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The ECWG participates in events, conferences, and meetings around the world with an interest in women’s groups, collective action, and economic development. You can keep up with all upcoming events and conferences here. 

Oct - Nov18 - 20 2022 - 2022

WWGS 2022: Recovery and resilience

The Campbell Collaboration and Campbell UK & Ireland co-hosted the 2022 What Works Global Summit (WWGS) on 18-20 October. The theme of WWGS 2022 was “Recovery and resilience in crisis”. 

ECWG members spoke as part of a panel on "Savings group member resilience over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence From Nigeria and Uganda", presenting ECWG research in partnership with CARE.

View the recording here.

ECWG co-PI, Dr. Thomas de Hoop, presented our work on "Convergence of Social Protection Programs in India" as part of a panel on "International development and social welfare".

View the recording here.


May25 2022

Women's Groups in South Asia: Landscape, Impact, and the Future

Women’s groups include self-help groups (SHGs), livelihoods groups, producer collectives, and other groups formed with social action, health, and empowerment objectives. Women’s groups are widespread in South Asia where they are instrumental in generating economic opportunities and enhancing women’s well-being. The existing literature highlights promising evidence of positive impacts of some women’s group types on women’s economic, political, reproductive, and social empowerment. However, the women’s groups’ objectives differ as do their results. 
Co-organized by the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab (SAR GIL) and the Evidence Consortium on Women's Groups (ECWG), speakers in the webinar presented findings from three streams of work supported by the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab.

  • A typology of women’s groups in South Asia with a particular focus on the design frameworks, implementation modalities, and composition of groups.
  • Findings from a recent systematic review that assesses the impacts of SHG interventions on women’s economic participation and empowerment outcomes in South Asia.
  • Implementation and design experiences from the Strengthening Afghan Women’s Economic Empowerment Project (SWEEP) in Afghanistan

View the recording here.


May24 2022

The Impact of Mentorship and VSLAs on Women Micro-entrepreneurs in Northern Nigeria

Women for Women International serves the most marginalized women in conflict-affected countries and helps them move from isolation and poverty to self-sufficiency and empowerment. The Stronger Women Stronger Nations program, a gendered graduation approach, focuses on building women’s knowledge, skills and resources in four key domains: earning and saving money, health and well-being, rights and decision-making.

From 2018 to 2021, Women for Women International conducted a randomized controlled trial in partnership with researchers from Tufts University to evaluate the addition of VSLAs and group mentorship to our bundled approach in Plateau and Bauchi States in Nigeria. Please join us for a webinar to present the findings of this research, contextualize the findings in global evidence on women’s economic empowerment, and share reflections and recommendations for future programming. This webinar will be relevant for practitioners, researchers, donors, and government ministries with a focus on gender and poverty alleviation.


Oct18 2021

What Works Global Summit 2021: Evidence for Development

October 18, 2021 – October 27, 2021

Evidence on development policies and interventions is key to addressing many crucial questions: what do children learn when sitting in a classroom? What does it take for children to actually go to school? How can children be properly nourished and escape malnutrition? What will it take for women to be granted equal access to the job market or to be compensated fairly for their work? What will it take for billions of dollars spent on ineffective programmes to be redirected and better targeted to desired development outcomes?

It is over 15 years that the Center for Global Development asked When Will We Ever Learn?, pointing out that billions of dollars are spent each year on development programmes of unknown effectiveness. Since then, there is a growing body of evidence about what works. And that evidence shows that a large proportion of development interventions are ineffective. The availability of this growing body of evidence worldwide is welcome. But there are still three major challenges.

First, to ensure that the evidence is relevant to decision-makers - policy makers and practitioners - by addressing not only what works, but how, why, for whom and at what cost? And that it this evidence contextualized in ways which enhance transferability not generic. Second, to ensure that evidence is communicated in timely and usable ways, which often involves a process of knowledge translation or knowledge brokering and a good understanding of policy processes. And third, to make sure debates on policy challenges are informed by varied and competing sources of evidence, and the people involved in them are capable of discerning between them.

The 'What Works Global Summit 2021: Evidence for Development' takes up these challenges.


Oct6 2021

Implementing women’s group programs at scale: Implications for costs and cost-effectiveness

The development community is increasingly recognizing the need to integrate robust implementation research with impact evaluations to apply their lessons to decisions about scaling up pilot interventions. Research also has demonstrated the implications of program scale-up for implementation quality and program impacts. For example, studies have shown that many successful pilot interventions fail to produce similar impacts when scaled up, owing to multiple reasons. The decision to invest in a program, however, is guided by both program effectiveness as well as the cost of producing those effects, making it imperative to understand the implications of program scale for costs. This webinar will include two studies that demonstrate costs of scaled-up livelihoods and health interventions, delivered through women’s group programming. The session will specifically explore economies of scale and cost-effectiveness of a Self-Help Group program in India, and the scale-up costs and outcomes of a participatory learning and action cycle with women's groups across multiple countries.

View the recording


Apr16 2021

Request for Letter of Interest: Follow-up survey to measure long-term impact of group-based empowerment models for adolescent girls

The Gender Equality team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is soliciting brief Letters of Interest (“LOI”) (up to 5 pages) from interested partners to conduct a follow-up survey to generate additional longitudinal data on the long-term effects of group-based models that have shown promise in economically empowering adolescent girls. A LOI is requested by April 16, 2021, with finalist(s) notified by May 7, 2021. Full proposal(s) from the selected finalist(s) will be due by June 4, 2021.

Anticipated timeline of grant: 18-24 months.

More details can be found here


Online Submission

Apr13 2021

Women's Groups and COVID-19: Impact, Challenges and Policy Implications

In a policy brief released in the early stages of the COVID pandemic in June 2020, the Evidence Consortium on Women’s Groups (ECWG) examined the implications of the pandemic and the lockdown for women’s groups.

What have we learned since then? How has the COVID pandemic affected women’s groups, and how have these groups helped mitigate the negative consequences of the health crisis?

Join the ECWG on April 13 for a discussion on women’s groups and COVID, with the Africa Centre for Systematic Reviews, the American Institutes for Research, the Population Council, and the World Bank.

The ECWG will present the findings of two new reports on the impacts of COVID on women’s groups in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, followed by a panel discussion on the implications and policy recommendations for development organizations and governments.

View the recording


Apr7 2021

Digital Solutions for Women's Collectives in Chhattisgarh: Preliminary Insights on What Works

Join LEAD at Krea University and IWWAGE for a webinar that presents emerging evidence on how digital solutions can empower women’s collectives and improve their access to livelihood opportunities.

Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their federations hold the promise of being transformative change agents for their social and economic empowerment. Digital solutions have the potential to accelerate this progress by improving women’s access to social protection, markets, credit, and improving their book-keeping practices. This webinar will convene key stakeholders to share preliminary insights from the portfolio of research, implementation, and evaluation activities that the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) and LEAD at Krea University are implementing in Chhattisgarh in partnership with the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (Bihan). The program is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event will provide an opportunity to discuss these findings with a curated audience.


Mar26 2021

Strengthening Assessment Strengthening Maternal Nutrition Assessment and Indiaand Services in Antenatal Care in India: Women's Groups for Maternal Nutrition

In India, with the launch of the POSHAN Abhiyaan/ Nutrition Mission, efforts to improve maternal nutrition services have gained additional momentum in 2018. Nevertheless, it remains a challenge to ensure universal and equal coverage of interventions as well as to contextualize the nutrition care package for the at risk - mothers suffering from obesity, extreme thinness, with or without depression or anemia, both at the facility level and community. The level of awareness on interventions, strategies and innovations is varied among professional nutritionists and gynecologists.

National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) and Federation of Obstetric and Gynecologic society of India (FOGSI), in association with UNICEF is organizing a monthly, technical webinar series “Maternal Nutrition technical E-dialogues” with the theme “Strengthening maternal nutrition assessment and services in antenatal care in India”. The goal is to equip nutritionists, gynecologists and other professionals with the latest maternal nutrition interventions, strategies and innovations.



Jan22 2021

Women Saving for Resilience Innovation Fund: Innovation Fund

December 03, 2020 – January 22, 2021

The SEEP Network is delighted to launch a challenge fund to support innovations in gender intentional COVID response and recovery efforts related to Savings Groups. SEEP will award four to six 18-month grants, worth a total of $600,000.

The fund will be responsive to promising innovations of diverse types and scope. This may include communications and training materials, program models, policy development, technology, new partnerships, or disruptive collaboration. Activities and interventions the fund might support include: ​

  • Technologies or adaptations in Savings Group methodologies that better meet the needs of women to mitigate the effects of health, economic, and social shocks;
  • Technologies or approaches that enable Savings Groups to effectively adapt to physical distancing requirements; and
  • Partnerships and disruptive collaboration between Savings Groups and market actors (government, civil society and private sector) as part of gender intentional COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Successful projects will increase the resilience of Savings Groups and their members in times of crisis by reducing gender gaps and barriers in access to resources and improve the capacity of sector stakeholders to engage them in emergency response efforts.

Proposed interventions must include a strong, practical learning component to document the innovation, track progress, consolidate and assess experience, and communicate results (both internally and externally).

Please visit SEEP’s website for more details.