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Status: Ongoing Work

Economic SHG programs could provide women with access to social protection entitlements, which can result in synergies with social protection programs. We hypothesize that providing access to jobs and social protection could result in synergistic effects of economic SHGs and social protection programs when additional income is invested in the accumulation of wealth to escape poverty traps. Access to entitlements such as job cards can provide opportunities to SHG members to participate in non-agricultural labour markets, which may contribute to increases in income and asset ownership as well as consumption smoothing. Our research question focuses on exploring this evidence gap by examining the linkages between large-scale self-help group and social protection programs in India.

This study, led by Dr. Thomas De Hoop, PhD,  at American Institutes for Research, aims to study the impact of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) on access to social entitlements like job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the largest public works program in the world. Specifically, we examine the impact of access to self-help group programs on participation in and income gained from MGNREGA.Women in the field

©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Prashant Panjiar