Economic Self-Help Group Programmes for Improving Women’s Empowerment: A Systematic Review
Speaker: Thomas de Hoop, senior researcher for American Institutes for Research
Date: 22 October 2015, 17:00-18:30
Venue: LIDC, Upper Meeting Room
This mixed-methods systematic review focuses on the impact of women’s self-help groups (SHGs) on women’s economic, social, psychological, and political empowerment. SHGs are the most popular development intervention to stimulate women’s empowerment in South Asia.
Both governmental and non-governmental institutions spend formidable resources facilitating these savings and credit groups, under the premise that access to microfinance, training, and group support can enhance women’s empowerment. We found that women’s economic SHGs have positive effects on various dimensions of women’s empowerment, including economic, social and political empowerment. We did not find evidence for positive effects of SHGs on psychological empowerment.
The synthesis of the women’s experiences reported in the qualitative research further suggests that the positive effects of SHGs on economic, social, and political empowerment run through the channels of familiarity with handling money and independence in financial decision making, solidarity, improved social networks, and respect from the household and other community members. Our integration of the quantitative and qualitative evidence indicates that SHGs do not have adverse consequences for domestic violence.
The Effects of Training, Innovation and New Technology on African Smallholder Farmers’ Wealth and Food Security
Speaker: Laurenz Langer, EPPI-Center
Date: 21 October 2015, 17:00-18:30
Smallholder farming remains the foremost livelihood strategy for a majority of rural households in Africa. Interventions to improve rural livelihoods, consequently, target the improvement of farming practices and systems.
This presentation will engage with the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis that critically assessed the impact of training, innovation and new technology interventions on the financial wealth and food security of African smallholder farmers. Based on an exhaustive search strategy and rigorous risk of bias assessment, the systematic review provides synthesised evidence of what works and what does not work in supporting smallholder farmers in Africa.
The conference theme this year is, using evaluation to improve people's lives. Discussions will center on accountability and public interest about how evaluations are used in South Africa, both by state and non-state actors, for public good. The conference will discuss what kind of evidence is considered when making evaluative judgments about the allocation of scarce resources and the costs/benefits of interventions, as well as consider the power dynamics that determine what becomes of evaluation conclusions and recommendations.