Online Program

What are the effects of women's economic self-help group programs on women's empowerment? a systematic review

Monday, November 4, 2013

Carinne Brody, DrPH, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Shari Dworkin, PhD, MS, Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing and Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Megan Dunbar, DrPH MPH, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, Oakland, CA
Laura Pascoe, Geography, University of California, David, Davis, CA
Padmini Murthy, MD, MPH, MS, CHES, New York Medical College School of Public Health, Pleasant Valley, NY
Keely Johnson, MPH (c), Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
The concept of women's empowerment as an essential component of international development has gained attention over the past two decades. There has been a shift from thinking of women as targets for fertility control to acknowledging women as autonomous agents who make strategic life choices. There has been an explosion of work that attempts to gain an deeper understanding of empowerment. Along with empowerment as a concept came grassroots movements aimed at disenfranchised women. These movements led to the birth of economic self-help groups that have the unexpected consequence of empowering women by enabling them to take more active roles in decision-making. The objective of this systematic review is to determine the impact of women's participation in economic self-help groups on their empowerment in low and middle-income countries. We base our methodology on the understanding that evidence has been generated from both quantitative and qualitative research, much of which can be useful in informing policy and practice. We intend to conduct an integrated mixed-methods review in order to benefit from data generated through both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and to enhance the review's utility and impact for policymakers. Our search strategy includes searching relevant electronic databases, searching the grey literature, hand searching journals and websites, conducting bibliographic back referencing and program-specific searches, and obtaining key contact recommendations. Our integrated analysis has three stages: a summary of quantitative effects, a summary of relevant qualitative pieces, a synthesis of both summaries that goes beyond the primary studies and generates a new interpretation.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the causal pathway between participation in self-help group programs and women’s empowerment. Describe the state of the evidence on how self-help group participation impacts women’s empowerment Discuss the challenges to measuring women’s empowerment in global development

Keyword(s): Women, Evidence Based Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant professor in global health and have studied women's health and empowerment for the past five years. I have conducted several systematic review for policy makers on development topics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.