Bottom-up approaches to understanding well-being: Data, Diversity, and Methods

Watene, Krushil (2016). 'Bottom-up approaches to understanding well-being: Data, Diversity, and Methods' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract To enable the design of policy and programs which improve the lives of different sub population groups and communities, there is a need to first know how well-being is conceptualized. The experience of well-being, the capabilities and functionings which an individual values, depends on a range of factors including their lived experiences and the context in which they live and situate themselves. The development of methods and appropriate measures of well-being and capabilities is critical to this endeavor. There has been such plethora of data that have been produced, both qualitative and quantitative in nature to conceptualize and measure well-being, poverty, capabilities and health. This is sometimes done separately and sometimes through the integration of mixed methods using a diverse set of methodologies, research paradigms and tools. For some time now, various scholars have championed the need for a bottom up approach as fundamental to determine these measures using deliberative participation. How can participatory methods be used to improve our understanding of capabilities and well-being? What insights can all thematic groups bring to answering this question? This inter-thematic panel session - co-organised by the HDCA Thematic Groups on Indigenous People and Participatory Methods - explores these questions and contributes to the development of bottom-up approaches to understanding well-being.

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