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Human Autonomy Effectiveness and Development Projects


  • Mirtha R. Muñiz Castillo
  • Des Gasper


This article calls for a new focus in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects, moving away from an abstract conception of “the project” and the goods it is intended to deliver, to a more meaningful concept of people as agents of change. Participation in a project leads to empowerment when people are self-motivated and involved in processes that they value, which achieve outcomes that they value. The article proposes a “human autonomy effectiveness” criterion relevant for sustainable human development; and then develops an analytical approach to assess a project's influence on human autonomy, with reference to changes in the determinants of autonomy (agency powers, access to resources and socio-structural contexts) and to relevant decision-making practices during the project.

Suggested Citation

  • Mirtha R. Muñiz Castillo & Des Gasper, 2012. "Human Autonomy Effectiveness and Development Projects," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 49-67, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:49-67
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.646975

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316.
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