Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh, as in most countries of the world, is jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic; implications are grave for the vulnerable population. This paper presents a novel COVID-19 Impact index, guided by an analytical framework, to understand and measure the impact on the livelihood conditions of the vulnerable in Bangladesh. It is captured via 28 SDG indicators grouped under economic, social, environmental and governance pillars. The index, based on four impact dimensions – intensity, time, linkage and disaggregation – conveys that the highest impact intensity is associated with the economic pillar, and the effect on the social pillar imparts the greatest impact on the vulnerable. The strong interlinkages of the indicators under economic and social pillars also multiply the disproportionate impact. Though environment and governance pillars are relatively less affected, the impact on certain indicators channels increased distress to the marginalised. Prolonging the effects into the medium-term mandates forecasting of the indicators ensures SDG attainment and inclusive development through the pandemic recovery.

Authors: Debapriya Bhattacharya, Fabiha Bushra Khan and Towfiqul Islam Khan
Publication Period: July 2022