Exploitation Analysis

  • Objective: To understand the relationships, sources and drivers of exploitation. This can be viewed in terms of class, gender, caste or religion.
  • Materials/Preparation: Idea cards, markers.
  • Participants: Small group from the bottom well-being categories within a community.


After introductions and discussion of the objective, facilitators start the conversation by asking the meaning of ‘exploitation’ to clarify the local understanding of exploitation in context.

The facilitator then discusses other examples of exploitation in previous studies or contexts. The group then discussed:

  • How have you experienced or witnessed exploitation based on gender, class, caste?
  • What are the types of exploitation? For each, which classes or groups of people are most exploited in society? And who is responsible for the source of this exploitation?

To probe deeper into this issue facilitators ask about specific examples of exploitation at multiple levels: within households, communities and government, as well as varying degrees of exploitation that take place.

Focusing on the most extreme examples of exploitation, the team facilitates a discussion on reasons why such exploitation might occur, as well as its effects on individuals and families.

Finally, the team probes into why those most affected tolerate or accept exploitation and what efforts have been taken against exploitation in the past.

If the group or others have worked against such exploitation in the past, the team then explores specific instances where exploitation had been countered:

  • When
  • Against what
  • By whom
  • How, as well as
  • What was the result and reaction to such action by those responsible for the exploitation.

If no action had been taken against exploitation in the past, the team explored why it had not happened.

To deepen understanding of the implications of exploitation, the group then explores the consequences of exploitation on society, as well as broader development and change processes.

Once the process is completed, the team offers a summary of points from the discussion and asked participants for corrections, or other further ideas.



  • S Sharma (2009). Participatory Methods, Processes and Analyses: A handbook for identification of underlying causes of poverty and formulation of strategies. CARE Nepal.
  • B Bode (2007). Power Analysis in the Context of Rights-Based Programming. CARE Bangladesh. Available at Module 3 of the Women’s Empowerment Strategic Impact Inquiry Methodological Compendium.