Measuring Empowerment? Ask Them - Quantifying qualitative outcomes from people's own analysis
Sida Studies in Evaluation
Dee Jupp , Sohel Ibn Ali , Carlos Barahona
The empowerment of people living in poverty is crucial for development. How to monitor and assess empowerment, is however a challenge. Empowerment is context-specific and therefore cannot be assessed on the basis of standard performance indicators. By contrast, monitoring and evaluation tools need to be inclusive, involving those in empowerment processes in order to ensure the relevance of data collected. At the same time, if we are interested in monitoring changes and trends, we need to find methods for aggregating such qualitative data in an adequate way. This study shows how outcomes and trends in empowerment may be identified by quantifying qualitative data that were collected through participatory monitoring and evaluation. The methods presented are based on the experience of a social movement in Bangladesh. The movement is monitoring results of its work on the basis of indicators that were chosen by its members. This exercise has proven to be empowering in itself since local groups conduct the assessment and prepare their action on the basis of the results.