1st Edition

Empowerment Evaluation and Social Justice Confronting the Culture of Silence

By David M. Fetterman Copyright 2023

    From the founder of empowerment evaluation (EE), a framework uniquely suited to advancing social justice causes, this book explains the theories, principles, and steps of conducting EE from scratch or within a preexisting evaluation or work plan. David M. Fetterman describes how EE enables program planners and participants to define their mission or purpose, take stock of how well they are doing, and plan for the future to achieve self-determined goals. EEs of two large programs (Feeding America and USAID/REACH) are discussed in depth; other EE case examples address such topics as raising test scores in impoverished and rural schools and bridging the digital divide in communities of color. User-friendly features include chapters on conducting EE remotely and frequently asked questions, as well as illuminating sidebars and glossaries of acronyms and concepts/terms.

    Glossary of Acronyms
    1. Introduction: From Inception to Institutionalization
    2. Essential Features: Theories, Concepts, Principles, and Steps
    3. Integrating Empowerment Evaluation within a Preexisting Evaluation and Recognizing Donors as Change Agents: Feeding America’s Fight for Food Justice in the United States
    4. Integrating Empowerment Evaluation within a Preexisting Workplan and Celebrating Donors as Change Agents: USAID/REACH’s Initiative to Eliminate Tuberculosis in India
    5. Tech Tools: Conducting Empowerment Evaluation Remotely
    6. Empowerment Evaluation: Frequently Asked Questions
    7. Conclusion: Commitments to Social Justice
    Glossary of Terms
    About the Author


    David M. Fetterman, PhD, is president and CEO of Fetterman and Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm, and the founder of empowerment evaluation. Dr. Fetterman has worked in more than 17 countries--in South African townships and Native American reservations, as well as in Silicon Valley tech firms, including Google and Hewlett-Packard--and has 25 years of experience at Stanford University, serving as a School of Education faculty member, the School of Medicine director of evaluation, and a senior member of the University administration. He currently serves as a faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Fetterman is past president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Council on Anthropology and Education of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). He is a recipient of honors including the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award and the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award from the AEA; the President’s Award from the AAA; the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Research on Evaluation Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association; and the Award for Excellence in Research from the Mensa Foundation. He is the author or editor of numerous books.

    "This is a rare text in so many ways. It is real-world and integrative, drawing on theories of cultural transformation and social justice while offering practical insights into how self-determination, self-efficacy, and transformative change can be achieved within existing programs and organizations. The hands-on guidance offered in this book effectively advances the EE paradigm. Fetterman's use of international settings and organizational case studies brings these sophisticated transformation concepts to life for all readers, transcending national borders. Fetterman has given us the insight and tools to be social justice advocates and change agents, which is no small contribution. This text should be part of every evaluation program; it will be especially helpful when students advance to fieldwork with actual clients and key stakeholders."--Gary J. Skolits, EdD, Department of Educational Leadership (Emeritus), University of Tennessee

    "This remarkable book tells us clearly how EE works. Fetterman provides step-by-step instructions and tools for facilitating stakeholder involvement in evaluation in pursuit of social justice. The book discusses concepts and principles of real-world EE. I appreciated the lengthy examples and enriching case studies, as well as the sidebars and glossaries."--Apollo M. Nkwake, PhD,author of Working with Assumptions in International Development Program Evaluation

    "A vital resource for anyone looking to build evaluation capacity, facilitate change, and contribute to transformation. A leader in evaluation, Fetterman is uniquely situated to contribute to our understanding of tools and strategies for pursuing social justice. The book is special in its applicability in both the classroom and the field."--Kelly Melekis, MSW, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of Vermont-