Sen, subjective well-being and poverty in Namibia

Type Journal Article - African Review of Economics and Finance
Title Sen, subjective well-being and poverty in Namibia
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 104-123
The aim of this article is to analyse and describe the perceptions of poverty
and subjective well-being as described by the “poor” in Namibia, using
Amartya Sen’s multidimensional theoretical framework of Poverty (Capability
approach). The paper utilises qualitative data and information obtained from
the 13 Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) reports of the Namibian
National Planning Commission (NPC). The PPAs followed a broad qualitative
participatory methodology and were conducted in all 13 regions of Namibia. It
offers a unique source of qualitative information on how well-being and poverty
are perceived and experienced by the people themselves. The analysis focuses
on matters such as the role of institutional quality, social trust in the community,
religion, beliefs and people’s perceptions of poverty and well-being. Poverty
is complex and multidimensional and not an economic issue only. Money and
livelihoods were considered as a means to an end and not an end in itself. Wellbeing
was rather seen as being able to foster and enlarge human capabilities,
life choices and opportunities.

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