AEA eStudy 048: Empowerment Evaluation - David Fetterman

Empowerment evaluation builds program capacity and fosters program improvement.  It teaches people to help themselves by learning how to evaluate their own programs.  Key concepts include:  a critical friend, cycles of reflection and action, and a community of learners.  Principles guiding the approach include: improvement, capacity building, social justice, and accountability.  The basic steps of empowerment evaluation include:  1) establishing a mission or unifying purpose; 2) taking stock – creating a baseline to measure growth and improvement; and 3) planning for the future – establishing goals and strategies to achieve objectives, as well as credible evidence to monitor change. 

This eStudy will also highlight the use of an empowerment evaluation dashboard to monitor progress, provide opportunities to make mid-course corrections, foster learning, and enhance accountability. The dashboard consists of a baseline, goals, and benchmarks or milestones.  In addition, in includes a record of actual performance. The actual performance is compared with benchmarks and goals to assess progress towards goals.  The role of the evaluator is that of a coach or facilitator in an empowerment evaluation, since the group is in charge of the evaluation itself.  The workshop will also highlight how empowerment evaluation produces real world measurable outcomes.

Package includes:

2 recordings; session handouts and materials

Total of 3 hours




Fetterman, D. (2014). ' Empowerment Evaluation' in American Evaluation Association eStudy series [On-demand webinar]. Retrieved from:

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