Economic self-help group programmes for improving women’s empowerment

Economic self-help group programmes for improving women’s empowerment

3ie Systematic Review 23

Carinne Brody, Thomas De Hoop, Martina Vojtkova, Ruby Warnock, Megan Dunbar, Padmini Murthy, Shari L. Dworkin

This review by Brody and colleagues examines the effectiveness of self-help group (SHG) interventions in improving women’s empowerment. These small and voluntary groups aim for social change, often focusing on empowering their members. Economic self-help groups specifically offer women access to collective finance, including savings and loans, group credit, collective income-generation and micro-insurance. The review finds that women’s economic SHGs have a positive, statistically significant effect on women’s economic, social, and political empowerment. However, they were not able to confirm the same result for psychological empowerment. There were also no adverse consequences for domestic violence indicators in the long run. The qualitative synthesis suggests that observed positive effects on empowerment are achieved through various pathways, such as familiarity with handling money, financial decision-making, improved social networks, and respect in the household and/or community. However, despite the encouraging results, there was a lack of participation by the poorest of the poor. The findings indicate that donors can consider funding women’s SHGs to stimulate economic, social, and political empowerment. It is less clear whether there would be an effect on psychological empowerment. In order to help ensure participation by the poorest of the poor, it may be useful to consider social barriers, such as class or caste to ensure these interventions are inclusive.

Impact of financial inclusion in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of reviews

Impact of financial inclusion in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of reviews

Systematic review 3ie 2019
This systematic review by Duvendack and Mader assessed the evidence on economic, social, behavioural and gender-related outcomes from financial inclusion interventions.

SR40

Vocational and business training to improve women’s labour market outcomes in low- and middle-income countries

Systematic review 3ie 2018

This systematic review by Chinen and colleagues examined the effects on employment, income, sales, and profits.

SR41

Agricultural input subsidies for improving productivity, farm income, consumer welfare and wider growth in low- and middle-income countries A systematic review

Systematic review 3ie 2018

This systematic review by Hemming and colleagues examined the effectiveness of agricultural input subsidies.

Systematic review 12

Services for street-connected children and young people in low- and middle-income countries: a thematic synthesis

Systematic review 3ie 2014

This systematic review by Coren and colleagues examines the effect of interventions that promote reintegration and reduce harmful behaviour among street-connected children and young people (SCCYP).

Systematic review 17

Payment for environmental services for reducing deforestation and poverty in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Systematic review 3ie 2015

The systematic review by Samii and colleagues examines the evidence on the effects of payment for environmental services (PES) on deforestation and poverty outcomes.