Together We Can: Assessing the Impact of Women’s Action Groups on Social Change in India On Going

Area(s) of work: Gender

Duration: Dec 2014 – Dec 2017

Status: On-going

Funder/ Partner: International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC)

This project is a part of the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW), funded by IDRC. The focus of the project are two-fold: (1) to evaluate the impact of Mahila Samakhya (MS) programme on the economic empowerment of women, and (2) to raise awareness and influence policies regarding collective action-based programmes among government functionaries, academics, media, and civil society. There are two sites of study: Bihar and Karnataka. In both the states, the research framework and methodology used in the study is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. In Bihar, the research design is based on a cross-sectional study that examines the long, medium, and short term effects of the MS programme on social and economic change across three districts in Bihar. In Karnataka, the study involves a randomised experiment to evaluate the mechanisms of MS on women’s economic empowerment and citizenship, by examining the expansion of MS in the district of Haveri.

Project Contact: Niveditha Menon

Presentations: A few presentations based on the study are available below:

  1. Workshop on Mahila Samakhya’s Impact on Social and Economic Change: Building on the Evidences was organised on 16 January 2016  in New Delhi, with presentations from CBPS, Ankur Sarin (IIMA), Arnab Mukherji (IIMB) and the Mahila Samakhya Policy Brief.
  2. The research design of the study was presented at our Annual Seminar 2015 and is available here.

Articles: 

  • Jyotsna Jha and Niveditha Menon’s article has been published in The Economic and Political Weekly (March 19, 2016 – on page 21) on: Why It Is Important to Retain an Independent Mahila Samakhya Programme. The article can be viewed here.
  • Alejandra Vargas Garcia from International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has written about the Workshop on Mahila Samakhya’s Impact on Social and Economic Change: Building on the Evidences which was organised on 16 January 2016 by CBPS in New Delhi. It has been featured on the IDRC Website and can be viewed here.

Media Coverage:

  • On July 12 2016, The Telegraph, Calcutta, India published an article titled Social battle that empowered a deprived caste with rights that referenced the EPW article on Mahila Samakhya written by Jyostna Jha and Niveditha Menon.
  • Niki Wilon’s article titled Determining women’s destiny – How evaluating an educational program that helps women in India empower themselves could help ensure its future. It was published on 17 May 2016 in the Charting Change website. Niveditha Menon and the CBPS GrOW team have been mentioned in this article.
  • On 17 February 2016, Hindustan Exclusive (Muzaffarpur) published an article on Women’s Empowerment in Bihar, with a reference to CBPS Study on Mahila Samakhya. Jyotsna Jha, CBPS and Edgard Rodriguez, IDRC, Canada attended Mahila Samakhya’s Federation meeting at Muzaffarpur.

Pictures:

  • Sangha meeting in Shiggaon talukGanjigatti village at Hunumarahalli cluster held on 23 May 2017 can be viewed here.
  • MS Sahayoginis meeting held in Katihar on 14 May 2017 can be viewed here.
  • Women’s Day Programme with Hulagur people from Haveri District, Shiggaon Taluka held on 8 March 2017 can be viewed here.
  • Ethnographic field work in Kaimur can be viewed here.
  • Health awareness and information about legal child marriage gender equality was held in Bydagi taluka in Gundenahalli village. It was held by Mahila Samakhya Karnataka staff, Prema (Cluster Resource Person), Basamma (Sahayogini). Anita from CBPS attended this program as on 16 January 2017 and can be viewed here.
  • Health Awareness program in Byadgi taluka in Arabagonda village on 11 January 2017 can be viewed here.
  • A legal program in Shiggaon Taluk as on 7 December 2016 can be viewed here.
  • CBPS organised a workshop titled ”MS and CBPS Reflective Workshop” and it can be viewed here.
  • Jyotsna Jha and Niveditha Menon attended the Putting Evidence To Work For Better Policies, Programmes And Practice, WWGS2016 in London and it can be viewed here.
  • The CBPS GrOW team meets with IDRC with ERU and IFMR in the CBPS office and it can be viewed here.
  • The Mahila Samakhya meeting in Shiggaon ‘Ganjigatti’ in Karnataka can be viewed here.
  • The Ethnographic work in Karnataka can be viewed here.
  • The field work in Muzaffarpur District in Bihar can be viewed here.
  • The field work in Bihar in April 2016 can be viewed here.
  • The Ethnographic field work in Haveri ( Byadgi Taluk) in Timkapur village (Sangha Name – Maaboosa), Karnataka can be viewed here.
  • The training for listing in Bihar was done and can be viewed here.
  • Pictures on the Pilot in Bihar can be viewed here.
  • The field work in Bihar has started and can be viewed here.
  • Edgard Rodriguez from IDRC, Canada visited Bihar along with the GrOW Team from CBPS. The pictures of this meeting can be viewed here.
  • Photographs from the Workshop on Mahila Samakhya’s Impact on Social and Economic Change: Building on the Evidences organised by CBPS can be viewed here.

 

Video: A brief video made by International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada about the study is available here.

Blogs: 

  • Maithreyi has written a blog on The Many Faces of Participatory Methodologies here and it can be viewed .
  • Shreekanth has written a blog on The Problem of Researchers’ Discretion in Propensity Score Matching and it can be viewed here.
  • Neha has written a blog on Fitting into my own shoes: Reflections from the Field and it can be viewed here.
  • Padmaja has written a blog on Reflections on Field-Work and it can be viewed here.
  • Niveditha has written a blog on Do women in India require empowerment? and it can be viewed here.
  • Jyotsna has written a blog on Women’s Empowerment: Still a Long Way to go! (Dilli abhi bahut door hai) and can be viewed here.