Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

By Deepa Narayan | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Peace, Conflict,
and Empowerment:
The Colombian Case
Caroline MoserThe linkage between empowerment and development effectiveness was convincingly argued in World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty (World Bank 2000) and is now well established. The linkage between peace and development is not yet as widely known or understood. Nevertheless, there is emerging evidence that peace building is an integral component of development, and that participation in such efforts by individuals, organizations, and communities can contribute to their empowerment. Experiences with measuring participation in peace processes, therefore, can offer insights into possible approaches to the measurement of empowerment.This chapter examines community perceptions of participation in ongoing peace processes in Colombia, particularly those aspects that can also be seen as constituting aspects of empowerment. It is based on empirical data provided by participatory evaluations of two peace-building projects recently undertaken in Colombia. Both were national initiatives but were implemented through project interventions at the local level. The objectives of these projects were not explicitly to “empower” local communities, organizations, or individuals, but rather to support peace building in Colombia by strengthening the capacity of local social actors to participate in peace processes. In participatory evaluations undertaken at the project completion stage, in 2001–02, project participants assessed changes in levels of their participation in peace processes that had occurred as a result of their involvement in the project.The Colombian experience can help shed light on three analytical debates relevant to the question of measuring empowerment:
The relationship between peace, development, and empowerment

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