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The Capability Approach

Date: August 2008
Category: Report
Author: Paula Lorgelly, Karen Lorimer, Elizabeth Fenwick, Andy Briggs

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The capability approach suggests that wellbeing should be measured not according to what individuals actually do (functionings) but what they can do (capabilities).
In response to a lack of empirical applications of the approach Anand et al sought to measure capability by utilising data from the British Household Panel Survey. Further indicators were then developed.

The aim of this project was to :

  • Further develop and refine the survey instruments as proposed by Anand et al
  • Validate the instrument for use in public health evaluations 
  • Propose how future evaluations might employ the capability approach.