Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Symposium held to discuss wellbeing and quality of life

Mon Jun 03 17:04:00 BST 2013

How wellbeing and quality of life are featuring in NGOs’ work in practice was the focus of a one-day symposium entitled Wellbeing, quality of life and NGOs: tools, tensions and taking the next steps. The symposium was jointly sponsored by Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways, CAFOD, Traidcraft, and Wellbeing Wales, and took place on 2 May 2013.

The day began with introductions to a number of different tools that people are using, including;

  • the CAFOD Quality of Life Batteries
  • Traidcraft’s adaptation of the Wellbeing Pathways approach
  • Wellbeing Wales’ Sustainable Development
  • Oxfam Scotland’s Humankind Index
  • Trocaire’s Wellbeing Wheel

The rest of the day included wider discussion of key issues, such as; the tension between the twin aims of having participatory processes and robust indicators of outcome; the balance between a comprehensive approach and the need for specific policy recommendations; and what difference measures of wellbeing or quality of life would make to development practice.

Participants were an invited group of people or organisations who already had experience or an active interest in working on wellbeing or quality of life. They spanned interests in the UK, the EU and international development and across programming and policy.

The day revealed tremendous positive energy and enthusiasm for taking the wellbeing agenda forward, combined with a lot of questions about how best to do this and an appetite to learn from one another and find new ways of working together.

Resources from the workshop are now available online, and plans for future networking and joint activities are also underway.

Further information

If you are interested in being part of the ongoing conversation on wellbeing and NGOs, or you want to find out about the forum email list, you can email: