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The Integrated Capabilities Framework: Exploring Multiculturalism and Human Well-Being in Participatory Settings

  • David Alexander ClarkEmail author
  • Susan Hodgett
Chapter
Part of the Rethinking International Development series book series (RID)

Abstract

In this chapter, Clark and Hodgett develop a framework and methodology for investigating human well-being in multicultural settings. They consider the various insights that the capability, livelihoods and chronic poverty approaches can offer before building on them to develop an ‘Integrated Capability Approach’ (ICF) that seeks to combine their virtues. Like the capability approach, the ICF is a flexible framework that can be applied to different issues through a variety of participatory methods. The ICF is used to develop a series of open-ended fieldwork questions partly inspired by Clark’s studies of human values. These questions are designed to explore the values, expectations and actual experiences of different people and ethnic groups. To illustrate one way of making the approach operational, the fieldwork questions are applied through 15 ethnographic interviews conducted in Canada. Although no attempt is made to draw policy conclusions (given the limited number of interviews), the fieldwork results do illustrate several unique features of the ICF that help make it a highly effective tool for guiding policy and practice. Amongst other things, the ICF embraces multidimensionality, allows for cultural diversity and difference, recognizes that well-being is a dynamic process and encourages more pragmatic and efficient policy responses.

Notes

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to David Hulme for helpful comments and advice during the research process and Frank Ellis for sharing the Malawi LADDER questionnaire. We are also grateful to Carol Evoy for help with the organization of fieldwork activities and all the people who participated in interviews. Helpful comments on earlier versions of this chapter have been received from Alexandre Frediani, Caroline Andrew, Mario Biggeri, Gerard Bouchard, Marguerite Cassin, Patrick James, Melanie Walker, and participants at various workshops and seminars. Susan Hodgett acknowledges financial support for related work from Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada and The Foundation for Canadian Studies, UK. The usual disclaimers apply.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Development StudiesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Action Research for CO-Development (ARCO)PIN-Educational and Scientific Services for the University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.University of East AngliaNorwichUK

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