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Project

Analyzing the Strengthening Women’s Institutions for Agency and Empowerment (SWAYAM) program in India

SWAYAM’s program aims to empower women through women’s collective groups so that they can foster community and institutional support for themselves in responding to the unique challenges they face. IDinsight’s process evaluation aims to capture how women, leaders of self-help groups, trainers, and government officials experience SWAYAM’s program activities. Such evidence can better inform program implementation and the program’s scale-up in other states.

Decision-maker’s challenge

The Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) has partnered with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in India to implement different programmatic activities of the Strengthening Women’s Institutions for Agency and Empowerment (SWAYAM) program. At the end of 2019, implementing partners began introducing program activities across SWAYAM’s four states (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha). These activities range from establishing gender resource centers, training women in self-help groups, and training government officials to sensitize them to women’s issues. IWWAGE seeks to understand how each program at each state is working to achieve high level key program goals. 

Impact opportunity

Currently, many approaches to women’s empowerment have been focused on government-led initiatives in a “top-down” approach. By contrast, SWAYAM’s program aims to empower women through women’s collective groups so that they can foster community and institutional support for themselves in responding to the unique challenges they face. IDinsight’s process evaluation aims to capture how women, leaders of self-help groups, trainers, and government officials experience SWAYAM’s program activities. Such evidence can better inform program implementation and the program’s scale-up in other states.

Our approach

IDinsight is conducting a process evaluation of SWAYAM’s programs by conducting two rounds of phone surveys of key stakeholders: women in SHG groups, gender champions, panchayat leaders, village officers, and block managers. Topics of the survey cover awareness, attendance, and use of key program activities, as well as outcomes related to women’s agency, economic empowerment, bodily integrity, social networks, and political empowerment. These activities will allow IDinsight and IWWAGE to understand if SWAYAM is being implemented as intended, which in turn can help inform future programming and scale-up.

The results

The project is ongoing.