Authors: Iker Etxano and Unai Villalba

Social multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) is a decision-making tool used in complex and uncertain socio-ecological contexts related to the management and sustainability of natural resources. Iker Etxano and Unai Villalba have a thorough revision of this affliction, in particular for cases of sustainability. Therefore, the aim of this study is twofold: first, to review the principles of SMCE according to sustainability; and second, to contrast the integration of sustainability within the SMCE framework by means of an analysis of case studies. Relying on an exhaustive bibliographical review, the analysis undertaken has covered the empirical evidence gap in the SMCE field by providing a systematic inventory of 41 case studies and analysing them regarding their general features, how they fulfil the SMCE process steps, and the characteristics of the results in each case. Furthermore, our general findings on the SMCE method relate to: (i) the feasibility of the operationalization of the strong sustainability principle; (ii) the incorporation of the social actors’ views through participatory processes in the search for sustainability; (iii) the difficulty of reaching “compromise solutions” and the scarce real policy implementation of the outcomes in analysed cases.

The article was published in the journal Ecological Economics, an international review of the field of ecological economics. To read or download the article in pdf format clic this link: “Twenty-five years of social multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) in the search for sustainability: Analysis of case studies”,