Measuring development and human wellbeing in the Lao PDR: Exploring Laos' development indicators
Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences
Over the past 30 years, developing economies around the world have grown rapidly. Only in the last decade has the concept of wellbeing become part of development discourse. As material resources are limited, a promising concept has evolved so that development and wellbeing can be achieved even though development and as such improved wellbeing may not be attainable for all people. As wellbeing is essentially a social and cultural construction concept, its measurement must therefore take social
... efore take social and cultural concepts into account. This paper explores local conceptions of wellbeing and the extent to which these conceptions have been incorporated into the measurements used in the nation of Laos. Data were collected through qualitative methods. Content analysis was employed to examine and analyze participants' responses. This paper argues that in the diverse cultural settings of Laos, it is challenging to develop a standard set of wellbeing measurements. Although existing measurement includes social and cultural considerations, this study shows the local conception of wellbeing was largely omitted. Based on the findings, it is suggested that measurements of wellbeing in Laos be expanded to cover a wider number of aspects that encompass the Lao socio-cultural identity. This study proposed to add more indices of wellbeing into development measurement than have been used in Laos.