Measuring empowerment in practice: structuring analysis and framing indicators
AbstractThis paper presents an analytic framework that can be used to measure and monitor empowerment processes and outcomes. The measuring empowerment (ME) framework, rooted in both conceptual discourse and measurement practice, illustrates how to gather data on empowerment and structure its analysis. The framework can be used to measure empowerment at both the intervention level and the country level, as a part of poverty or governance monitoring. The paper first provides a definition of empowerment and then explains how the concept can be reduced to measurable components. Empowerment is defined as a person's capacity to make effective choices; that is, as the capacity to transform choices into desired actions and outcomes. The extent or degree to which a person is empowered is influenced by personal agency (the capacity to make purposive choice) and opportunity structure (the institutional context in which choice is made). Asset endowments are used as indicators of agency. These assets may be psychological, informational, organizational, material, social, financial, or human. Opportunity structure is measured by the presence and operation of formal and informal institutions, including the laws, regulatory frameworks, and norms governing behavior. Degrees of empowerment are measured by the existence of choice, the use of choice, and the achievement of choice. Following the conceptual discussion and the presentation of the analytic framework, this paper illustrates how the ME framework can be applied, using examples from four developmentinterventions. Each example discusses how the framework guided analysis and development of empowerment indicators. The paper also presents a draft module for measuring empowerment at the country level. The module can be used alone or be integrated into country-level poverty or governance monitoring systems that seek to add an empowerment dimension to their analysis.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3510.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Decentralization; Public Health Promotion; Regional Rural Development; Health Economics&Finance; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Economics&Finance; Gender and Social Development; Community Based Rural Development; Non Governmental Organizations; Regional Rural Development;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mick Moore, 2001. "Empowerment at last?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 321-329.
- Fox, Jonathan, 1996. "How does civil society thicken? the political construction of social capital in rural Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1089-1103, June.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- 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, March.
- Van Rijsbergen, Bart & D’Exelle, Ben, 2013. "Delivery Care in Tanzania: A Comparative Analysis of Use and Preferences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 276-287.
- Sabina Alkire, 2008. "Concepts and Measures of Agency," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp010, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- World Bank, 2008. "Brazil : Toward a More Inclusive and Effective Participatory Budget in Porto Alegre, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8042, The World Bank.
- World Bank, 2008. "Brazil - Toward a More Inclusive and Effective Participatory Budget in Porto Alegre : Volume 1. Main report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 6275, The World Bank.
- Friis-Hansen, Esbern & Duveskog, Deborah, 2012. "The Empowerment Route to Well-being: An Analysis of Farmer Field Schools in East Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 414-427.
- Ruth Alsop & Mette Bertelsen & Jeremy Holland, 2006. "Empowerment in Practice : From Analysis to Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6980, March.
- Joe Devine & Laura Camfield & Ian Gough, 2008. "Autonomy or Dependence – or Both?: Perspectives from Bangladesh," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 105-138, January.
- van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Womenâ€™s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Janssens, Wendy, 2010. "Women's Empowerment and the Creation of Social Capital in Indian Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 974-988, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.