Empowerment Evaluation Overview.
Evaluation in a brief sense, deals with judging the worth of a policy, program or individual to ascertain if the goals or stated objectives are achieved or not.
The systematic method of collecting, analyzing and using information to answer questions about project, policies and programmes, especially about their effectiveness and efficiency is termed programme evaluation.
Several kind evaluation exit like economic evaluation, outcome evaluation, impact evaluation and so on. However this work will focus on an overview of empowerment evaluation.
Overview of Empowerment Evaluation
First, ‘empowerment’ is a form of aid or help given to and individual or groups for the sole purpose of enhancing their self sustainability. For example, when government give grants to farmers.
Empowerment evaluation is an approach designed to aid groups or communities with the tools and knowledge they need to monitor and evaluate their own performance and accomplish their goals.
In empowerment evaluation, communities monitor and evaluate their own performance. One can also refer to it as a stakeholders’ involvement approach kind of evaluation. There are levels or steps in empowerment evaluation.
Levels Of Empowerment Evaluation
There is a three-step approach to empowerment evaluation. The three-step approach includes helping a group:
- Establish their mission; here the group comes to an agreement concerning their mission or values. This however gives them a shared vision of what’s important to them and where they want to go.
- Take stock of their current status; the group evaluates their efforts by generating a list of the most important activities required to accomplish organizational or programmatic goals within the context of a set of shared values.
- Plan for the future; after rating and discussing programmatic activities, it is important to do something about the findings. It is time to plan for the future. This step involves generating goals, strategies, and credible evidence, to determine if the strategies are being implemented and if they are effective
There are skills in carrying out empowerment evaluation.
EMPOWERMENT EVALUATION SKILLS There are five empowerment skills in carrying out empowerment evaluation:
Life Coping Skills: These are innate abilities that every organism, including humans, acquires from birth in order to adapt to their surroundings. There are survival instincts or skills.
There are natural activities we do to survive, avert danger and assert our individuality, for example crude farming, running on an errand, hunting, learning to make shelter, fishing, obeying laws and authorities, avoiding conflicts, and so on.
Manipulative Skills: These abilities can be found at skill acquisition centers since they entail economic activities that instill skills like technical education. These include skills in computing, field events, mining, manufacturing, technological works, scientific experiments, construction, engineering and so on.
Almost all vocations or occupations are manipulative or involve manipulative behavior that requires an individual to use their sense organs.
Intellectual Skills: These skills are coordinates in character. It is the literary or theoretical frameworks that guide the practical aspects of the works, economic and scientific undertakings. In the primary sense, it is called brain work. Without the intellectual skills, no other skills can function as they are the master minds, motivators and co-coordinators. It is the engine of all activities generating the initiative and innovations in all their designs.
Communicative Skills: Communication is a very important aspect of our life. Man involved communications skills as a social being to enable him pass or send information from one person to the other or from place to place. Communicative skills assist the intellectual skills to be expressed adequately and specifically.
Economic and social activities and, indeed the totality of life can only be meaningfully carried out or expressed with good communicative skills. The other empowerment skill that is also close to communicative skills is the artistic skills
Artistic Skills: These are close to communicative skills and are more complex. It includes the art of good writing, fine and applied arts, music and drama. These skills make effective use of all the other four kinds of skills where necessary. Those who employ or have these skills are said to be experts, examples: Artists, Graphic designers, Musicians, Comedians, Actors, Actresses, and so on.
Empowerment evaluation made way into evaluation in 1993, which is applied in over 16 countries. This evaluation in practice is applied along two streams.
STREAMS OF EMPOWERMENT EVALUATION
The streams encompasses practical and transformative stream.
Practical Empowerment Evaluation: This aspect of this evaluation is almost the same as formative evaluation. Practical empowerment evaluation is design to enhance performance and productivity. The focus of this evaluation is on practical problem solving as well as improving programs and outcomes.
Practical empowerment evaluation is controlled by program staff, participants and community members. The second stream of empowerment evaluation is the transformative empowerment evaluation.
Transformative Empowerment Evaluation: in this aspect of empowerment evaluation, people learn how to better manage their own life and the resources available to them. Transformative empowerment evaluation highlights the psychological, social, and political power of liberation.
The focus in transformative empowerment evaluation is on freedom from pre-determined, conventional roles and organizational structures or “ways of doing things.”
The relevance of empowerment evaluation to a nation’s sustainability cannot be overemphasized. Empowerment evaluation is an approach designed that aid groups or communities with the tools and knowledge they need to monitor and evaluate their own performance and accomplish their goals.
In empowerment evaluation, communities monitor and evaluate their own performance which will lead to growth and development of that community because the recommendations made by stakeholders will be adhered to, thus taking that community to greater heights.