Methods and Tools
It is of the utmost importance to develop reliable tools to measure the quality of life (QOL) of people in the context of their households. Dependable tools could assist in verifying the claim so often made by service and product providers, as well as welfare programmes, that their interventions improve the quality of life of poor households. It is a challenging quest to develop tools comprehensive enough to assess a notion as comprehensive as quality of life, but limited enough to be practical. The QOLA and PIQOLA instruments were developed by Nova in response to this challenge.
The QOLA instrument combines a sophisticated qualitative approach with a definite systematic methodology. It is a tool for researchers and policy makers to assess the quality of life of households in a given area.
The QOLA chart consists of a matrix. On the horizontal line there are ten fundamental human needs. These needs have been identified by the Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef. On the vertical line there are 25 elements of a household that have been identified by Nova. When combined in the Nova QOLA chart, each need is linked to each element. That provides a comprehensive framework for assessing every aspect of the quality of life in a given household.
The Particular Impact Quality of Life Assessment (PIQOLA) Instrument is a tool that measures the particular impact of a specific intervention and/or satisfier (usage pattern, product, technology) on the quality of life of one or more household members.