Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Sustainability of Sensitizing Self Help Groups (SHGs) To Reproductive-Health Via Empowerment and Engagement (SSSTREE)
Agency: Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi
Project Team: Dr. Manoj Kumar Gupta, Dr. Fehmida Visnegarwala, Dr. Dhirendra Kumar, Dr. Reshmi R S, Dr. Sarala Raju, Dr. Veena R, Mr Angan Sengupta, Dr. Yashodha T.C., Dr V. Srinath
This was an ICMR funded Multi-center Action Research Demonstration Study. The purpose of this project, was to sensitize, mobilize and engage women through the Self-Help Groups, to take charge of their reproductive health, including cervical cancer, and act as change agents for other women in the community. Thus, there was a dual commitment to study a system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction. To improve reproductive health outcomes among women, there was need to evaluate psychosocial dynamics of community-based programs. Evidence shows that financial autonomy can confer health empowerment. Thus, using current model of SHGs capacity building, increasing awareness in and health felt need to access reproductive health including menstrual hygiene; syndromic recognition of RTI/STIs; peripartum infections, cervical cancer among rural women. A multi-center was conducted (3 sites Karnataka, 1 in Rajasthan & Chhattisgarh) where action research was demonstrated to project, to sensitize, mobilize and engage SHG women using 3-day sensitization workshops followed by 2 refresher trainings at 4–6-month intervals was done. By using mixed methods, measure change from baseline, in direct/indirect impact measures, including rates of RCH specific awareness/attitudes, practices and socio-cultural dynamics of the uptake or not thereof of the above intervention. This model may lend itself to evaluation for national level scalability, due to its implications to increase community-based health felt need and increase in the functioning of ASHAs, and thus complement the current structure of NRHM.