Empowerment Evaluation

Empowerment Evaluation is an approach which provides communities with the tools and knowledge that allows them to monitor and evaluate their own performance.  First developed by David Fetterman who describe it as “the use of evaluation concepts, techniques, and findings to foster improvement and self-determination.”


This key note speech from David Fetterman, given to the Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley, provides a number of case examples on the use of Empowerment Evaluation.



  • Empowerment Evaluation Blog: This blog, by Dr David Fetterman, provides a range of resources on empowerment evaluation theory and practice.  The blog includes links to videos, guides and relevant academic literature that provide a detailed analysis and discussion of using empowerment evaluation.



  • Taking Stock of Empowerment Evaluation: An Empirical Review: This article, written by Robin Lin Miller and Rebecca Campbell, examines 47 case studies of empowerment evaluation in order to assess their effectiveness in adhering to empowerment evaluation principles and in achieving outcomes that empower beneficiaries.



Fetterman, D. M. (1994). Steps of empowerment evaluation: From California to Cape Town. Evaluation and Program Planning17(3), 305–313. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0149718994900108


Anonymous's picture
David Fetterman

Nice job highlighting useful empowerment evaluation resources.  Let me share a few more to add to the resource bank:

Web Resources

1.  Wikipedia - look up empowerment evaluation

2.  Articles available online (selected):

Fetterman, D.M., Rodriguez, L., Wandersman, A., and O'Sullivan, R. (2015). Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation: Building a Stronger Conceptual Foundation for Stakeholder Involvement Approaches to Evaluation.  American Journal of Evaluation, 35,(1):144-148.

Fetterman, D.M., Deitz, J., and Gesundheit, N. (2010). Empowerment evaluation:  A collaborative approach to evaluating and transforming a medical school curriculum.  Academic Medicine, 85(5):813-820.

Fetterman, D.M. (2009). Empowerment evaluation at the Stanford University School of Medicine: Using a Critical Friend to Improve the Clerkship Experience.Ensaio: Avaliação e Políticas Públicas em Educação. Rio je Janeiro, 17(63):197-204.

Fetterman, D. and Wandersman, A. (2007).  Empowerment Evaluation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.  American Journal of Evaluation, 28(2):179-198.

Books (selected)

Fetterman, D.M., Kaftarian, S., and Wandersman, A. (2015).  Empowerment Evaluation:  Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fetterman, D.M. (2013).  Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages:  Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice.  Stanford:  Stanford University Press.

Fetterman, D.M. and Wandersman, A. (2005). Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice.  New York:  Guilford Publications.

Alice Macfarlan's picture
Alice Macfarlan

Hi David,

Thanks for your feedback, and thanks for sharing these with us.

Kind regards,


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