How to conduct an Empowerment Evaluation (Webinar recording now available)

On Thursday, November 20, SAGE hosted a webinar with award-winning author David Fetterman who shared an in-depth look into empowerment evaluation. Dr. Fetterman gave an informative introduction to empowerment evaluation,  discussed best practices for its use in the real world, and took some questions at the end. Click play above to watch the webinar in its entirety and click through his slides below.

A couple of you had some important follow-up questions that went addressed in the time allotted. Dr. Fetterman has kindly answered them below:

What are the names of the two books (mentioned during the presentation)?

The two books we discussed during the webinar were:

  • Fetterman, D.M., Kaftarian, S., and Wandersman, A. (2014).  Empowerment Evaluation:  Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This new book celebrates the 21st anniversary of empowerment evaluation with new case examples, practical tools, and a consolidation of the theories driving the approach.  Case examples include:  a $15 Million Hewlett-Packard Initiative to bridge the digital divide in communities of color, a ten-year empowerment evaluation of a tobacco prevention initiative, and Peruvian women using empowerment evaluation to refine their crafts and sell their goods on the Internet (bypassing the middleman who had previously taken much of their profits).

  • Fetterman, D.M. and Wandersman, A. (2005).  Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice.  New York: Guilford Publications.

This book highlights the 10 principles guiding the practice of empowerment evaluation.

The two articles we discussed were:

  • Fetterman, D.M., Rodriguez-Campos, L., Wandersman, A., and O’Sullivan, R. G. (2014).  Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation:  Building a Strong Conceptual Foundation for Stakeholder Involvement Approaches to Evaluation.  American Journal of Evaluation, 35(1): 144-148.

Additional resources that might be of interest include:



Also see Stanford Social Innovations Review blogs:

Also see our tobacco prevention blog

Wikipedia:  search for “empowerment evaluation”

Radio Interviews

Web Page (additional resources):

Additional articles include:

  • Fetterman, D.M. and Wandersman, A. (2007).  Empowerment Evaluation:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.  American Journal of Evaluation, 28(2): 179-198.
  • Fetterman, D.M. (2009).  Empwerment evaluation at the Stanford University School of Medicine:  Using a Critical Friend to Improvde the Clerkship Experience.  Ensaio:  aval. Pol. Publ. Educ., Rio de Janeiro 17(63):197-204.

I’d love to have the references that you mentioned that compare and contrast PAR with empowerment evaluation.

See two forthcoming chapters:

  • Fetterman, D.M. (in press).  Empowerment Evaluation and Community Psychology:  An Alignment of Values and Principles Designed to Improve the Human Condition.  In Scott, V.C. and Wolfe, S.M. (eds.) Community Psychology:  Foundations for Practice.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Fetterman, D.M. (in press).  Empowerment Evaluation and Action Research:  A Convergence of Values, Principles, and Purpose.   In Bradbury-Huang, H. (ed.).  Handbook of Action Research (3rd edition).  Thousand Oak, CA: Sage.

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