Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

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Location InfoKisii, Kenya


The Women Empowerment Challenge

The Women Empowerment Challenge is a PAR-project which originates from the outcomes of the Female Rights Challenge. During the Female Rights Challenge -about female circumcision and the right for women to make their choice in this- local women decided to focus first on enhancing economic independence as a first step towards the ability to make independent decisions on female circumcision. As such,in this Women Empowerment Challenge, we decided to look at the different self-help groups in Nyaribari Chache Constituency to identify opportunities for economic enhancement for women.

The aim of the Women Empowerment Challenge was to find out whether and how self-help groups in Kisii have worked for local women (and men) and what can be done to further improve the system. The question we wanted to answer was whether and how women are empowered economically (and otherwise) through the self-help groups. To answer this question, we investigated what benefits if any the community received from these groups and what challenges or barriers they had. We also wanted to find out if one of the barriers was culture-related. This was going to tie back to the previous 7Senses Challenge -the Female Rights Challenge, which we conducted in 2016 where we looked at women’s rights with regards to female circumcision.


The 7Senses Challenge is an intensive 12-week program for students, post-graduates and professionals. In a multi-disciplinary, international team they perform Participatory Action Research in the field to boost community empowerment while at the same time work on their own personal and professional development.

Challenge name Women Empowerment Challenge
Start date January 2017
Duration 12 weeks
Status Finished
Country Kenya
Coordinator Phyllis Livaha
Number of participants 1
Number of local researchers 2

Each Challenge design starts from a community issue, addressed by its problem owners at location. As such, we make sure the Challenge is based on local demand rather than donor demand. Together with these local stakeholders, we design the Challenge in a way that fits the local context, from the problem framing up to methodology and concept definitions.

Problem Definition
Main Research Question
Sub Questions

Each Challenge delivers direct outcomes for the local community on the addressed issue: we can share how many people have been reached, what their perspective is on the current and desired situation and what final Community Action Plan (CAP) they have co-created and implemented. In a later stage, local stakeholders will evaluate the impact of the CAP.

Current situation (baseline) according to local stakeholders
Desired situation according to local stakeholders
Co-created solution

The impact of this Challenge has not been measured yet. As soon as we have results of the impact measurement, it will be presented here.



Phyllis Livaha

Coordinator & Action Researcher
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Loes Jeucken

Action Researcher
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Godfrey Ragogi

Action Researcher
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Mary Gesare Getugi

Action Researcher
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Sustainable Development Goals

sdg 5

Challenge Reports

Each Challenge delivers one or more reports. Read here all detailed information on the PAR methodology and outcomes of this Challenge.

Blogs about this Challenge