Measuring Empowerment at the Community Level: An Economist’s Perspective

Khwaja, Asim (2005)


Khwaja, Asim. 2005. “Measuring Empowerment At The Community Level: An Economist’s Perspective”. In Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, 2005.
Experiences over the past few decades suggest a shortcoming of top-down approaches to development. Since the 1980s, the new watchwords have been “participatory” or “community-led” development and, more recently, “empowerment.” The World Bank’s Empowerment and Poverty Reduction: A Source book defines empowerment as “the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives”. Before empowerment can be integrated into development policy, however, it must be clearly conceptualized, and reliable measures must be developed. This is particularly important given that such measures of empowerment are likely to become project goals for development agencies.