Measuring Empowerment in Practice : Structuring Analysis and Framing Indicators
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThis paper presents an analytic framework that can be used to measure and monitor empowerment processes and outcomes. The measuring empowerment (ME) framework, rooted in both conceptual discourse and measurement practice, illustrates how to gather data on empowerment and structure its analysis. The framework can be used to measure empowerment at both the intervention level and the country level, as a part of poverty or governance monitoring. The paper first provides a definition of empowerment and then explains how the concept can be reduced to measurable components. Empowerment is defined as a person's capacity to make effective choices; that is, as the capacity to transform choices into desired actions and outcomes. The extent or degree to which a person is empowered is influenced by personal agency (the capacity to make purposive choice) and opportunity structure (the institutional context in which choice is made). Asset endowments are used as indicators of agency. These assets may be psychological, informational, organizational, material, social, financial, or human. Opportunity structure is measured by the presence and operation of formal and informal institutions, including the laws, regulatory frameworks, and norms governing behavior. Degrees of empowerment are measured by the existence of choice, the use of choice, and the achievement of choice. Following the conceptual discussion and the presentation of the analytic framework, this paper illustrates how the ME framework can be applied, using examples from four development interventions. Each example discusses how the framework guided analysis and development of empowerment indicators. The paper also presents a draft module for measuring empowerment at the country level. The module can be used alone or be integrated into country-level poverty or governance monitoring systems that seek to add an empowerment dimension to their analysis.
TypePublications & Research
Copyright/LicenseCC BY 3.0 IGO
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Social Protection in Low Income Countries and Fragile Situations : Challenges and Future DirectionsOvadiya, Mirey; Zampaglione, Giuseppe; Das, Maitreyi; Andrews, Colin; Elder, John (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05-28)Demand for social protection is growing in low income countries and fragile situations. In recent years, the success of social protection (SP) interventions in middle income countries (MICs) like Brazil and Mexico, along with the series of food, fuel, and financial crises, has prompted policymakers in low income countries (LICs) and fragile situations (FSs) to examine the possibility of introducing such programs in their own countries. Flagship programs in countries as diverse as Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and Rwanda have shown the adaptability of social protection interventions to the LIC context. Yet, despite growing levels of support for these initiatives, many challenges remain. In LICs and FSs, governments are confronted with a nexus of mutually reinforcing deficits that increase the need for SP programs and simultaneously reduce their ability to successfully respond. Governments face hard choices about the type, affordability, and sustainability of SP interventions. The paper reviews how these factors affect SP programs in these countries and identifies ways to address the deficits. It supports the establishment of resilient SP systems to address specific needs and vulnerabilities and to respond flexibly to both slow and sudden onset crises. To achieve this, both innovation and pragmatism are required in three strategic areas: (i) building the basic blocks of SP systems (e.g., targeting, payments, and monitoring and evaluation); (ii) ensuring financial sustainability; and (iii) promoting good governance and transparency. These issues suggest the possibility of a different trajectory in the development of social protection in LICs than in MICs. The implications for World Bank support include the need to focus on increasing knowledge and operational effectiveness of SP programs, fostering institutional links between multiple SP programs, and using community capacity and technological innovations to overcome bottlenecks in operations.
Managing Risk, Promoting GrowthWorld Bank (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02-08)A growing body of evidence demonstrates
that individuals and households experience a range of
positive outcomes from social protection. Social protection
increases productivity and growth. Countries can realize
significant benefits by creating an integrated social
protection system. Social protection is affordable in
low-income countries despite tight budgets. While overall
spending on social protection in Africa remains low by
international standards, experience suggests that social
protection programs can achieve national coverage at the
cost of only 1 to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
While this is only a portion of the financing required to
operate a social protection system, it draws attention to
what countries can achieve in the short-term. Indeed, one
way in which existing social protection spending can be made
significantly more efficient would be by reallocating
existing financing for inefficient subsidies and ad hoc
emergency food aid to predictable safety nets. At the same
time, pursuing reforms to social security systems will
ensure their fiscal sustainability, while expanding
coverage. Notably, the costs of not protecting poor families
are very high, are borne disproportionately by women and
children, and undermine the productivity of future
generations. The Strategy will be implemented by leveraging
partnerships, knowledge, and the World Bank's financing
instruments. The World Bank will continue to invest in
analytical work to fill knowledge gaps and promote an
evidence-based dialogue for social protection systems in
Africa and further innovation. It will work with governments
to build country-owned national social protection systems
with the aim of reducing fragmentation in the sector. The
Bank also will pay particular attention to institutional
development and capacity building by using its lending to
increase the coverage of successful social protection
interventions. Throughout this work, the Bank will work in
coordination with governments, development partners, the
private sector, academics, civil society, and beneficiaries.
ISSPThe International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. It brings together pre-existing national social science projects and co-ordinates research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual, national studies. Formed in 1983, the group develops topical modules dealing with important areas of social science as supplements to regular national surveys. Every survey includes questions about general attitudes toward various social issues such as the legal system, sex, and the economy. Special topics have included the environment, the role of government, social inequality, social support, family and gender issues, work orientation, the impact of religious background, behaviour, and beliefs on social and political preferences, and national identity. Participating countries vary for each topical module. The merging of the data into a cross-national dataset is performed by the Zentralarchiv fuer Empirische Sozialforschung, University of Cologne. A compact disc (CD-ROM) (archived under SN 3479) containing data and documentation for ISSP surveys carried out 1985-1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 is available from the UKDA. Main Topics:The CD-ROM contains the complete collection of data and documentation of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) between 1985 and 1996, 1998, 2000. In these years, the ISSP conducted twelve different Social Science Surveys in up to 30 countries. The collection comprises the following titles: 1985 - Role of Government I (6 countries) (ZA 1490,UKDA 2448) 1986 - Social Networks and Support Systems (7 countries) (ZA 1620, UKDA 2560) 1987 - Social Inequality I (10 countries) (ZA 1680,UKDA 2702) 1988 - Family and Changing Sex Roles I (8 countries) (ZA 1700, UKDA 2744) 1989 - Work Orientations I (10 countries) (ZA 1840, UKDA 2864) 1990 - Role of Government II (9 countries) (ZA 1950, UKDA 2956) 1991 - Religion (16 countries) (ZA 2150, UKDA 3062) 1992 - Social Inequality II (17 countries) (ZA 2310, UKDA 3498) 1993 - Environment (20 countries) (ZA 2450, UKDA 3473) 1994 - Family and Changing Gender Roles II (22 countries) (ZA 2620, UKDA 3584) 1995 - National Identity (22 countries) (ZA 2880, UKDA 3809) 1996 - Role of Government III (23 countries) (ZA 2900, UKDA 4480) 1998 - Religion 11 (30 countries) (ZA 3190, UKDA 4482) 2000 - Environment 2000 (34 countries) (ZA 3440, UKDA 4827) 2002 - Family and Changing Gender Roles III (34 countries) (ZA 3880, UKDA 5018) Additionally, the 1985 and 1990 surveys, Role of the Government I and II, have been cumulated for those countries and those variables which have been included in both surveys: 1985/1990 - Role of the Government I/II (5 countries) (ZA 2240, UKDA 3499). All of the above are also available as separate datasets. The data for 1997, 1999 and 2001 are available separately on dedicated CD ROMs.