Using Sen’s capability approach and mixed methods to assess wellbeing: the case of working-age persons with disabilities in Trinidad
22 February 2021
Dr Bephyer Parey, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
All persons have the right to adequate wellbeing at all stages of life. Many persons however live in deprived conditions globally. While wellbeing can be measured in various ways, the paper favours Sen’s multidimensional capability approach. Via this approach wellbeing is assessed in accordance to the freedom people have to achieve functionings which are things people do or be in life, for example, being sufficiently nourished and being included in society.
In the paper, wellbeing is assessed among working-age persons with disabilities in Trinidad. A multiphase mixed methods design with three phases is employed: (i) an exploratory phase, (ii) an instrument development phase, and (iii) a convergent design. Functionings of importance are identified in the exploratory phase and used to develop an instrument in the second phase. The instrument contains both closed- and open-ended questions that measure wellbeing and collect information on its hindering factors, respectively and is administered in the final phase.
The results indicate that working-age persons with disabilities in Trinidad were deprived in many areas, some of which are usually not captured in traditional poverty assessments, and moreover, provides insights on the societal changes required to ensure adequate wellbeing among them. Overall, the paper demonstrates the usefulness of the capability approach and mixed methods to assess wellbeing.
Parey, B. (2020). Using Sen’s Capability Approach to Assess Wellbeing Achievement Among Working-age Persons with Disabilities in Trinidad. Social Indicators Research, 151(3):1129-1148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02418-4. Full-text view-only version available here: https://rdcu.be/b5c8Q
Parey, B. (2021). Parents’ Perspectives on Wellbeing Among Children with Disabilities: Using Mixed Methods and Sen’s Capability Approach. Child Indicators Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-020-09801-0. Full-text view-only version available here: https://rdcu.be/cfJeq