Between individuals, levels of wellbeing vary in line with economic
status. But beyond individuals it is politics and policies that make the
These are key messages emerging from recent research on wellbeing and
poverty in India by the Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways project.
The report provides preliminary evidence from a first round of fieldwork
in rural Chhattisgarh which has developed and applied a new,
multi-dimensional model of wellbeing.
Key conclusions include:
- These are extremely poor communities where positive change is
occurring. Critical to this is the provision of welfare programmes by
the state, complemented by political mobilization by local NGOs to
ensure that people achieve the rights they are promised.
- People's objective economic status has the greatest effect on levels
of wellbeing and is inter-related with other factors like
gender/marital status, community and place of residence.
- However, the multi-dimensional approach to wellbeing provides a far
broader understanding of how different kinds of people are doing in
different aspects of their lives than is shown by economic status
- And focusing on individuals only tells part of the story – the
environment which enables or constrains wellbeing is set by policies
The report outlines the Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways research, the
model of wellbeing developed and methods used. The communities where
research in India is being conducted are described and findings on their
objective wellbeing are presented. The report then presents statistical
evidence on their subjective reflections and inner wellbeing and how
these vary by different mediating factors.
White, S.C.; Gaines, S.O.; Jha, S.; Marshall, N. Wellbeing Pathways Report: India Round 1. University of Bath, Bath, UK (2012) 62 pp.
Wellbeing Pathways Report: India Round 1