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Building Resilience through Women's Groups: A discussion of why psychosocial factors are critical for their success

Cover photo Evidence Review. Credit : Miguel Samper/Mercy Corps, 2009.
Miguel Samper/Mercy Corps, 2009
May 11, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am EDT
REAL and FinEquity


This event, hosted by FinEquity and the Resilience, Evaluation, Analysis and Learning (REAL) Associate Award, creates space and time for practitioners, researchers, and donors to think critically about the role women’s groups may play to build resilience. Through a panel discussion and facilitated participatory breakout sessions, the event seeks to draw on both the evidence review and concrete experiences to deepen participants’ understanding of the ways in which women’s groups can facilitate their members’ and their households’ capacity to be more resilient in the face of shocks and stresses. 

Self Help Groups and women’s groups, more broadly, have been posited as a promising approach to build resilience. Evidence drawn from a range of sources and geographies show that women’s groups can have substantial positive impact on members’ psychosocial capacities such as social capital and women’s individual and collective empowerment. Moreover, the review strongly suggests that it is the combination of psychosocial and economic factors that are facilitated through women’s groups that strengthen members’ and their households’ capacity to be more resilient in the face of shocks and stresses. Yet questions remain about how practitioners and donors can more intentionally design, implement, and invest in women’s groups to synergistically facilitate psychosocial and economic factors. Similarly, there remain major gaps in our ability to rigorously measure and evaluate the ways in which women’s groups may be facilitating resilience.  

Event Resources

Building Resilience through Self Help Groups: Evidence Review

Women's Empowerment and Savings Groups: What Do We Know?

Blog: Understanding How the Psychosocial Elements of Women's Groups Contribute to Building Resilience


headshot of Jeeyon KimJeeyon Kim is the Senior Researcher for Resilience at Mercy Corps, where she leads research related to resilience in fragile contexts. Her recent research focuses on migration and linkages between resilience and women’s empowerment, social connectedness, and food security.