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Anu Kasmel


Empowerment is identified as a principal theory of community psychology and a key concept for communities in reducing health inequalities and achieving a better quality of life. This study is aimed to investigate how empowerment concept is understood in Estonian county context and how the expansion of the empowerment perceived and changes in empowerment measured by its community members.


The primary objectives of the thesis are: (i) to clarify the understanding of the concept of empowerment in given context;  (ii) to identify the organizational domains    of the community empowerment concept in Estonian communities context;  (iii) to develop a measurement tool for determining the state of affairs in empowerment; (iv) to assess changes in organizational domains of community empowerment (ODCE) after the intervention, and; (v) to evaluate the changes in individual community-related empowerment (ICRE) among the participants of community health programs networks.


The multi-method and multi-stage approach was utilized. Both, qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in different stages of the study.


The studies have demonstrated that understanding and measurement of empowerment concept is complex and context-specific. The application of the model, elaborated and utilized by local communities, resulted with expansion of the ODCE and increase in ICRE in study community.

The thesis is built on three articles and is formulated in eight chapters.

1)      Kasmel, A. and Tanggaard Andersen, P. Conceptualizing organizational domains of community empowerment through empowerment evaluation in Estonian communities. Societies 2011, 1, 3-29.

2)      Kasmel, A.; Tanggaard Andersen, P. Measurement of Community Empowerment in Three Community Programs in Rapla (Estonia). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 799-817.

3)      Kasmel, A.; Tanggaard Andersen, P. Evaluation of Changes in Individual Community-Related Empowerment in Community Health Promotion Interventions in Estonia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1772-1791.

Timeframe: 01 November 2002 - 31 December 2005 (extended, defence on 13 February 2012)
Supervisors: Pernille Tanggaard Andersen, SDU Esbjerg.

Last Updated 20.10.2023