IDS Bulletin Vol. 29 Nos. 4

Participatory Learning for Women’s Empowerment in Micro?Finance Programmes: Negotiating Complexity, Conflict and Change

Published on 1 October 1998

summary Micro?finance programmes for women are currently promoted not only as a strategy for poverty alleviation but also for women’s empowerment. However, the complexity of empowerment itself and interlinkages with policy make conventional research methodologies extremely lengthy and costly. This article proposes frameworks and participatory methodologies for integrating empowerment concerns into ongoing programme learning. These would themselves be a contribution to empowerment. First, programme staff would be given a more representative and reliable exposure to the priorities and problems of programme participants. Second, it would develop networks and a forum for discussion between women themselves on issues relevant to their interests and integrated into programme decision?making. The quantitative and qualitative information obtained by programmes and clients on an ongoing basis would be directly and immediately available to inform policy decisions and enable independent outsider research to be cost?effectively targeted to issues where it is really needed for policy development.

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Mayoux, L. (1998) Participatory Learning for Women's Empowerment in Micro?Finance Programmes: Negotiating Complexity, Conflict and Change. IDS Bulletin 29(4): 39-50

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Mayoux, Linda


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