Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Measuring Empowerment

A new handbook was brought to my attention recently, which I have not had a chance to review yet. It is called, Measuring Empowerment? Ask Them: Quantifying qualitative outcomes from people's own analysis (2010), published by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The authors are Dee Jupp and Shoel Ibn Ali. The Preface is written by Robert Chambers.

I have taken parts from the Premble to provide a quick summary of this handbook:

"Quantitative analyses of qualitative assessments of outcomes and impacts can be undertaken with relative ease and at low cost. It is possible to measure what many regard as unmeasurable. This publication suggests that steps in the process of attainment of rights and the process of empowerment are easy to identify and measure for those active in the struggle to achieve them.....This paper presents the experience of one social movement in Bangladesh, which managed to find a way to measure empowerment by letting the members themselves explain what benefits they acquired from the Movement and by developing a means to measure change over time. These measures, which are primarily of use to the members, have then been subjected to numerical analysis outside of the village environment to provide convincing quantitative data, which satisfies the demands of results-based management."

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