The key to disempowering' a person, group or community is to deny them participation in their own lives and futures, i.e. to be paternalistic, authoritarian, exploitative, or all of these. Creating dependency also disempowers.

The more difficult job is to do less - even when you think you know better.

If however your aim is empowerment, you will have the more difficult job of not only avoiding being paternalistic, but actually doing less to help - even when you think you know better and you're impatient for results. You must aim to let the stakeholders choose for themselves, and find ways of supporting them and helping them to make better choices without making the choices for them.

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