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Investigating patterns of subjective wellbeing in Kenya and Mozambique

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 […]
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What has wellbeing got to do with the price of fish: A focus on fishers’ income might miss opportunities for sustainable poverty alleviation

SPACES research informs a call to consider fisheries benefits to wellbeing beyond income. An income focus can miss non-monetary dimensions of poverty, unequal distributions and whether it is spent and saved to improve people’s quality of life.

By Tim Daw and Ida Gabrielsson

For the past four years, SPACES has conducted research in coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique. In the south coastal community of Vanga in Kenya, fishermen are less likely to be income poor than their non-fishing neighbours. However, they and their families are as likely as non-fishers to lack basic food, water and sanitation needs. This contradiction begs us to better understand how the wellbeing of poor coastal communities are supported by fisheries and how interventions can improve wellbeing while balancing the pressure on threatened coastal ecosystems.

Delegates discussing the global goal on ocean health in New York this week should carefully consider how fisheries contribute to wellbeing, and who gets those benefits. Fisheries interventions are usually focussed on protecting fish stocks, increasing the volumes of fish caught or generating higher prices for fishers’ catches. Many interventions typically assume that fisheries are only about income, and often ignore how benefits and costs are distributed to different people. A better […]

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Value Chain Analysis Data Treat

 

  • These figures illustrate how income generated from the reef fish value chain is shared amongst different actors in two sites in Kenya.
  • The size of the fish represents the total income generated by the value chain and this is divided into the coloured areas according to how it is shared amongst the groups. So fishers capture the most income in both sites. And male and female small scale traders capture the same amount in Mombasa.
  • In addition, the black human figures shows the relative number of people in each group.
    So although fishers capture most of the income, it is shared amongst a large number of them, while only a few individuals are in the group ‘Large scale male traders’ in Vanga. Meanwhile there are many more female traders in Mombasa compared to male traders, so each of them gets a smaller share, even though as a group they get the same as male traders.

Based on data from value chain analysis surveys by the SPACES team.

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Exploring wellbeing and ecosystem services at the Resillience for Development Colloquium, Johannesburg

Julio Machele, Marlino Mubai, Dominique Goncales, Tim Daw and Thomas Chagneau represented SPACES at this event, which brought together scientists and practitioners working on complex challenges of sustainable development in the context of complex social and ecological interconnections and change.

A session on SPACES results featured:
an introduction and overview of the political and historical context of development in Cabo Delgado by Marlino
discussion by Julio of the unequal distribution of ecosystem benefits according to gender, ethnicity and wealth,
– an analysis of how ecosystem service use is correlated to different dimensions of poverty in the SPACES household survey by Tim
– finally Dominique gave a rich picture of these issues in Cabo Delgado through stories, photographs and anecdotes drawn from her experience of conducting the SPACES social science fieldwork.

The discussion with the audience drew on the diversity of perspectives in these presentations to explore the role of ethnicity and migration and the impact of cultural attachments to place.  Ignoring such attachments during development interventions, for example if communities are relocated for infrastructure can lead to conflict and wellbeing impacts that might be overlooked by a conventional economic analysis.

Tom presented his analysis of the […]

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Community Dialogues in Kenya

In Kenya, the SPACES field team is conducting community dialogues in the coastal communities of Vanga, Jimbo, Tsunza, Mkwiro, Shimoni, and Kongowea. The team has returned from the first three sites and has reflected on the process and has recently departed for the next site, Mkwiro.

During the community dialogues, the team is presenting some of SPACES key findings and following up on questions which the community members asked during the community feedback last summer. The objective of the dialogues is twofold. The first objective is to share the findings with the communities in hope to stimulate conversation, understand the communities’ interpretations of the findings, and identify possible actions that can be taken in the communities and by development actors. The second objective is to reflect and learn from the dialogue experience and to continually improve the dialogues from site to site. In the end we hope to be able to provide recommendations to others who wish to share their findings with communities.

The Kenyan team is using a an array of methods from presentations to role play to a theater performance to stimulate the dialogues in the communities. Below are links to the presentations from the first sites visited.

Materials for […]