Human autonomy effectiveness and development projects
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Development is about people’s lives and their opportunities to use and enlarge their desirable human potentials. This article aims to switch the focus in design, implementation and evaluation of projects, from only an abstracted conception of ‘the project’ and the goods which it is meant to deliver, to a relevant conception of people as agents of change. Participation in a project leads to empowerment when people are self-motivated and involved in valued processes that achieve outcomes valued by them. The article proposes a ‘human autonomy effectiveness’ (HAE) criterion relevant for sustainable human development, that is built on a (relational) conception of autonomy and is relevant throughout the project cycle. Second, it develops an analytical approach to assess a project’s influences on human autonomy, by reference to changes in the determinants (agency powers, access to resources, and structural contexts) and to relevant decision-making during the project, and suggests how to operationalise this in the form of a practical assessment matrix.
- project staff
- project participants