Our work has been subject to a number of evaluations. The DFID Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF) manager feedback was that The project remains an excellent case study of just the type of work that the GPAF Innovation window was set up to support. This reflects panel survey data that shows:
- A 200% plus increase in assets ranging from goats and sheep and cows and buffalos to bicycle ownership in three years for women joining self-help groups in 2012; and
- There have been significant gains in female empowerment: while only 10% of women starting out with Rojiroti in 2012 knew their household income and expenditure at the outset, 97% did so three years later. Likewise, the proportion reporting zero domestic violence in the previous year rose from 16% to 86% over this period. An MSc thesis undertaken by a research student at the LSE concludes: While evidence from other microfinance organisations is less positive, there are indications that the specific approach to microfinance initiatives by Rojiroti in this context is successful in reducing rates of domestic violence.
The University of Nottingham in the UK is currently leading a cluster randomised trial to evaluate the effects of the Rojiroti microfinance programme on the health and nutrition of children under five years old.
Details can be found at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/reach/index.aspx
Results from phase 1 were very encouraging and we expect publication of the full study in late 2016.