Guardiola J, García-Muñoz T. Fulfilment of basic needs from a subjective point of view in rural Guatemala
Int J Soc Welfare 2010: ••: ••–••© 2010 The Author(s), International Journal of Social Welfare © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare.
The study of subjective wellbeing in developing countries is a relatively new field of research, but interest is increasing among researchers. A few decades ago, techniques such as the basic needs approach were applied in order to understand development. The basic needs framework has recently been used to define and monitor the Millennium Development Goals. However, it is limited when it comes to defining the content of basic needs and determining to what extent they are being satisfied, which leaves this decision to an external authority other than the individual. In this article, we estimated how certain indicators and assets have influenced the perception of basic needs in a rural area of Guatemala using a data set containing 369 interviews with Mayan households. The results allowed us to identify the characteristics or assets that influence the perception of basic needs, leaving the decision as to the Mayan people themselves as to whether their basic needs are being met.