Browsing by Subject "capability approach"

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  • Österinen, Kaisu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study looks at the way in which the good works inspired by religious motives are related to the secular understanding of development. The aim is to better understand how development workers with religious worldview define the concept of development and how their faith influences their thinking. Faith is understood as the source of values based on which the ideas of development are shaped. The task is approached by interviewing the Finnish staff members of a Pentecostal development organization, Fida International. Their staff members’ understanding of development is studied. Development as a religious concept is formulated based on the interviews. The background chapters give the context of the study by introducing the debate and connections between the concepts of religion and development. Also an introduction of the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum is provided since in this study it represents the secular understanding of development. The key concepts of the approach: functionings, agency and development are used to analyze how religious values influence the understanding of development. Chapter four introduces the research material, the methods and the process of analysis. The data consist of 16 interviews carried out in East Africa by the author in the spring of 2016. In chapter five the results of the analysis are presented. The valued functionings that emerge from faith were: fulfilling God’s call, living out one’s faith, deliverance and trusting God, spiritual growth, freedom from guilt through God’s forgiveness and mercy, and achieving balance and harmony. The results are brought together to formulate a definition of development as religious concept. Chapter six reflects on the results in relation to the literature focusing on the religious perception of development. The elements that faith brings to the secular understanding of development are intertwined around the holistic approach in which the economic, political, social and spiritual dimensions of development cannot be viewed separately. Therefore, the relationship between God and the human becomes central. The human finds his ultimate purpose and thus the aim of development within God in his Kingdom. Therefore, faith widens the time perspective of development from this life into eternity. According to the interviewees of the study God has called the human to love him by loving his neighbors. Solidarity, equality and just world become the aim of development within the time frame of this life. To reach there, to have Shalom in this life already, was seen as too idealistic. Therefore, the aim of the man-made development process within this time frame emerges with the ultimate aim of development, the life in God’s Kingdom in the eternity.
  • Sood, Nitin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In the Monsoon season of 2015, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, revealed his ambitious programme ‘Digital India’ which aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. However, the gender dimension of digitalisation is absent in the conversations about Digital India. In the said background, the thesis strives to address the lacunae in the debates and investigate what digitalisations means for expanding women’s capabilities in India. The premise of the thesis was grounded in two conceptual notions. Firstly, Amartya Sen’s and Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach served as the normative framework and as a tool for evaluating digitalisation in India. Secondly, information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) formed another fundamental building block for the thesis. The principal objective of the study was to investigate women’s wellbeing in the digitalisation process in India. Nine organisations, working in the field of women’s rights and/or digitalisation, were interviewed to gather the principal data. In the research, knowledge acquired was rearranged with the support of the theoretical framework. The qualitative content analysis method was employed through which three distinct categories were discovered: independence, sexuality and control. In the analysis, these three categories were utilised to dissect the impact of digitalisation on women’s capabilities in India. The findings of the thesis demonstrate that digitalisation efforts expand women’s internal capabilities. Women have acquired independence through gaining economic capabilities through e-commerce, where women are able to sell their products to a larger audience. Furthermore, technologies allow the incorporation of women’s voices in the flow of information, addressing issues that matter to them and rendering their view on events. Many interviewees stressed the importance of access to information that women gain with ICTs. However, Modi’s government treats digitalisation as a panacea for India’s challenges and views ICTs as ends rather than means. The Government fails to address the socio-cultural norms that impede on women’s capabilities to utilise ICTs even if they acquire digital literacy. As seen through the study, women have shown poorer conversion rates in transforming ICT-commodities into capabilities and functionings. Thus, the current implementation of digitalisation in India is at a risk of generating more inequalities as opposed to reducing them.
  • Lehmus-Sun, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The great amount of both academic and political interest towards subjective well-being causes also demand for a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the concept. Hence, in the present thesis, a longitudinal data analysis about the relationship between subjective well-being and objective well-being outcomes and opportunities is conducted. The indicators for subjective well-being are happiness and life satisfaction. The indicators for objective well-being are operationalised from two theories. The first theory is Richard Layard’s (2011) Seven Causes for Happiness, which helps to define objective well-being outcomes that may be associated with one’s subjective well-being. The Seven causes for happiness are family relationships, financial situation, work, community and friends, health, per-sonal freedom and personal values. The second theory is the capability approach by Amartya Sen (1993), which enables to study the difference between outcomes and opportunities. The capabilities are mostly about satisfaction in different domains in life (satisfaction with partner, job, household income, social life, neighbourhood, and leisure time), but also financial manageability, health limitations, ability to vote, voluntary and political group memberships. The data are drawn from the British Household Panel Survey, which is a nationally representative longitudinal survey of nearly 10 000 individuals over 16 years of age in the United Kingdom. The analysis is based on 12 waves, which enables to explore whether the objective well-being factors, that might have changed in the life of an individual, have an impact on one’s subjective well-being. In addition, the difference between the two indicators of subjective well-being, that is, happiness and life satisfaction is investigated. Analyses were performed using linear mixed-effects models. The results suggest that the most significant domains associated with better subjective well-being were family relationships, community and friends, and health. Work domain explained happiness almost twice as much than life satisfaction, and personal freedom domain explained life satisfaction better than happiness. Financial situation, personal values and demographics (age and gender) domains received the lowest significance. Compared to the results with the previous studies, the main similarities were with health and social relationships factors, which in the previous studies as well as in the current study were both significantly associated with subjec-tive well-being. The main differences between the results of the present study and the results of the previous studies were with the factors of employment, income, and having a partner. According to the previous studies, having a job, higher income, and having a partner increased one’s subjective well-being, but in the present analyses the directions of the associations were the opposite. The results indicate that the fact that one has a job, higher income or a partner does not bring itself happiness or satisfaction, but the fact that one is satisfied with one’s job, income or partner, does. According to the present analysis, opportunities in general received much higher predicting power than did the outcomes. Consequently, how satisfied one is in certain life domains seem to matter more to overall life satisfaction and happiness than a fixed outcome.
  • Haapala, Juho; White, Pamela (2015)
    Water-sector development is inevitably based on changes in people’s behaviour. We analyse why some types of domestic water-use behaviours change more easily than others. Our case study is a water supply and sanitation intervention in remote and rural Nepal. We found that collective opportunities, degree of individual freedom, and individual incentives influenced the ease of the promoted behaviour changes. The enhanced individual opportunities, incentives, and collective tolerance enabled behaviour changes that were regarded as beneficial by the people themselves, whereas the existing social traditions in our case-study context often restricted those changes. Often, the individual agency and the collective traditions confronted one another. We suggest that this study can provide a design for predicting possible opportunities and challenges regarding behaviour changes in field operations, and for enhancing joint operation of individual and collective capabilities at local levels in the development intervention context