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Agency and Empowerment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators

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  • Solava Ibrahim
  • Sabina Alkire

Abstract

This article proposes a short list of internationally comparable indicators of individual agency and empowerment (and the corresponding survey questions). Data from these indicators would enable researchers to explore research and policy issues such as the interconnections between empowerment and economic or human development. The paper surveys definitions of agency and empowerment and adopts the definition from Amartya Sen, supplemented by Rowlands' typology. The proposed “shortlist” of indicators includes: control over personal decisions; domain-specific autonomy; household decision-making; and the ability to change aspects in one's life at the individual and communal levels. The strengths and weaknesses of each indicator are discussed, as is the need to supplement this shortlist with other variables. To ensure the feasibility of the proposal, we rely on previously fielded questions wherever possible.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 379-403

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:35:y:2007:i:4:p:379-403

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Cited by:
  1. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  2. Sofia Karina Trommlerová & Stephan Klasen & Ortrud Lessmann, 2013. "Determinants of Empowerment in a Capability Based Poverty Approach: Evidence from The Gambia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 147, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old Critiques," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  4. Sabina Alkire, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Amber Peterman, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Greg Seymour and Ana Vaz, 2013. "The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp058, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  5. Christian Nadjiarabeye BEASSOUM & Olivier BEGUY, 2012. "Pauvrete Des Capacites Au Tchad : Une Exploration Des Dimensions Manquantes Des Donnees Dans La Capitale N’Djamena," Working Papers PMMA 2011-17, PEP-PMMA.
  6. Deepa Narayan & Lant Pritchett & Soumya Kapoor, 2009. "Moving Out of Poverty : Volume 2. Success from the Bottom Up," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11838.
  7. K.I H. Sanjeewanie & Nilakshi De Silva & Shivapragasam Shivakumaran, 2012. "Multi-Dimensional Poverty Among Samurdhi Welfare Recipients In Badulla District, Sri Lanka," Working Papers PMMA 2012-03, PEP-PMMA.
  8. Sachie Mizohata & Raynald Jadoul, 2013. "Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(3), pages 683-708, May.
  9. Leßmann, Ortrud, 2011. "Empirische Studien zum Capability Ansatz auf der Grundlage von Befragungen: Ein Überblick," UFZ Discussion Papers 4/2011, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
  10. repec:cep:sticar:casereport74 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Yélé Batana, 2013. "Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty Among Women in Sub-Saharan Africa," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 337-362, June.
  12. John Ataguba & William M. Fonta & Hyacinth E. Ichoku, 2011. "The Determinants of Multidimensional Poverty in Nsukka, Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA 2011-13, PEP-PMMA.
  13. Forsyth, Tim & Evans, Natalie, 2013. "What is Autonomous Adaption? Resource Scarcity and Smallholder Agency in Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 56-66.
  14. Karen Hofmann & Dominik Schori & Thomas Abel, 2013. "Self-Reported Capabilities Among Young Male Adults in Switzerland: Translation and Psychometric Evaluation of a German, French and Italian Version of a Closed Survey Instrument," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 723-738, November.
  15. Wyndow, Paula & Li, Jianghong & Mattes, Eugen, 2013. "Female Empowerment as a Core Driver of Democratic Development: A Dynamic Panel Model from 1980 to 2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-54.
  16. Ramzi Mabsout, 2011. "Capability and Health Functioning in Ethiopian Households," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 101(3), pages 359-389, May.
  17. Anand, Paul & Lea, Stephen, 2011. "The psychology and behavioural economics of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 284-293, March.
  18. Victor, Bart & Fischer, Edward F. & Cooil, Bruce & Vergara, Alfredo & Mukolo, Abraham & Blevins, Meridith, 2013. "Frustrated Freedom: The Effects of Agency and Wealth on Wellbeing in Rural Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 30-41.
  19. Tania Burchardt & Holly Holder, 2012. "Developing Survey Measures of Inequality of Autonomy in the UK," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 1-25, March.

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