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. Members experienced less social isolation as they participated in their groups. Newfound social roles and economic responsibility allowed members’ self esteem to grow and caused them to feel more grateful and hopeful. The key elements that enabled this were the SHG structure itself, the facilitators, the education, and the training that participants were receiving through their groups. The clarity of the SHG structure was comforting as it provided rules and regular meetings while building trust and self-confidence through the transparency of the process and the weekly rotation of roles. Facilitators promoted values such as trust, acceptance, and forgiveness, which helped keep the groups together.