Appreciative Planning and Action in Nepal and Liberia

Revisiting and updating WORTH programs in Nepal and Africa


At the time of writing this article in 2003, women in Nepal, in spite of a nationwide Maoist
insurgency and crisis in national governance, were moving mountains. Across the 500 mile
wide terrain of southern Nepal women saved, built transparent village banks, and doubled their incomes through successful micro-enterprises. This article describes the contribution
of Appreciative Inquiry to this amazing process of empowerment and community mobilization. In 2004, Marcia initiated a WORTH program in a Liberian refugee camp, which led to successful programs in half a dozen African countries.


Author: Marcia Odell

Marcia Odell, Senior Director, Strategy Implementation and Gender Equality at Plan International USA, has over 30 years of international development experience in women’s empowerment and the support of civil society organizations and community groups to develop ownership of and accountability for gender-sensitive development programs. Her broad-based women’s literacy and women’s empowerment projects, including WORTH programs, have reached nearly a million women and garnered a dozen international awards. Contact:

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Author: Malcolm J. Odell, MS, PhD

Malcolm J. Odell, Jr. has worked for over 30 years in international development, planning, training and management. Recently Mac has become known for the innovation of Appreciative Planning and Action, an approach now being using in Asia and Africa. Contact:

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