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Empowerment Through Genuine Participation: Giving Voice to the Neglected Majority

Liberatus J. Rwebugisa and Janet Usinger

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2021, vol. 6, issue 2, 144-167

Abstract: Empowerment is often a goal of community development projects aimed at poverty reduction; yet, ascertaining whether empowerment occurs can be elusive. This case study research examined the empowerment process. Thirty community partners participated in a three-year community-led initiative to improve public education in a rural northwest Tanzanian village. The initiative included capacity-building activities to enhance personal and collective agency. The findings from the analytic framework of self-determination theory indicated that the initiative simultaneously nurtured and satisfied community partners’ innate basic psychological needs of relatedness, competence and autonomy: hence affirmed their feelings of empowerment. Implications for the theory and practice are presented.

Keywords: Human agency; empowerment process; sustainable community development; participatory video; most significant change; self-determination theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/24551333211035181

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jodepp:v:6:y:2021:i:2:p:144-167