Social Transformation as an Outcome of Women's Self-Help Groups

This week, we’re sharing a series of short videos that explore how Self Help Group (SHG) programming is a transformational and trend-setting approach to ending poverty.

Yesterday’s video highlighted how Self Help Groups improve the resilience of women members and their households to shocks. Today’s video focuses on the broader, social transformation that Self Help Groups enable.

In smaller towns, the impact of Self Help Group programming can be felt throughout the community. Our implementing partners describe how small communities can be transformed by Self Help Group programming.

Because of the benefits they realize, SHG members often show an enthusiasm for helping to start additional SHGs in their community or in neighbouring communities.

“This passion for SHGs has lead members to create powerful network effects in countries where SHG programming is mature,” says Nathaniel Calhoun, Principal at Code Innovation.

“In such cases, we see groups nominate members to join regional associations or even national level federations. These members become more sophisticated in their understanding of global economy and politics and use their united power to lobby government or the financial sector to meet their needs.”

Next, we’ll explore how Self Help Groups advance women’s financial independence and social empowerment.

When women start to make massive contributions to the financial wellbeing of their families, gender norms can start to change in ways that bring more opportunity to women of all ages.