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Measuring Empowerment : Cross Disciplinary Perspectives


  • Deepa Narayan


Poverty reduction on a large scale depends on empowering those who are most motivated to move out of poverty-poor people themselves. But if empowerment cannot be measured, it will not be taken seriously in development policy making and programming. Building on the "Empowerment and Poverty Reduction Sourcebook," this volume outlines a conceptual framework that can be used to monitor and evaluate programs centered on empowerment approaches. It presents the perspectives of 27 distinguished researchers and practitioners in economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and demography, all of whom are grappling in different ways with the challenge of measuring empowerment. The authors draw from their research and experiences at different levels, from households to communities to nations, in various regions of the world. Measuring Empowerment is a resource for all who are interested in approaches to poverty reduction that address issues of inequitable power relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Deepa Narayan, 2005. "Measuring Empowerment : Cross Disciplinary Perspectives," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7441.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:7441

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Devesh Kapur, 2001. "Expansive agendas and weak instruments: governance related conditionalities of international financial institutions," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 207-241.
    2. Devesh KAPUR & Richard WEBB, 2000. "Governance-Related Conditionalities Of The International Financial Institutions," G-24 Discussion Papers 6, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    3. Joe Foweraker & Roman Krznaric, 2000. "Measuring Liberal Democratic Performance: an Empirical and Conceptual Critique," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(4), pages 759-787, September.
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    1. repec:asi:ijoass:2017:p:570-583 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cyril Fouillet & Marek Hudon & Barbara Harriss-White & James Copestake, 2013. "Microfinance Studies: Introduction and Overview," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(sup1), pages 1-16, August.
    3. Alkire, Sabina & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Peterman, Amber & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Seymour, Greg & Vaz, Ana, 2012. "The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index:," IFPRI discussion papers 1240, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. 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.
    5. Sabina Alkire, 2007. "The Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data: Introduction to the Special Issue," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 347-359.
    6. Alkire, Sabina & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Peterman, Amber & Quisumbing, Agnes & Seymour, Greg & Vaz, Ana, 2013. "The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 71-91.
    7. Gibson, Christopher & Woolcock, Michael, 2005. "Empowerment and local level conflict mediation in Indonesia : a comparative analysis of concepts, measures, and project efficacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3713, The World Bank.
    8. Ragui Assaad & Hanan Nazier & Racha Ramadan, 2014. "Individual and Households Determinants of Women Empowerment: Application to the Case of Egypt," Working Papers 867, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    9. Wouterse, Fleur Stephanie, 2016. "The distribution of power and household behavior: Evidence from Niger:," IFPRI discussion papers 1548, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Elizaveta Perova & Renos Vakis, 2013. "Improving Gender and Development Outcomes through Agency : Policy Lessons from Three Peruvian Experiences
      [Promoviendo la capacidad de decidir y actuar : una ruta hacia políticas más efectivas]
      ," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16259, The World Bank.
    11. Klein, Elise, 2014. "Psychological Agency: Evidence from the Urban Fringe of Bamako," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 642-653.
    12. Tania Burchardt & Martin Evans & Holly Holder, 2013. "Public policy and inequalities of choice and autonomy," CASE Papers case174, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    13. repec:taf:oxdevs:v:44:y:2016:i:2:p:135-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Sharmistha Self & Richard Grabowski, 2013. "Female Autonomy In Rural North India: Impact Of Economic, Social, And Political Factors," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 59-82, March.
    15. Gabriel Ferrero Y de Loma-Osorio & Carlos Salvador Zepeda, 2014. "Rethinking Development Management Methodology: Towards a "Process Freedoms Approach"," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 28-46, January.
    16. Victor Lavy & Giulia Lotti & Zizhong Yan, 2016. "Empowering Mothers and Enhancing Early Childhood Investment: Effect on Adults Outcomes and Children Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," NBER Working Papers 22963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Cindy Yunhsin Chou & Soe-Tsyr Yuan, 2015. "Service-driven social community and its relation to well-being," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(7-8), pages 368-387, May.
    18. Elise Klein, 2014. "PsychologicaL Agency: Evidence from the Urban Fringe of Bamako," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp069, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    19. Sato, Mine, 2016. "Empowerment through Enhancing Agency:Bridging Practice and Theory through Crystallizing Wisdom of a Third-Country Expert," Working Papers 129, JICA Research Institute.
    20. Caroline Moser & Anis A. Dani, 2008. "Assets, Livelihoods, and Social Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6542.
    21. Sara Johansson de Silva & Pierella Paci & Josefina Posadas, 2015. "A checklist to avoid pilot failures: lessons from a set of women's economic empowerment initiatives," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 90-110, March.
    22. Pratley, Pierre, 2016. "Associations between quantitative measures of women's empowerment and access to care and health status for mothers and their children: A systematic review of evidence from the developing world," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 119-131.
    23. Philippa Venning, 2010. "Marrying Contested Approaches: Empowerment and the Imposition of International Principles: Domestic Violence Case Resolution in Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 397-416.
    24. Francesco Burchi & Sara Vicari, 2014. "To Be or Not to Be a Member of a Primary Co-operative in Brazil: Any Difference in Household Decision-Making and Gender Equality?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 343-364, September.
    25. 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.


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