Examining multidimensional inequality in the Arab region through a capabilities lens: presenting a pilot study in Lebanon with a focus on SDG 10

Faus Onbargi, Alexia
External Publications (2019)

Beirut: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

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The study aims to take a critical look at Sustainable Development Goal 10 – reduce inequality within and among countries – and to propose a new and innovative research method to capture multidimensional inequalities that remain to be addressed in SDG 10 targets and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at large. The paper suggests that a practical application of Professor Amartya Sen’s well-known yet highly theoretical Capability Approach (CA) – which defines development as amplifying people’s opportunities to lead a life they value – is effectively capable of enhancing the implementation of SDG 10, suited to identify overlapping and multidimensional inequalities that may not be captured otherwise. As a result of the original fieldwork, the study examines the underlying inequalities experienced by three groups in Lebanon – persons with disabilities, educated youth and vulnerable women – and, through the use of radial diagrams, provides a stark visual representation of the gaps that remain to be narrowed between where people are with their lives and where they want to be. The innovative aspect of this research lies in the design of a survey that integrates Professor Martha Nussbaum’s “Central Human Capabilities” list with SDG 10 targets to identify such capability gaps in equality and to present a pilot study on how to integrate the CA further, and better in the 2030 Agenda.

About the author

Faus Onbargi, Alexia

Social Science

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