Perceptions on Wellbeing among Small Pelagic Dried Fish Processors in South and West Coasts of Sri Lanka: A Qualitative Analysis
Sujani A. Adikary and Dilanthi N. Koralagama
Background: Wellbeing, the renowned term is now being used worldwide to assess the living standard of people, which goes beyond the development measurement indices, including the human development index. The notion of wellbeing described over three dimensions; material, relational, and subjective is a widely used concept in assessing wellbeing in development studies. This study aims to explore on three dimensions of wellbeing parameters valued by small pelagic dried fish processors in Negombo, Kalpitiya and Matara, which remain as the main small-pelagic dried fish producing areas in the South and West coast of Sri Lanka.
Methods: Qualitative data collection methods including in-depth interviews (n = 20) key informant discussions (n = 06) and participant observations were employed to gather primary data. Snowball sampling was used to select small pelagic dried fish processors from Negombo, Kalpitiya, and Matara Districts. Contextual data analysis was applied for interpretation, while field observations and transcripts were coded and analysed using Atlas.ti software.
Results: Income level and profit, education and skills, possessions, resource availability, food availability and healthy lifestyle were recognized as the key determinants of material wellbeing valued by the respondents. Life satisfaction with happiness, aspirations, mental serenity, leisure time and entertainment, time spent in places of worship were identified as the key determinants under the subjective dimension. Family, relatives and community, customer interactions, relationships with traders, co-worker and other processors were found to be the key drivers of relational wellbeing in male and female dried fish processers.
Conclusions: The dried fish processors were able to acquire all three dimensions of well-being aspects, either differently or similarly. However, the achievement of these aspects was at different levels depending on their gender and religion. Despite, the material aspects are towards their occupation and accessibility, the relational aspects are mostly focused on family and the community.
Keywords: Dried Fish, Material, Relational, Small Pelagic, Qualitative Analysis