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Empowerment Evaluation

This is a resource guide to empowerment evaluation.

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Wikipedia (look up empowerment evaluation)

Better Evaluation





















Stanford Social Innovations Review 


This is a brief article about another empowerment evaluation book:  Fetterman, D.M. (2013). Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages:  Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice. Stanford:  Stanford University Press.


Empowerment Evaluation Blog

Building Trust Through Empowerment Evaluation  




Ignite Lecture


A brief video describing empowerment evaluation  (20 slides in 5 minutes)


                5 Minute Introduction                                 1 Minute Introduction


NSF funded computer science education evaluation initiative

An empowerment evaluation approach was used to help them assess their efforts and move their efforts forward, including building a repository of STEM and CS evaluation tools and instruments:


Business as Unusual Webinar (ARDT Consultants presentation about empowerment evaluation)

  1. introduction or overview (including theory and principles)

  2. 3 steps (mission, taking stock, and planning for the future)

  3. a demonstration of how to use empowerment evaluation remotely (including Zoom, Google Sheets, and Google Forms


James Pann Interview with David Fetterman






Fetterman, D.M. (2011).  Empowerment Evaluation and Accreditation Case Examples:  California Institute of Integral Studies and Stanford University.  In Secolsky, C. and Denison, D.B. (eds.)  Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education.  New York:  Routledge.

Fetterman, David M. PhD; Deitz, Jennifer MA; Gesundheit, Neil MD, MPH (2010). Empowerment Evaluation: A Collaborative Approach to Evaluating and Transforming a Medical School Curriculum.   Academic Medicine Volume 85 - Issue 5 - p 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.M. (2017). Transformative Empowerment Evaluation and Freireian Pedagogy:  Alignment with an Emancipatory Tradition. In Patton, M.Q. (ed.) Pedagogy of Evaluation:  The Contributions of Paulo Freire to Global Evaluation Thinking and Practice.  New Directions for Evaluation. N0. 155.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.


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



Journal:  Special Topic Edition

Empowerment Evaluation's 21st Anniversary:  A Celebration, Comment & Critique 


This is a special topic edition of Evaluation and Program Planning.  It includes prominent critical friends' comments about the 21st anniversary of the empowerment evaluation.


A few highlights of the special topic edition are presented below:




David Fetterman introduced empowerment evaluation to the field of evaluation during his presidential address 21 years ago. Since that time it has been used in over 16 countries, ranging from corporate offices of Google and Hewlett-Packard to squatter settlements and townships in South Africa. Empowerment evaluation has been used by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US. Department of Education, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Native American tribes in reservations stretching from Michigan to San Diego.

David Fetterman, Shakeh Kaftarian, Abraham Wandersman, and many other empowerment evaluators, have published 5 books on empowerment evaluation. The 21st anniversary of this approach was celebrated with a panel of luminaries who have helped shape empowerment evaluation with their critiques, concerns, and congratulations. They included Drs. Steward Donaldson, Michael Scriven, Michael Patton, and Marvin Alkin. Their comments are illuminating, engaging, and presented in this special topic edition of E&PP.

Articles in Special Topic Edition:

David Fetterman: Celebrating the 21st anniversary of empowerment evaluation with our critical friends 

Stewart Donaldson:  Empowerment evaluation: An approach that has literally altered the landscape of evaluation

Michael Patton:  Empowerment evaluation: Exemplary is its openness to dialogue, reflective practice, and process use

Michael Scriven:  Empowerment evaluation 21 years later: There is much to admire about empowerment evaluation

Marvin Alkin:  When is a theory a theory? A case example

David Fetterman & Abraham Wandersman:  Celebratory reflections, appreciations, clarifications, and comments




Fetterman, D.M. (2015).  Empowerment Evaluation and Action Research:  A Convergence of Values, Principles, and Purpose.  In Bradbury, H. (ed.) The Handbook of Action Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.



Fetterman, D.M. (2013). Empowerment Evaluation: Learning to Think Like an Evaluator. In Alkin, M.C. (ed.) Evaluation Roots: a wider perspective of theorists’ views and influences  (second edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.



Empowerment Evaluation Books


Fetterman, D.M., Kaftarian, S., and Wandersman, A. (2015).  Empowerment Evaluation:  Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability (2nd edition).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [This is the most recent empowerment evaluation book. It is an updated and consolidated presentation about the approach]








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.





Fetterman, D.M. (2001). Foundations of Empowerment Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


CPE Book


Fetterman, D.M., Rodriguez-Campos, L., and Zukoski, A. (2018). Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation:  Stakeholder Involvement Approaches.  New York: Guilford Press





For additional information including videos, see David Fetterman’s web page.

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