Sustainable Consumption and Wellbeing in Peru (completed)

This project studies the factors that limit and promote sustainable consumption and wellbeing across socio-economic groups.

About the project

The analysis will make a unique contribution to the study of sustainable development in Latin America where the unsustainable consumption practices of the upper and middle socio-economic groups and their effect on the values, aspiration and wellbeing of the poor have often been mentioned but hardly ever investigated. The participatory methodology employed, where not only limitations but potentialities for change will be addressed, will provide unique insights into the structural and identity related issues that people themselves identify as key factors for a satisfying and sustainable life.  Detailed policy implications identified by participants will follow from this research, providing a set of measures designed by and for the Peruvian people.

The project will employ a case study approach, focusing on 3 neighborhoods in Lima (poor, middle and rich), 2 in Huancayo and 2 rural communities in the Sierra central in order to reflect the understandings of different socio-economic groups.  The method will involve a qualitative analysis of discussion groups with citizens using the Human Scale Development methodology developed by the Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef, followed by a questionnaire, inquiring on consumption patterns and materialist aspirations executed with a sample of 500 households living in both urban and rural settings.

Duration: May 2011- April 2014.


The aim of this project is to study both the factors that limit and the factors that promote sustainable consumption and wellbeing in Peru; the structures that lock-in urban middle and upper classes in unsustainable consumption patterns and the cultural and personal values that spread materialist aspirations among the poor. The project is groundbreaking in that it addresses sustainable development in Latin America focusing on the consumption realm, where inequalities are sheer and policies are vague or inexistent. The goal is to unveil the potential for different socio-economic groups, and the Peruvian society in general, to pursue the actualization of human needs in a sustainable manner


  • Latin America Programme, The Norwegian Research Council (NRC)
Published Aug. 26, 2011 1:28 PM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2015 1:28 PM