Capabilities, Perception of Well-being and Development Effort: Some Evidence from Afghanistan

Jean Francois Trani, Parul Bakhshi, Cécile Rolland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper examines the relationship between capabilities, well-being and the impact of development efforts in Afghanistan. Using data from a nationally representative survey, it is argued that very vulnerable groups maintain a positive perception of well-being by referring to collective values and practices. The data suggest that deprivation of individual basic capabilities does not systematically lead to a low perception of well-being if individuals have access to other capabilities such as love, care and participation in community affairs. Nevertheless, access to basic capabilities remains crucial in order to ensure that social norms and expectations cease to constitute constraints and become factors through which agency and empowerment are enhanced. The results also show the dangers of tackling inequalities by designing policies that target individuals isolated from the group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-426
Number of pages24
JournalOxford Development Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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