Empowerment Evaluation with David Fetterman, Ph.D.

Empowerment Evaluation with David Fetterman

In this episode, I interview David Fetterman about Empowerment Evaluation.



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.



For more information about empowerment evaluation see the following:

Better Evaluation: https://betterevaluation.org/en/plan/…

Blog Postings: Stanford Social Innovations Review – This is a brief article about another empowerment evaluation book: Fetterman, D.M. (2103). Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard’s $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

https://ssir.org/articles/entry/empow… Empowerment Evaluation Blog.



Brief video describing empowerment evaluation. See our Ignite Lecture (20 slides in 5 minutes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjUvV… Video of an empowerment evaluation exercised used to facilitate an NSF funded computer science education evaluation initiative. It was used specifically to help them assess their efforts and move their efforts forward, including building a repository of STEM and CS evaluation tools and instruments.



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.

Academic Medicine published an article about the use of empowerment evaluation to help Stanford University’s School of Medicine prepare for and pass an accreditation review. The citation is: 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. The link to the special topic edition of EPP is presented below.]



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

For additional information including videos, see David Fetterman’s web page at: https://www.drdavidfetterman.com/

Watch the video recording of our interview here:


James Pann smiling at the camera, sitting in front of green trees

James Pann, Ph.D. is a Professor at Nova Southeast University and a highly experienced psychologist and evaluator with nearly 25 years of experience. He conducts research and evaluation projects with non-profit organizations in the fields of health, human services, and education, and has received funding from multiple government agencies.

James holds multiple degrees including a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, an M.S. Ed. from the University of Miami, and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the host of the EvalNetwork podcast, a frequent conference presenter, and has published several peer-reviewed research articles and co-authored a book. James currently resides in Miami, Florida with his family and enjoys backpacking trips. Find out more about his work here.


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