The provision of basic service delivery on well-being: Empirical case studies

Access to basic services and more generally service delivery are hot topics in the current South African political climate with the lack of services being a common cause of spontaneous public protest and rioting. The table below gives an indication of the extent of the lack of services, by race, in Cape Town – one of the study areas of the project. 

The objectives of this project is to investigate wellbeing and how external factors might influence it.  Wellbeing is specifically referred to here as subjective wellbeing, based on survey responses to quality of life questions.  Such analysis has increasingly come to the fore in economics, primarily as a result of increasing evidence of its ability to deliver robust results.

The external events analysed here are the access to basic services, such as water supply, sanitation, electricity connection, formal housing and access to various government services, for example policing, hospitals and schools.  Factors that represent a failure of these services, crime rates and fire occurence, are also modelled and their effects analysed. 

These objectives are explored in order to better understand the drivers of wellbeing, and how much importance individuals place on them.  Stemming from theory, particularly Sen’s capabilities approach and Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, it would be expected that these play an important part in wellbeing, especially for society’s poor.

Project status
Financed by
Environment for Development initiative
Project | 13 November 2015