Quality of Life Assessment (QOLA)
The Quality of Life Assessment is a set of three, largely qualitative questionnaires conducted with individual households. Each questionnaire takes about an hour and a half to complete and are therefore often conducted on different days.
The first questionnaire spans three sections. The first section is completely scale-based (0-10) and focusses on the respondent’s subjective wellbeing (general satisfaction with life, work, relationships, health, food, possessions, air quality, environment, climate, house and education). In the second section the respondent is asked to provide a verbal description of their general context in terms of their community, their family, their daily activities and their experience of their own self. The respondent’s answers are recorded with a voice recorder and only transcribed later. In the third section the respondent is asked to provide a verbal description of their household domain by elaborating on the questions asked in section 1 about food, water, clothes and waste. Both sections two and three are recorded with a voice recorded and only transcribed later.
The second questionnaire is a continuation of the verbal description of the household domain. It elaborates on the remaining questions from the first section of the first questionnaire, thus enquiring about the respondent’s experience of their immediate terrain, air, house, climate, noise, work, health, relationships, personal motivation and education. The entire interview is recorded with a voice recorder and transcribed later.
The third and final questionnaire of the QOLA set comprises 253 Likert-style questions with four tiers (“strongly agree”, “agree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”). The resulting Likert scale assesses 25 aspects of the household (as institution) as a satisfier of the human need for subsistence, protection, affection, participation, understanding, creation, idleness, identity, freedom, and transcendence (i.e. ten needs in total). The twenty-five aspects of the household that are assessed are water, food, waste, clothes, land, air, house, light, sound, care, work, rest, self, closest companion, household members, non-household members, trust, sensation, motivation, communication, choice, discovery, meaning, gender, and personal development. This instrument was developed by the Nova Institute themselves a little over ten years ago.
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