Link to Facebook PageLink to RSS Feed Link to Twitter

Empowerment

empowerment_largeFollowing Amartya Sen, we consider agency to be a person’s ability to advance goals that one values and has reason to value, and empowerment as the expansion of agency.

Agency is of intrinsic and instrumental importance to impoverished communities: ‘Greater freedom enhances the ability of people to help themselves, and also to influence the world, and these matters are central to the process of development’ (Sen 1999, p18-19).

A recent study of 60,000 people in 15 countries asked people who had moved out of poverty how they had achieved this. Seventy-seven percent attributed this to their own initiative (Narayan, Pritchett and Kapoor 2009, p20).

Measures of empowerment in different domains of life are urgently needed to support people’s ability to engage in and to shape development processes. For an example of how this can work in practice, see the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, which was developed by OPHI with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the published paper that established that index.

The missing dimensions modules have been implemented and integrated into multi-topic household surveys. Read more about how they have been used in projects around the world.

Working Papers

Working paper 3Measuring autonomy: Evidence from Bangladesh.

 

 

 

Working paper 3The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index.

 

 

 

Working paper 3Agency and Empowerment: A review of concepts, indicators and empirical evidence.

 

 

Working paper 3Agency and Empowerment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators.

 

 

Agencia y empoderamiento en la medición de la pobrezaAgencia y empoderamiento en la medición de la pobreza.
abridged version in Spanish (translation courtesy of Revista Humanum.)

 

 

 

Join OPHI Mailing List

Email address:     

Latest

Multidimensional living conditions index for Grenada identifies those most in need New research published in the OPHI working paper series has proposed a multidimensional living conditions index for Grenada to identify the country’s most deprived households. Read more

OPHI staff visit Ivory Coast to discuss multidimensional poverty measurement in Africa OPHI researcher Bouba Housseini and co-founder John Hammock were in the Ivory Coast from 16-21 March where they gave presentations on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) at the African Development Bank and the UNDP Africa Economists Cluster Meeting. Read more

OPHI research shows mixed results in multidimensional poverty reduction across India between 1999 and 2006 Multidimensional poverty reduction in India has not been equal for all regions, castes or religious groups, according to a paper by OPHI researchers published in the World Development journal. Read more

Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America: Previous Experience and the Way Forward This paper states the need to design a multidimensional poverty index for the Latin America region (LA-MPI) that can monitor poverty trends in a cross-country comparable way, yet is also relevant to the particular regional context. Read more

Measuring Conjoint Vulnerabilities in Italy: An Asset-Based Approach This paper uses an asset-based approach, focusing on the resources that individuals and households can draw upon to reduce economic vulnerability and strengthen their resilience. Read more

Measuring and Decomposing Inequality among the Multidimensionally Poor Using Ordinal Data: A Counting Approach A paper by Suman Seth and Sabina Alkire proposes the use of a separate decomposable inequality measure using Demographic Health Survey datasets. Read more