Early in June at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Nicole Reid successfully presented her  masters thesis on “Patterns of Subjective Wellbeing in Coastal Kenya and Mozambique and Factors Affecting It”. Nicole Reid was part of the Master’s program Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development at the SRC.

For her thesis, Nicole explored the subjective wellbeing data collected during the household survey in Kenya and Mozambique. Wellbeing is multidimensional and consists of three dimensions, the material, the relational, and the subjective. Material wellbeing is made up of material resources like money, clothing, fish, or food.  Relational wellbeing is composed of social relationships and personal relationships one has. The subjective dimension is about how people evaluate their lives in regards to their material resources, their social relationships, their role in society, and their cultural values and beliefs.

From here analysis Nicole found that:

  • Women respondents were generally more satisfied with their lives than men. People living in urban areas were more dissatisfied and life satisfaction varied with age for both genders.
  • Men related to the material and relational dimension of wellbeing and mentioned food, money, education, and clothing frequently. Women on the other hand related only to the relational dimension of wellbeing, and mentioned health, friends, religion, and their spouse.
  • Basic needs contributed to the wellbeing of both satisfied and dissatisfied respondents in such that those who met more of their basic needs were satisfied and those who did not meet some of their basic needs were dissatisfied. Dissatisfied respondents mentioned money and job the most frequently as to why they were dissatisfied.
  • Ecosystem services have direct impact on human wellbeing, however, they were rarely mentioned by the respondents. It can be that ecosystem services are hidden in the responses, for example in their job such as fishing, or in food or shelter.

Now that Nicole is finished with her studies, she plans to enjoy to enjoy her summer and she hopes to continue to investigate wellbeing and basic needs in the future. Nicole is thankful to Tim Daw, Edgar Bueno, Emma Sundström and the SPACES team for their support and guidance during thesis process.

To read the full thesis click here.