CGIAR Gender

Webinar: Pathways from women’s group-based programs to nutrition change in South Asia

Women participating in a Nutrition event organized by self-help groups (photo credit: A. Arrieta / IFPRI)

The CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research hosted the webinar ‘Pathways from women’s group-based programs to nutrition change in South Asia: A conceptual framework and literature review’ on Wednesday May 9. The webinar was organized in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Webinar recording

webinar recording  Click on the link (left) and enter the password: kPcZR3Vc


Background and purpose of the webinar

Improving the nutritional status of women and children in South Asia remains a high public health and development priority. Women’s groups are emerging as platforms for delivering health- and nutrition-oriented programs and addressing gender and livelihoods challenges. In the paper related to this webinar, the authors propose a framework outlining pathways through which women’s group participation may facilitate improvements in nutrition. They also provide a review of the evidence around these pathways in South Asia.

In the webinar, discussant Neha Kumar described the approach to developing the conceptual framework, presented the conceptual framework and discussed the different pathways. She also showcased the main findings from the evidence review and provided some reflections on their learning as well as for future research.

The purpose of the webinar was for the audience to take away four key messages:

  1. Women’s group programs have the potential to improve nutrition but the pathways to nutrition are long and complex
  2. Depending on the type of program, the conceptual framework postulates that there are four potential pathways (income, food production, nutrition awareness and rights-based engagement) and three cross-cutting pathways (social capital, acting collectively and women’s empowerment) that lead to impact on nutrition
  3. The evidence review shows that the existing evidence base is limited and that most studies do not provide insights on pathways
  4. The ‘Women Improving Nutrition through Group-based Strategies’ (WINGS) program of work aims to strengthen the evidence base and improve measurement.

Webinar discussant

Neha Kumar is a senior research fellow in the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute. Dr Kumar is an economist by training, and has an accumulated expertise that spans the diverse sectors of agriculture, social protection, gender and nutrition-focused programs. She currently leads a portfolio of projects in India and Bangladesh examining the linkages between agriculture, nutrition and gender. Her gender research has focused on topics such as the role of gender in adoption of new agricultural technologies to improve nutritional status among children, women’s bargaining power and its long-term implications for children’s schooling, shocks and resilience. Dr Kumar holds a PhD in economics from Boston University.

Related resources

Pathways from women’s group-based programs to nutrition change in South Asia: A conceptual framework and literature review: