Abstract

Read the published version on the Poshan website: http://poshan.ifpri.info/2014/10/29/leveraging-the-power-of-womens-groups-and-financial-services-to-improve-knowledge-and-behaviors-for-improved-child-and-maternal-nutrition/

Microfinance institutions (MFIs), self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs), and their self-help groups (SHGs) reach about 90 million poor women in India, bringing them together regularly to participate in financial activities that support their livelihoods. Through SHGs, women have access to financial services, such as loans, savings, and insurance. SHGs also provide a strong platform for women to participate in health and nutrition services, such as health and nutrition education, information on government health and nutrition programs, linkages to health providers and community health volunteers, health fairs, and access to savings and loans designed specifically to help households cover direct and indirect health expenses. SHGs are also a way for women to educate their peers, influence behaviors, and more systematically and cost-effectively benefit from streamlined, integrated financial and health and nutritional services.