College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

Quality of Life Index - Group Projects

The afternoon starts off with each group conducting interviews with the local residents of the community. Group B, or Bollywood, or bagels, or baseball, as we have come accustomed too, decides to conduct interviews with numerous different types of people in order to come up with a very diverse and interesting index. We manage to talk to some local women, a shop owner, some young adults, and even some teenagers and children. We gather various pieces of information from each of them in hopes of somehow making a quality of life index that could be widely used throughout different communities and even around the world.


After the afternoon interviews with the residents, the groups and their respective facilitators are packed onto the bus and make the trip back to the micro Home Solutions head quarters for the final discussions and presentations. Soon we are back at the headquarters and enjoy a quick lunch before having to say goodbyes to our wonderful tour guides and new friends, the students of Katha. While the goodbyes are rather sad, we all make an effort to try and stay in touch with the students with the hopes of getting to work with them again in the near future.

Katha Students

With the Katha students gone, our groups once again focus on the "Quality of Life" index and presentations that we have in front of us. After a couple hours of final discussions and preparations, everyone meets up in the main office for final group presentations.

Each group has attempted to develop some sort of index for measuring quality of life based on either a quantitative or qualitative set of parameters. After all of the groups have presented, a common problem seems to persist, discovering how to quantify parameters that have so many variables associated with them such as happiness and opportunity. A common trend within the groups is to base their index on qualitative values and assess the community's quality of life in this way.

Group Presentations

After some heated discussions amongst the groups and facilitators, a common understanding seems to be found. While most members feel as though a quantitative index would be the best solution for comparison and assessments, everyone seems to understand that this type of index might be virtually impossible. While some groups show promising solutions on how to quantify parameter data, many questions still arise as to how to get a universal index that could be applied to any slum.

With this great exercise in the books, the night is capped with a last minute discussion and wonderful thank-you session for all the facilitators involved.

Isak Ivanic


Post a comment