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Impact of the Gram Varta programme on health, nutrition, and women’s empowerment in India
Last registered on September 17, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Impact of the Gram Varta programme on health, nutrition, and women’s empowerment in India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004700
Initial registration date
September 12, 2019
Last updated
September 17, 2019 3:01 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Goettingen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
PI Affiliation
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2015-03-01
End date
2016-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This trial evaluated Gram Varta, a program that aimed to improve critical indicators of health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene (HNWASH) by changing relevant attitudes and behaviors in communities. Gram Varta used the participatory learning and action (PLA) approach and worked with women’s self-help groups (SHGs) as agents of change. The impact evaluation of Gram Varta addressed the question whether PLA programs can be brought to scale in the Indian setting. For this purpose, the program roll-out in Madhepura district of Bihar was embedded in a randomized controlled trial with a subsequent phase-in. Between June 2015 and September 2016, PLA meetings took place in SHGs in villages allocated to the treatment group. 90 villages received the intervention, 90 villages were in the control group. Data was collected before the intervention and about two months after the last PLA meeting. The impact on several health-related indicators as well as on women’s agency was analyzed.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Subramanian, S.V., Malavika Subramanyam and Sebastian Vollmer. 2019. "Impact of the Gram Varta programme on health, nutrition, and women’s empowerment in India." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4700-2.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2015-06-01
Intervention End Date
2016-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Seven outcome groups were analyzed:
• Participation in, acceptance, and awareness of women’s SHGs as well as utilization of government health services through SHGs
• Women’s agency and empowerment in terms of economic independence, bargaining power, recognition and confidence in the community, domestic violence, family planning, and nutrition decisions of the women and adolescent girls
• HNWASH knowledge and practices in terms of own and child nutrition, awareness and prevention of diseases, risky consumption behavior, domestic hygiene and sanitation as well as adolescent girls’ and women’s knowledge on sexuality and contraception
• Behavior during pregnancy in terms of health, nutrition, antenatal care visits, and optimistic outlook
• Anganwadi Centers in terms of utilization, malnutrition treatment and prevention, quality of health services, facilitation of routine check-ups, and Anganwadi worker related outcomes
• Health outcomes of women, their husbands, and their children
• Social cohesion in the community and neighborhood
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study included one treatment and one control group. In the treatment group, trained facilitators guided women’s self-help groups through a cycle of 20 pre-structed meetings. The cycle followed the participatory learning and action (PLA) approach. In the meetings, participants identified health problems in their communities, discussed strategies to address problems and planned monitoring of action taken. In the control group, self-help groups existed but did not conduct PLA meetings.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done by a computer, treatment assigned with a probability of 50%.
Randomization Unit
Village clusters (gram panchayats)
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
68 village clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
3960 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1980 households were assigned to the treatment group, 1980 households were assigned to the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethics Committee of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
IRB Approval Date
2015-03-18
IRB Approval Number
IEC/2014-15/2/MS/006
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers