Articles authored by Rowlands, Jo


'Empowerment' is a term often used in development work, but rarely defined. This article explores the meaning of empowerment, in the context of its root-concept, power. Different understandings of what constitutes power lead to a variety of interpretations of empowerment, and hence to a range of implications for development policy and practice.
Development practice is informed by theories of change, but individuals and organisations may not make these explicit. Practitioners may be unaware of the extent to which strategic choices and debates are informed by disparate thinking about how history happens and the role of purposeful intervention for progressive social change. In the past few years, some Oxfam GB staff have been creating processes to debate their theories of change as part of an effort to improve practice.