Professor Alan Smyth and Dr Shalini Ojha from the School of Medicine have been awarded £41000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Medical Research Council for their project: "Women's empowerment and child health: exploring the impact of Rojiroti microfinance in poor communities in Bihar, Northern India".
The study team includes Dr Esther Bott, School of Sociology and Social Policy, Dr Gil Yaron GY Associates Ltd and Mr Sunil Choudhary, Centre for Promoting Sustainable Livelihood.
We have shown that a unique microfinance programme (Rojiroti or "daily bread”), delivered to women in very poor communities in Northern India, is associated with a significant improvement in the nutrition of their children. The Rojiroti microfinance programme is a low cost intervention which can be rolled out easily to poor rural communities. The programme can be applied throughout Northern India and so many children can benefit. This most recent grant will allow one of our project team (an ethnographer) to visit the communities which took part in our trial and explore the mechanisms by which Rojiroti improves children’s nutrition and what effects these small loans might have on women’s empowerment.
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