Power relations in empowerment contexts


An important factor to be considered, as a pre-requisite of any empowerment process (related or non related to risk/disaster management) is to be in a situation of a potential change in power relations, remembering that the essence of the concept of empowerment is the idea of power. We have to remember that power can be also expanded (Czuba, C. E. 1999, for literature source see original document); i.e., under certain circumstances, gaining power strengthens the power of others rather than diminishes it (Kreisberg, S. 1992, for literature source see original document). Such a situation characterizes all the community empowerment practices considered, which always involve an increase of empowerment of people at least related to their capacity to understand their own environment and often (9 out of 25 cases) through their (increased) involvement in decision-making and more rarely (3 out of 25 cases) in the use of resources in relation to hazards management/preparedness.

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