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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice


Organised by HDCA Thematic Group on Participatory Methods

Presenter: Kate Sollis (Australian National University) 

Bio: Kate is a PhD scholar and Senior Research Officer at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. Her background is in statistics and public policy, with a particular interest in the measurement of wellbeing and its value for social policy. She has previously worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

Date and time:

20th January 2021 / 9.00-10.00 (UK)

There is a growing movement across the world to make better use of wellbeing measures to guide policy. This stems from the realisation that reliance on economic indicators, such as income, GDP, and unemployment, may not be adequately capturing the aspects of life that people value. This is of particularly high relevance in our increasingly globalised world, where policies and programs are often developed and implemented by populations other than the target group.

But how do we know what actually matters to people? A mounting body of research over the past two decades has brought to light the value of participatory wellbeing frameworks, created by consulting with the target population and asking the question “What does a good life mean for you?”. This webinar will outline the findings of a systematic review of over 120 participatory wellbeing frameworks, spanning every region of the world and all life stages. In particular, the participatory approaches applied to develop these frameworks will be highlighted.

Overall, this study demonstrates that while there are some similarities in what matters to people from different population groups, nuances exist within every group. Given this diverse understanding of wellbeing throughout the world, it is vital that researchers and policy-makers utilise participatory methods to gain a clearer understanding of what matters to people. Doing so will ensure that social programs and policies improve the lives of individuals in a meaningful way.

Register here:

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