A mixed-methods exploration of the links between inequality and wellbeing in Ghana

Authors: Joseph Kangmennaang*, University of Waterloo, Susan J Elliott, University of Waterloo
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Development, Africa
Keywords: Population wellbeing, Inequality, mixed methods, SSA and Ghana
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

We live in a world faced by rising inequality and growing evidence suggests that inequality is detrimental to population wellbeing. However, the effects and pathways through which inequality affects wellbeing in the context of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where absolute and relative deprivation are extreme, remain unknown. As part of a larger research program that aims to develop a Global Index of Wellbeing (GLOWING), this paper explores the linkages between inequality and wellbeing in Ghana. Guided by key constructs from both the capability and ecosocial frameworks, we use a parallel mixed methods approach to explore the linkages between inequality and wellbeing. Specifically, path analysis is used to examine the pathways between different measures of inequality (e.g. income and relative deprivation) and wellbeing while qualitative interviews are used to explore perceptions of inequality and the links between inequality and wellbeing to provide context and depth to our quantitative results. The results show that inequalities affect wellbeing by constraining access to basic amenities like water, food, and housing and also through its effects on community social capital and cohesion. The implications for policy and practice, specifically to ensuring shared prosperity, are discussed.

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