This research aims to identify pathways of wellbeing and poverty within rural communities in Zambia and India. It will demonstrate how poverty affects wellbeing and how different constellations of wellbeing in turn affect people's movements into, within and out of poverty. Drawing on the sociology of development and psychology, it adopts a mixed method, cross-cultural longitudinal approach, with qualitative and quantitative data collection across a two year interval, involving 700 respondents. Statistical tests will assess the validity and reliability of our model of wellbeing. In-depth case studies will gain a deeper sense of people's own understandings and experience. In particular, the research will test a key hypothesis, that social and personal relationships constitute critical drivers of wellbeing in developing countries. The project is rooted in research-policy engagement. It is being undertaken with NGOs committed to incorporating wellbeing into their programmes, and will involve a broader programme of communications activities at national and global level.