Women's empowerment and child health: exploring the impact of Rojiroti Microfinance in poor communities in Bihar, Northern India

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham

Abstract

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Technical Summary

Every year, 2.2 million children die of malnutrition. Many more feel the effects of malnutrition on their health and intellect. Programmes to combat malnutrition include: distributing food directly; giving children micronutrients; giving nutritional advice; and protecting malnourished children through immunisation. Research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that these strategies can lead to better nourished children. However, these approaches may fail to reach those most in need (those living in extreme poverty). In very poor countries, where men are dominant, women are often prevented from making important family decisions and this may be linked to poor nutrition in their children. We are a group of community workers, economists, social scientists and doctors. Our partners are the Centre for Promoting Sustainable Livelihood (CPSL) - which is a non-governmental organisation in India; a UK charity (Rojiroti UK); the School of Sociology & Social Policy; and the School of Medicine (both at the University of Nottingham). Our team have experience of helping very poor people in rural areas of India to fight poverty. Our community workers encourage people in poor hamlets or ""tolas"" in Northern India to form self help groups (SHGs). Most SHGs are formed by women. They are asked to save a little money regularly, initially Rs2.5 (3 pence) per week. If they save regularly, their savings entitle them to a loan.
 
Description Systematic review of women's groups to improve women's and children's health in India.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745316/pdf/bmjgh-2020-003304.pdf
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund. Exploring Rojiroti microfinance: enabling female empowerment; improving child nutrition; reducing household poverty.
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RA48Z4 
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Global Challenges Research Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description March 2019. Networking Event & Workshop Exploring Link between Female Empowerment and Child Health at the A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We have been awarded £25,000 of Global Challenges Research Fund money to hold an "in country" workshop to discuss research priorities in evaluating and implementing the Rojiroti microfinance programme. This will be held on 18 March 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://ansiss.res.in
 
Description May 2018. Dissemination Workshop: "Women's Empowerment and Child Health: Exploring the Impact of Rojiroti Microfinance in Poor Communities in Bihar"- An Indo-UK collaboration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A daylong dissemination workshop on 'Women's Empowerment and Child Health: Exploring the Impact of Rojiroti Microfinance in Poor Communities in Bihar- an Indo-UK collaboration' was organized on 22nd May, 2018 at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna. This workshop was organized by AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna and the Centre for Promoting Sustainable Livelihood, Patna in collaboration with Rojiroti Microfinance, UK and University of Nottingham, UK. The central objective of this workshop was to disseminate the findings of the project study titled 'A cluster randomised trial of the effects of the Rojiroti microfinance programme on nutrition in children under five, amongst the very poor in India'.

The speakers of this dissemination workshop were Prof. Alan Smyth, Professor of Child Health, University of Nottingham and Principle Investigator of the above project study, who presented the results and findings of the study along with Dr. Shalini Ojha. Prof DM Diwakar, former Director and presently Head of the Economics Division, ANSISS chaired the workshop and also tired to outline the collaboration between University of Nottingham and AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies. Other speakers were Dr. Gil Yaron, Director, GY Associates, UK, Dr. Shalini Ojha, Clinical Associate Prof. of Neonatology, Univ. of Nottingham, UK, Dr. Ranjeet Sinha, PMCH and OSD, Department of Health, Govt. of Bihar and Mr. Sunil Choudhary, Director, CPSL, Patna. Closing remarks and Vote of Thanks were presented by Dr. Rajeev Kamal Kumar, Asst. Prof. AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna.

In addition to the above, a separate session was devoted entirely to 'experience sharing' by the CPSL field workers and Rojiroti Self-Help Group members. The entire workshop was informative and interactive in nature and the participants benefitted thoroughly from the day long dissemination workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://ansiss.res.in