A Retrospective Impact Evaluation of the Tamil Nadu Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation Project

Khanna et al. (2015) conducted this project evaluation to determine the impact of the Tamil Nadu Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation (Pudhu Vaazhvu) Project on women’s empowerment, political participation and household wellbeing. Significant and positive impacts were made on all targeted outcomes during the first phase of the project, which spanned 2005 to 2011. Women were 25% more likely to report issues in local service delivery and women’s public safety, and there was a 65% increase in participation in the deliberative forums of village governments. In their households, women had greater agency in key intra-household decisions such as assets, their children’s education and their own occupational choices. Interestingly however, fewer women reported making independent decisions on whom to vote for in state and national elections. Women experienced an increase in assets, lower levels of high-cost debt and an increase in skilled employment (31.57% higher than non-project areas). 

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