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Understanding and operationalising empowerment

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Kate Bird

This paper presents an overview of debates surrounding the different definitions and conceptual approaches to empowerment and explores a number of conceptual issues which have practical implications for the operationalisation of empowerment. These include whether empowerment is viewed as a process or an outcome; whether an ‘agency’ or a structural approach is taken. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these principles for working with partners and explores the potential of empowerment as a multidimensional approach for poverty reduction.

Cecilia Luttrell and Sitna Quiroz with Claire Scrutton and Kate Bird