From the ECWG team
Interventions involving groups of laywomen, men and adolescents to promote health are increasingly popular, but past research has rarely distinguished between different types of intervention with groups. Lu Gram, Sapna Desai, and Audrey Prost introduce a simple typology that distinguishes three ideal types: classrooms, clubs and collectives.
Population Council India, UCL and IFPRI have conducted a mixed-methods systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies on women’s groups in India to examine effects on women and children’s health and to identify enablers and barriers to achieving outcomes.
Do SHGs have impacts on children's education or child labor? If so, through what channels? Jean-Marie Baland, Timothee Demont and Rohini Somanathan blog for us about their paper exploring these questions.
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© Gates Archive/Saumya Khandelwal
From our partners
Women Saving for Resilience: Innovation Fund Deadline: January 22, 2021
The Small Enterprise Evaluation Project (SEEP) has launched 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. 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.
More details can be found here.
Bi-Annual Learning Workshop Series: "Supporting financially sustainable & scalable women collective enterprises"
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IMAGO Global Grassroots hosted a webinar series on "Evaluating Women Collective Enterprises" and their potential to attain the dual objectives of economic sustainability and empowerment.
Watch the recording here
Strengthening Socio-Economic Rights of Women in the Informal Economy: The SEWA Approach in West Bengal and Jharkhand
This study assesses SEWA’s programme in order to understand the impact that various components of the programme have had on informal women workers across various trades in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
The study also provides lessons and recommendations for scaling up the programme, particularly in a post COVID-19 context.
Read the report
Community and Institutional Response to COVID-19 in India: Role of Women's Self-Help Groups and National Rural Livelihoods Mission
This report highlights lessons from ground-level action taken by SHGs and State Rural Livelihoods Missions for crisis response during Covid-19.
Read the report
©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Joan Sullivan
Recent research on women’s groups
This paper evaluates the impact of the introduction of savings groups on poverty, vulnerability, and financial inclusion outcomes in rural Peru. Using a cluster randomized control trial and relying on both survey and administrative records, the researchers investigate the impact of savings groups over a two year period.
Chamas for Change (Chamas) is a group-based health education and microfinance program for pregnant and postpartum women that aims to address inequities contributing to high rates of maternal and infant mortality in rural western Kenya. In this prospective matched cohort study, researchers evaluated the association between Chamas participation and facility-based delivery.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) helps set up Self-help groups (SHGs) with the objective of supporting poor people of India to establish micro enterprises. The empirical observation shows that while some members of SHGs succeed in becoming entrepreneurs, other continue to remain just members. This article tries to identify the factors that help this entrepreneurship.
Between 2015 and 2018, three civil society organisations in Rwanda implemented Indashyikirwa, a four-part intervention designed to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) among couples and within communities. Couples recruited from VSLAs received either a 21-session curriculum or VSLA as usual. This paper describes the results.
News and commentary on Women’s Groups
Read about the recent evaluation of NRLM across seven states by researchers from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and Vrutti, a Bengaluru-based nonprofit.
Owning their own land allows Kenyan women to build resilience to drought and flooding, but many are unaware of laws intended to empower them. Women's groups are attempting to remedy this.
Stanbic bank in partnership with the United Nations (UN) and other funding agencies have created an enterprise fund, Economic Enterprise Restart Fund (EERF) to provide low-cost financing to the informal sector to enable businesses recover from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This article explores how savings groups can cope with Covid-19 and the immediate interventions can financial institutions implement to support the savings groups sustainably.Read about VSLA formation as part of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Transition and Recovery Unit (TRU) and Ministry of Agriculture's efforts to support recovery from Covid-19 impact in Abyei Administrative Area (AAA).
To strengthen the SHG network, the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) has launched a maiden special drive to form special groups for women aged above 60 and with many girls entering in the 18+ age group, 11 lakh women will soon become part of this network.
In Lamu County, the most heavily forested stretch of coast, nearly 40% of the mangrove area has become degraded, driven by unsustainable logging for construction and firewood. Local women are reversing the trend, in a community conservation initiative that combines tree-planting with microfinance.