Visualizing the Self Help Group Federated Structure

As SHGs mature and replicate, they aggregate - this allows them to amplify their individual voices to create impactful change at scale. The resulting democratic structure allows the groups to have a broader impact on their communities while also providing an exit strategy for implementing organizations. The Share Trust has put together an infographic that describes this process in more detail.

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Building a Digital Platform for SHG Facilitators

The Share Trust has been working in partnership with Code Innovation to build a digital curriculum for SHG facilitators. This is complemented by an MIS/dashboard that allows organizations and facilitators to track the progress of their groups. With support from DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the digital platform is now in 9 languages, working with 13 implementing partners across India, Africa and the Caribbean. More information can be found on the SHG digital platform website.

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Social Networks, Mobility and Political Participation

Using cross-sectional data from 2015, Kumar et al. (2019) looked into the potential for women’s SHGs to improve access to and use of public entitlement schemes in India. They found that while SHGs do not increase awareness of these schemes, SHG members are significantly more likely to make use of them. SHG members were also found to be more politically active than non-members.

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Tanzania Pamoja Learning Review

The Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) implemented the Pamoja Kongwa project from 2014 to 2017 in 25 project villages in Kongwa district to increase access to financial and social capital. The Pamoja methodology is based on the SHG approach and was adapted for Tanzania; it is primarily conducted through the church. Through desk reviews, interviews and focus group discussions, this program evaluation determined that the Pamoja Kongwa project met and exceeded most of its objectives.

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How Self Help Groups Strengthen Resilience: Tackling Food Security in Protracted Crises

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) investigated the effect SHGs have on building resilience and food security in chronic crises and found that they were very effective when coping with idiosyncratic shocks in SNNPR, Ethiopia. Covariate shocks were more complicated, because in those cases the entire community suffered and often members diversified their incomes with climate- dependent initiatives.

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Unheard Voices: The Challenge of Inducing Women's Civic Speech

In 2005, the Government of Tamil Nadu launched its Pudhu Vaazhvu Project (PVP) in 2,300 village panchayats throughout the state. PVP used SHGs to reduce economic vulnerability and increase women’s agency and empowerment. In this study, Parthasarathy et al. (2017) used text-as-data methods to determine whether PVP induced women’s participation within village assemblies (gram sabha) and concluded that the project did in fact increase women’s attendance, propensity to speak and length of floor time.

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Psycho-Social Outcomes and Mechanisms of SHGs in Ethiopia

Cromie et al. (2017) evaluated the impact of SHGs in Ethiopia on the psychosocial and spiritual wellbeing of their members. They studied Tearfund’s SHGs both quantitatively and qualitatively as a cross-sectional study at one point in time. The study found the impact of SHGs on psychosocial outcomes to be significant and cumulative since older groups scored more highly on psychological and social wellbeing.

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Final Evaluation of the SHG/Food Security Programme, Horn of Africa

Tear Netherlands and Tearfund UK partnered to implement a food security program in the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somaliland), with SHGs playing a central role. The final evaluation of the program evaluated the impact of the initiative on the food security and resilience of the most marginalized in the area. The evaluation team found that SHG members, especially longer standing ones, were better able than non-members to withstand shocks such as drought and were better placed for recovery.

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