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WELLBEING STUDIES SRI LANKA (PART OF TGH PROGRAM) Suman Fernando European Centre for Migration & Social Care (MASC) University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "WELLBEING STUDIES SRI LANKA (PART OF TGH PROGRAM) Suman Fernando European Centre for Migration & Social Care (MASC) University of Kent, Canterbury, UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 WELLBEING STUDIES SRI LANKA (PART OF TGH PROGRAM) Suman Fernando European Centre for Migration & Social Care (MASC) University of Kent, Canterbury, UK London Metropolitan University. London, UK

2 UNDERSTANDING & ASSESSING WELLBEING Happiness approach (HA) relies in individual feelings subjective wellbeing (SWB) used mainly in high income countries Capability approach (CA) relies on functioning and agency reflects lived experience used in development studies in third world Ref: Sen, A. (2008) Economics of Happiness and Capability in L Bruni, F. Comim, & M Pugno (eds.) Capabilities and Happiness, Oxford: Oxford University Press pp Kesebir, P. & Diener, E. (2008) In Defence of Happiness: Why Policymakers Should Care about Subjective Well-Being in L Bruni, F. Comim, & M Pugno (eds.) Capabilities and Happiness, Oxford: Oxford University Press pp

3 TRAUMA & GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM (April 2007 onwards) located in GUATEMALA, NEPAL, PERU & SRI LANKA Four year Program for Information Gathering (IG) Capacity Building (CB) Knowledge Transfer (KT) Funded by: Global Health Research Initiative (Canada) Supported by Social & Transcultural Psychiatry Division of McGill University & Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

4 TGH GLOBAL PROGRAM IN SRI LANKA Sri Lanka Program lead Chamindra Weerackody (Sociologist) Based at Peoples Rural Development Association (PRDA), Colombo

5 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (CD) APPROACH Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) – adapted Focus groups Key informant interview Family interviews AIM Consulting communities Perceptions of wealth ranking & wellbeing Before and after displacement / tsunami TGH PROGRAM IN SRI LANKA INFORMATION GATHERING: 2008

6 CONCEPT OF WELLBEING (= MENTAL HEALTH) Understanding of wellbeing (in development studies) reflects range of human experience - social, mental, spiritual, material (Chambers 1997). Wellbeing = Yaha Jeevanya in Sinhala and Nannilai in Tamil Ref: Chambers, R. (1997) Whose Reality Counts? Putting the first last. London: ITDG Publishing

7 Table 1: Wellbeing – its criteria and their levels before and after the tsunami in village in Hambantota District Level of wellbeing before the tsunami (scoring) Wellbeing criteria/conditions Level of wellbeing after the tsunami (scoring) MenWomenMenWomen 7-Unity within family (men)3 88Secure living (men); Living without fear of natural disasters (women) 20 69A stable source of income44 87A good mental condition/free mind (men); having a higher state of physical and mental condition (women) 23 77Mutual trust among village families (men); Living in unity and harmony with neighbours (women) 25 88Providing a good education for children68 88Living without alcohol consumption (men); A society and environment free of alcohol and drugs (women) A secure house (men); Own permanent house (women) 02 -7Having good thoughts (women)-5 -5Turn towards a religious life (women)-9 -10Living without stretching out hands to others (women)-0

8 Table 2: Wellbeing – its criteria and their levels before and after the conflict in a Batticaloa village Level of wellbeing before the conflict (scoring) Wellbeing criteria/conditions Level of wellbeing after the conflict (scoring) MenWomenMenWomen 88 Ability for children and adults to move freely and without fear and interruption. (Living without interruption of life by warring / armed parties) Adequate resources i.e. equipment, books, home facilities as well as teachers for children to pursue education A secure environment free of fear, anxiety and questioning / interruptions (by armed forces) for children and teachers to pursue their educational activities Independent employment for husbands; and freedom to move around and collect non-timber products from forests Sufficient capital for investment in income generating activities Uninterrupted work availability Having savings Secure and stable houses to live without fear (women). A good house (men) A conflict free environment Access to clean water -1 Not scored Access to toilets Not scored 3 Access to health services 8 6- Healthy life Living without consuming alcohol 3-

9 Table 3: Perceived wellbeing of refugees living in camps – its criteria and their levels before and after displacement Table 3: Perceived wellbeing of refugees living in camps – its criteria and their levels before and after displacement (Puttalam District) Level of wellbeing before displacement (scoring) Wellbeing criteria/conditions Level of wellbeing after displacement (scoring) MenWomenMenWomen 99Having good health31 89Having adequate money/cash (women)/having a good income (men) 23 -7Living without being a burden to others-3 -8Having unity within the community-8 -7Having security in the community-3 -8Mental happiness within family-2 98Having a good educational standard66 9-Having a free environment4- 9-Living with a light mind3- 9-Having an independent life7- 9-Having nutritious meals3-

10 SOME CONCLUSIONS-1 Communities perceive a severe reduction in their wellbeing after displacement / tsunami in terms of: a.economic poverty, b.lowered sense of security c.loss of privacy, d.intra-family conflicts e.alcoholism/drug abuse f.children vulnerable to deprivation and neglect.

11 SOME CONCLUSIONS-2 Perceptions of wellbeing are holistic –social, psychological and material domains seen as unified whole. –psychological wellbeing not considered in isolation from material and social wellbeing –psychological feelings and psychological trauma experienced as inseparable from material and social issues.

12 SOME CONCLUSIONS-3 Needs (as perceived by communities) can be a basis for developing services Venn diagrams gave a good idea of which agencies were helpful Next question is why and how? Agencies can learn how to improve their services


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