Evaluating Program Impacts on Mature Self Help Groups in India
Deininger and Liu (2012) used two rounds of surveys in 2004 and 2006 to examine the impact of SHGs on 2,517 households in Andhra Pradesh, India. Their sample included both treated and control households, and they found that longer exposure to the state government’s District Poverty Initiatives Project (DPIP), which prominently figures SHGs, had a positive impact on nutritional intake, consumption and asset accumulation. These benefits were more pronounced for the poorest participants and accrued more significantly after more than one year in the program. Though self-sufficient groups were the ultimate goal, program support of more mature groups through federation and access to credit could produce important economic benefits in the long run. Due perhaps to this important program support, it was noted that program SHGs performed better with respect to nutritional gains than non-program SHGs that had organically replicated.