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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Archivo por meses: March 2021

Webinar Discussion: Democratising Measurement: A Case Study from Well-Being Public Policy.

Webinar with Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian
6th April 2021, Tuesday, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm BST (GMT +1)

There is now widespread recognition that well-being, educational success, fairness, equality, poverty, etc. are value-laden. There is less agreement on a responsible way of measuring their value. This is a tricky issue for public policy because governments need effective measures for benchmarking, impact evaluation, and other forms of accountability, but would ideally like to leave value judgements to citizens. Our research explores the potential of coproduction mechanisms to chart a course through these dilemmas.

We'll present a case study from our work around coproducing a theory and measure/s of thriving for the national poverty charity Turn2Us. These outputs will inform their work in a variety of ways, including assessment criteria for giving grants and the charity's campaigning work in the social policy space. We'll explain our rationale for coproduction, discuss our preliminary results in comparison to other efforts underway in well-being public policy, and identify some of the lessons learned for applying coproduction in value-laden policy domains.

Our results indicate that 'off the shelf' theories and measures of value-laden concepts developed by experts often require substantial translation and tailoring to be suitable to applied policy. This underscores the need to develop more 'bottom up' approaches to measurement.

Anna Alexandrova is a Reader in Philosophy of Science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in University Cambridge and a Fellow of King's College, studying how scientists navigate morally charged and complex phenomena and the role of formal tools such as models and indicators in their scholarly and public work. Since 2018, Dr. Alexandrova is the Principal Investigator on Expertise Under Pressure project at the Centre for Humanities and Social Change, and up until recently served as a Programme Director in Philosophy and Ethics of AI at the Leverhulme Centre for Future of Intelligence.

Mark Fabian is a Research Associate (postdoc) at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy in the University of Cambridge. His research explores well-being from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a particular focus on the ethical and epistemological issues involved in translating well-being insights from psychological science into public policy.

Register here:


2021 Webinar Series: Multidimensional Well-Being: Concepts, Measurement, & Application
April – July 2021

The webinar series brings together and into conversation established scholars, junior researchers, and practitioners working to conceptualise, measure, and improve multidimensional well-being. It addresses and allows for discussion regarding both long-standing and contemporary issues regarding the conceptualization and measurement of well-being, with a special focus on applications related to the Capability Approach.

General themes running through the series include concepts of well-being, philosophies of well-being measurement, methodological issues including formal procedures for multidimensional measurement, the role of participation and deliberation, empirical applications and challenges, policy uses and implications, and current research frontiers.

The series is hosted by a group of junior HDCA scholars and aims at providing a forum for exchanges and discussions between junior and senior researchers and practitioners, and in combining their competencies. All are welcome.

For the full webinar schedule, updates, and to register, please visit our website:

Upcoming Webinar Series Themes

1. Democratising Measurement: A Case Study from Well-Being Public Policy
Anna Alexandra & Mark Fabian
6th April, Tuesday, 11am BST (GMT +1)

2. Conceptualizing Well-Being
Ingrid Robeyns
19th April, Monday, 6.30pm BST (GMT +1)

3. Methodological Options and Challenges for Measuring Multidimensional Well-Being*

4. Participatory Approaches to Well-Being Measurement*

5. The Development and Application of Multidimensional Well-being Measures*

6. Multidimensional Well-Being Measures as Policy-Instruments*

7. Limitations and Frontiers: Concepts, Measures, and Applications*

* Presenter and event details TBC.

Questions/Suggestions? Contact the organizing committee:

WEBINAR: Capability as informational basis for work and employment politics – a European re-search experience

April 21 at 4 pm CET
Sponsored by the HDCA Work & Employment Thematic Group 

One of the opportunities our thematic network offers is to take stock of capability theories and concepts in the field of employment and work. The upcoming webinar is an exercise in such stock-taking: three members of the TG will look back on a collaborative experience in a pivotal European integrated Project. 

In CAPRIGHT (Resources, Rights and Capabilities: In search of social foundations for Europe, 2007-2010) 24 partners from 13 European countries shared their work on capability–related concepts to inform European labour policies – understood in a wide sense and comprising services and regulation in the fields of work, employment, vocational training and collective action. Five capability domains proved central in CAPRIGHT: 

-       The capability for work – at the workplace and in production, 

-       The capability for employment – in internal labour markets, in labour market policy and in interactions with the public employment service, 

-       The capability for training – both within the firm and in institutions of vocational training, 

-       The capability for work-life-balance – arbitrating the requirements of paid work and care work in the househould, 

-       The capability for voice – in all of these domains of regulation. 

“Ten years after”, Peter Bartelheimer, Jean-Michel Bonvin and Bénédicte Zimmermann look back at the conceptual “takeaway” of the CAPRIGHT network and reflect on refinements and further developments in their subsequent work. 



HDCA Undergraduate Workshop II: Exploring “worthwhile development”

21st April, 2021, 1-2.30pm (UK time)

For our second workshop for undergraduate students working with the capability approach, human development or development ethics, Stacy Kosko (University of Maryland, US) will present a simulation exercise for thinking about human development ethics. This workshop is aimed primarily at undergraduates so please sign up if you are an undergraduate working with the capability approach (this event is open to undergraduate HDCA members and non-members.) If places remain a few days before we will offer to masters students in addition.

This is our second undergraduate workshop in a series of three. The next undergraduate workshop is planned for 14th July (with a presentation from Lori Keleher).

Please note there is a separate workshop series for graduate students; the next one is on the 9th June.

The HDCA strives to offer high quality free events to members and non-members worldwide and for many this is the only opportunity to engage with others on the capability approach. So, we ask you kindly:
• Please only sign up if you are a undergraduate student working with the capability approach, human development or development ethics
• Please do check that you are available before signing up for the workshop.
• Please do cancel your place if you find you are no longer able to attend.

This will enable more individuals who would like to join us to be able to do so. We have found that sometimes individuals sign up but don’t show up. This is disappointing for those who have not been able to secure a place.

We look forward to welcoming you and learning together.


Caroline Sarojini Hart & Rosie Peppin Vaughan (HDCA Education Officers)

WEBINAR: Inclusive Data and Statistics: Human Development and Disability in Low- and Middle-income Countries

HDCA’s Health and Disability Thematic Group invites you to the next webinar in our 2020/21 series
Speaker: Professor Sophie Mitra
Fordham University
Wednesday April 14th, 2021
16:00 to 17:00 in London
22:30 to 23:30 in Delhi
11:00 to 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time
The event will take place through Zoom. Please register through Eventbrite in order to receive a link to the meeting.

 The Webinar: This study first examines to what extent household surveys and censuses in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) include disability questions and the types of questions  under use. It then disaggregates human development indicators across disability status to assess the situation of persons and households with disabilities with 24 censuses and general household surveys from 21 LMICs. Findings have implications for data collection, research and policy.

Speaker’s Bio: Sophie Mitra is professor of economics and founding director of the Research Consortium on Disability at Fordham University in New York City. She has studied the economic impact of disability and mental illness, the effects of social protection programs, multidimensional poverty, the association between disability and poverty, the definition of disability. She is the author of Disability, Health and Human Development (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).
Giulia, Margarita, Paul and Toon (Health and Disability Thematic Group co-ordinators)

The impact of Child Maltreatment on Children’s Human Capabilities in Aruba

In honor of World Social Work Day 2021, the Center for Lifelong Learning and the Department of Social Work & Development of the University of Aruba cordially invite you to attend this presentation

Tuesday, March 16 
7 pm - 9 pm (Aruba time)
Via zoom

Child maltreatment is a social and public health concern with far-reaching consequences for the child, family, society, and the economy. Given that the Human Capability Approach is a normative and evaluative framework to measure human development that captures the quality of life, wellbeing, human dignity, flourishing, human rights, and social justice, the research explored a conceptual basis for valorizing child maltreatment as a capability deprivation using Nussbaum's list of 10 central human capabilities. It adapted the Netherlands NPM 2010 Child Maltreatment survey as measurements. The webinar will present the national school survey findings amongst 895 children between 12-17 years in Aruba

Clementia Eugene is a lecturer at the UA. Clementia has a Clinical Social Work background and teaches in the Faculty of Arts and Science in the Department of Social Work and Development. She is a Ph.D. candidate focusing on a national research on "Child Maltreatment in Aruba: A Human Development Perspective.”

Register here


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