- A new study measures the impacts of conservation projects on peoples lives by letting the people define what matters to them.
- The study has adapted the Global Person Generated Index (GPGI), an index that has previously been used in the health sector to see what people consider important for their quality of life, and lets the people rate the performance of those domains.
- The study found that overall, the local people were most commonly concerned with agriculture, health, livestock, education, jobs, and family-related activities, but more than 50 percent of the people who were interviewed said that the conservation projects had had no significant impacts on these aspects of their well-being.
Most conservation projects today must answer a key question: How does the project affect the local people? But high-quality studies that measure the impacts of conservation projects on peoples well-being remain few and far between.
Whatever rigorous research does exist tends to focus on a narrow range of economic indicators, such as household income or expenditure, serving as proxies for peoples well-being. But well-being can mean different things to different people. And indicators like income, while objective, may not capture aspects of well-being that are actually important to the people themselves, some conservationists argue. Instead, the conservationists have called for complementing the more objective methods with approaches that measure what the people think are important to them, because peoples perceptions of impacts can determine future support for conservation projects.
To that end, a new study published in World Development has found a novel way of measuring impacts on peoples lives...