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Can Women’s Self-Help Groups Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence of Capability Changes from Northern India

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  • Anand, Paul
  • Saxena, Swati
  • Gonzalez, Rolando
  • Dang, Hai-Anh H.

Abstract

This paper investigates a women’s self-help group program with more than 1.5 million participants in one of the poorest rural areas of Northern India. The program has four streams of activity in micro-savings, agricultural enterprise training, health and nutrition education, and political participation. The paper considers whether there is any evidence that program membership is associated with quality of life improvement. Using new data on a variety of self-reported capability indicators from members and non-members, the paper estimates propensity score matching models and reports evidence of differences in some dimensions as well as significant benefits to those from the most disadvantaged groups—scheduled castes and tribes. The paper considers robustness and concludes that for some dimensions, there is evidence that the program has contributed to sustainable development through improvements in the quality of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Anand, Paul & Saxena, Swati & Gonzalez, Rolando & Dang, Hai-Anh H., 2019. "Can Women’s Self-Help Groups Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence of Capability Changes from Northern India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 402, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:402
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    3. Melinda Schmidt & Harald Strotmann & Jürgen Volkert, 2022. "Female and Male Community-Level Empowerment: Capability Approach-Based Findings for Rural India," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(2), pages 754-784, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capabilities; self-help groups; sustainable development; propensity score matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation

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