Research & Learning

Rigorous evidence serves as the backbone to good policymaking.

We are working to generate and synthesize cutting-edge research to ensure that best practices are identified and then shared broadly with Self Help Groups, grassroots organizations, policymakers, and investors. We strive to create a clearinghouse for reliable research and emerging evidence on the efficacy of Self Help Groups to bring about social change and broader development.

As a trans-disciplinary collaborative we build the evidence base around the pathways to impact, the enabling environment that supports high quality SHGs, and the characteristics of groups that make them most effective. Not only are we a clearing-house for learnings and emerging evidence, but we proactively work to reach all relevant partners – including grassroots leaders, philanthropists, and development institutions - and ensure they can integrate lessons into their own programs and policies.

Additionally, we proactively work to identify relevant partners and foster collaborations to contribute to the growing evidence base around SHGs. We would love to hear from you if you would like to join us in this mission. Contact Us



Case Studies


Strength in numbers: can SHGs reduce the political gender gap?

Evidence to date shows that women in SHGs are twice as likely to participate in local politics than women not in SHGs. Ongoing long term research evaluation is seeking to understand the indirect consequences of SHGs on women’s political behavior.



Findings to date show that women in SHGs are twice as likely to participate in local politics than women not in SHGs.



How do women’s groups practicing participatory learning and action contribute to birth outcomes?

A Lancet study by Prost et al. (2013) undertook a systematic review of Randomized Control Trials in multiple countries to assess the impact of women’s groups on maternal and child mortality. The study found that participation in women’s groups was associated with a 37% reduction in maternal mortality, a 23% reduction in neonatal mortality, and a 9% reduction in still births.



Self Help Groups and drought resilience: lessons from Ethiopia

The Tufts Feinstein International Center evaluated the role of Self Help Groups in building drought resilience in the 2015/2016 drought in Ethiopia. The study found that mature Self Help Groups were better able to protect their livestock, better able to reduce their group savings without reducing payments, and better able to maintain their household food supply. A culture of group savings, combined with increased confidence in their own capacity, strong social cohesion and solidarity, and a strong bond between facilitators and their groups combined with technical support, were key factors that allowed these groups to be more resilient.



How do social capacities improve nutrition outcomes?

The Share Trust has compiled an evidence review on the role social capacities play in driving demand to stimulate positive nutrition outcomes, particularly when they are promoted through Self Help Groups (SHGs). By increasing social capacities such as social capital, aspiration, agency and women’s empowerment and by empowering members financially by increasing household income and assets, Self Help Groups are well placed to address food security and nutrition outcomes, such as dietary diversity, stunting, and infant/young child feeding practices.