Empowermetrics : evaluating metrics for women's empowerment and exploring new alternatives
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Theories of how to distribute foreign-aid are constantly re-evaluated. By learning lessons from past successes and failures, policy makers are always searching for the best way to approach international development. Policies evolve, but the way to measure the effectiveness of the program remains unchanged. This thesis explores the research gap between women's empowerment, a theory at the forefront of today's international development strategy, and its metrics. I argue that metrics have become antiquated and incapable of measuring the capabilities of women's empowerment initiatives. If this research gap is not addresses, I believe that empowerment theory will be considered a failure, compromising the possibility of future funding.; Using an in-depth ethnographic study of an educational initiative targeting women in Costa Rica, I propose alternative indicators such as shame and isolation for evaluating individual and societal empowerment. My findings show why traditional economic approaches to evaluation are inadequate, pointing to the need for a more complex conceptualization of the relationship between current efforts to empower women and their outcomes.