From Learning to Empowerment: A study of smallholder farmers in South West Uganda


  • Alexis M. Carr Commonwealth of Learning
  • Moses Tenywa Makerere University
  • K. Balasubramanian Commonwealth of Learning



learning, empowerment, education, non-formal education, agriculture, extension


The relationship between education and empowerment has been widely debated in development literature. In recent times, social capital and community-centric learning have been increasingly recognized as important variables in the empowerment process. This paper outlines the development of a Three-dimensional Framework for Empowerment, and looks at the relationship between a community-centric learning process and empowerment in selected villages in Uganda. Based on a comparative study of two villages, the paper evaluates the role of the Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) programme, developed and supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), in empowering farming communities. The study shows that the integration of human capital (viewed purely from learning, knowledge acquisition, reflective practices, skills and competencies) social capital and financial capital, has a positive impact on development outcomes such as empowerment.

Author Biographies

Alexis M. Carr, Commonwealth of Learning

Alexis Carr is a Project Assistant at COL and she is working in the DFATD supported L3F project.

Moses Tenywa, Makerere University

Moses Tenywa is working as a Professor in Makerere University, Kampala. His specialization is in the area of Soil Physics and Conservation. He has been implementing the L3F programme in Uganda.

K. Balasubramanian, Commonwealth of Learning

K. Balasubramanian is the Education Specialist for Agriculture and Livelihood initiative  at COL looking after the L3F programme.



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How to Cite

Carr, A. M., Tenywa, M., & Balasubramanian, K. (2015). From Learning to Empowerment: A study of smallholder farmers in South West Uganda. Journal of Learning for Development, 2(3).



Research Articles
Received 2015-07-13
Accepted 2015-11-06
Published 2015-11-08