Wellbeing: Challenges to International Development
Simon Maxwell, Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Rt Hon John Battle MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development (APGOOD)
The Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD) research group held a lunchtime seminar to disseminate the key findings from their five-year research programme. In this seminar, four briefing papers were presented which argue that international development needs a practical concept of wellbeing if it is to reach and then go beyond the Millennium Development Goals to confront the major and interlinked challenges of poverty, conflict and sustainability.
The key findings from the WeD research are discussed in the briefing papers and include the need for the integration of wellbeing audits into development practice. These audits are a means of engaging with the realities of the lives of poor people and more effectively promoting the factors that enable people and communities to thrive. Adopting this wellbeing perspective and approach changes how we think about development policy and forces us to ask: ‘How are we to live together in our neighbourhoods, and nation states, and in the global community?’