Sarah C. White & Shreya Jha, Co-founders of the Relational Wellbeing (RWB) Collaborative
The Capability Approach has long taken a person-centred approach to wellbeing, emphasising what people can in practice do and be, and to some extent how they think and feel. Relational Wellbeing aligns with this, but stresses the relational character of human being, such that people’s relationships with others critically affect the opportunities they have and the choices they make. Linking personal, societal and ecological change, Relational Wellbeing looks beyond individual psychology or behaviour to the underlying conditions that promote healthy environments and happy lives. While many models of wellbeing rely on the notion of domains to represent its multidimensional character, Relational Wellbeing draws attention instead to the flows, connections and obstructions between different aspects of life, and between the diverse factors that help to generate or undermine wellbeing.
In this seminar we introduce the relational approach to wellbeing and describe how we are applying it in development practice. We look forward to a lively discussion concerning its similarities to and differences from the Capability Approach, and its implications for multidimensional wellbeing measurement.