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Abstract: This paper analyses the interrelated factors associated with the problems and the potentials to meet human needs in five Peruvian districts. The study uses Max-Neef’s Human Scale Development (HSD) participatory methodology to ascertain local strategies to improve human need satisfaction in five locations chosen to illustrate some of the socio-economic and geographical diversity in the country. Results indicate that although increased material wealth is needed to improve need satisfaction in some areas, this must not necessarily imply economic growth at the country level as long as other personal and structural transformations directed to promote non-materialistic values, universal access to public services and benefits, and social cohesion are implemented. This suggests that even in developing countries, improving human needs satisfaction might demand structural changes that are not necessarily linked to the traditional recourse to economic growth.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Realizing needs and a high quality of life in a degrowth society” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.