysis, then proposing an analytical framework that employs uncertainty and sensitivity analyses to quantify and manage the effects of methodological uncertainties. The consideration of methodological uncertainties in the structure of multicriteria sustainability evaluation shifts the analysis from deterministic to probabilistic, which is advantageous to arrive at robust and homogenized sustainability conclusions or decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106403
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision-making
  • Multicriteria analysis
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability evaluation
  • Uncertainty analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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