Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways was a research project based at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath (UK). It was funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Department for International Development (DFID). It ran from 2010 to 2014.
The project involved collaboration between academics at the University of Bath, Brunel University, and Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (Allahabad, India) plus the NGOs Hodi (Zambia) (closed down in 2013) and Chaupal (India).
Our research investigated the relationships between wellbeing and poverty through research in two rural communities - the Chiawa area in Kafue district, Zambia, and Sarguja district in Chhattisgarh state, India.
We developed and tested a multidimensional model of wellbeing which incorporates both subjective and objective perspectives.
The research used both qualitative and quantitative methods in a longitudinal study that gathered data from more than 700 respondents in two rounds across two years.
Publications, Briefing papers, and Project papers present our findings.
What wellbeing means, whose wellbeing counts and how wellbeing may be promoted more effectively are issues central to current policy and politics. This volume presents evidence and thinking to inform these debates. Research in marginalised communities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, plus a critical evaluation of a UK national survey, explore diverse aspects of life: health; religion; migration; economics; child poverty; family; landmine impact; and the politics of community and identity. Highlighting the politics of research methodologies, the chapters explore complementarities and tensions between quantitative and qualitative methods; the significance of gender, life-course and place; and the role of researcher identities in shaping accounts of wellbeing. Challenging conventional perspectives on happiness and subjective wellbeing, the book advocates a relational approach which sees wellbeing as produced through interaction with others. A fundamental commitment is to listen to the ways people express what is important for wellbeing in their own terms.
A practical resource for people engaged in social or development policy or practice who are considering integrating ‘wellbeing’ or ‘quality of life’ in their work in the global South and North. The main body of the book presents different tools that have been developed and used in social and development policy and practice and outlines the inspiration behind their approach, how it works, what has been learnt through it, and issues and dilemmas that remain.
White, S. C., Fernandez, A. and Jha, S., 2016.
Beyond the grumpy rich man and the happy peasant: mixed methods and the impact of food security on subjective dimensions of wellbeing in India. Oxford Development Studies.
White, S.C., Gaines, S. O., Jr., Jha, S., 2014. Inner Wellbeing: Concept and Validation of a New Approach to Subjective Perceptions of Wellbeing—India. Social Indicators Research, 119: 723-746.
White, S.C, Gaines, S.O., and Jha, S. (2012). Beyond Subjective Well-Being: A Critical Review of the Stiglitz Report Approach to Subjective Perspectives on Quality of Life. Journal of International Development. 24(6): 763-776.
Marshall, N., White, S. C., Gaines, S., Jha, S. 2014. Wellbeing assessment in practice: lessons from Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways. Chapter 9 pp 111-126 in J. Rowley (ed.) Wealth-Ranking in International Development, Practical Action Publishing.
Primarily for practitioners, our briefing papers provide an overview of key issues in developing and applying our model of wellbeing assessment.
Project documents, including conference papers and presentations, that show the ongoing development of the project’s research.