More than 10 million women in Bihar, India, are members of women’s self-help groups (SHGs), run by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, Government of Bihar. The SHGs play a crucial role in the community by providing livelihood support and income-generating activities to their members. The key objectives of this study are to document SHG leaders’ engagement in community awareness and infection-prevention activities and the extent of support they give to their members through different funds and loans for livelihoods and income generation during the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of the SHG leaders were engaged in COVID-19–related community-awareness and prevention activities in their community. Half of the SHG families lost income/jobs and hence needed wage support or rations; one-third of the SHG families were in desperate need of cash. As noted in this brief, given the low level of fund/loan utilization by the members during the pandemic, the pressing need is to ramp up support for livelihoods and employment.
UNICEF and Population Council Institute. 2020. "Self-help groups: A potential pivot of Bihar’s response to COVID-19," COVID-19 Research Results Brief #7. New Delhi: UNICEF and Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Understanding the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults (UDAYA)