Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways project hosting final conference in Oxford

Mon Jan 06 11:33:00 GMT 2014


The Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways research team from the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath are this week hosting their final conference, ‘ Wellbeing and Subjectivity in International Development’ at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

Running from 8 th-9 th January 2014, the conference brings together academics and practitioners working in the field of international development to share research and experience. Dr Sarah White from the Centre for Development Studies, Project Director, will be presenting a paper on The Politics of Wellbeing, Conservation and Development in Chiawa, Zambia’, following a visit to Zambia where project staff and local representatives discussed findings and recommendations with development agencies, policy-makers and donors. Co-Investigator Dr Stanley Gaines Jr. (Brunel University) will describe how inner wellbeing mediates the effect of economic status on levels of happiness, and Research Officer Shreya Jha (University of Bath) will present methodological reflections on doing field research on wellbeing.

The conference will feature a range of speakers, including Professor David Hulme from the Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester and Jo Rowlands from Oxfam.  Research from Young Lives, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, and Legatum Institute, and universities across the UK, Latin America and South Asia will be presented. NGOs CAFOD, Traidcraft, Practical Action and HelpAge International Work will discuss their work on wellbeing in development practice.


The ESRC/DFID funded project investigated the value of focusing on wellbeing in a development context, carrying out fieldwork in rural Zambia and India. Using quantitative and qualitative methods the team developed a new concept of Inner Wellbeing to explore associations and tensions between subjective experience and objective circumstances. The research project is due to end in March 2014, and the work is being adapted for use by NGOs in development practice. More information about the project and published papers can be found at