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Development in Practice. 2012 Apr; 22(2):202-215.Empowerment has become a mainstream concept in international development but lacks clear definition, which can undermine development initiatives aimed at strengthening empowerment as a route to poverty reduction. In the present article, written narratives from 49 international development organisations identify how empowerment is defined and operationalised in community initiatives. Results show a conceptual framework of empowerment comprising six mechanisms that foster empowerment (knowledge; agency; opportunity; capacity-building; resources; and sustainability), five domains of empowerment (health; economic; political; resource; and spiritual), and three levels (individual; community; and organisational). A key finding is the interdependence between components, indicating important programmatic implications for development initiatives.
Civil society involvement in rapid assessment, analysis and action planning (RAAAP) for orphans and vulnerable children. An independent review.
London, England, UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development, 2005 Jul. 63 p. (Orphans and Vulnerable Children)The Rapid Assessment, Analysis, and Action Planning (RAAAP) Initiative for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) was launched by UNICEF, USAID, UNAIDS, and WFP in November 2003. The first round of RAAAPs were carried out in 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2004. The purpose of the RAAAP is to undertake an analysis of the situation of OVC and the response in each country, and then, based on this analysis, to produce a national plan of action to scale up and improve the quality of the response to OVC. This plan is then ratified by the government and provides a unifying framework that brings together the activities of all the different stakeholders under a set of common objectives and strategies. This includes all interventions for OVC, including activities of national and local government, donors and civil society organisations (CSOs). The first round of the RAAAP process consisted of a desk study, additional data collection and analysis in country, and a stakeholder workshop to validate the findings and draw up the OVC National Plan of Action. The process was led and coordinated by a national steering group which consisted of the government ministry with responsibility for OVC, other relevant government ministries and departments, development partners including UNICEF, USAID, UNAIDS and WFP and representatives of civil society organisations (CSO). The involvement of different stakeholders in the analysis and planning process is critical for ensuring their ownership of the resulting action plan. (excerpt)