Research & Analysis

Sustainability of Self-Help Groups in India: Two Analyses

This Occasional Paper reports on two separate studies of SHG programs. Part I looks primarily at the financial viability of SHG programs. Part II proposes a methodology for designing SHG programs to ensure their sustainability. The self-help group model is the dominant form of microfinance in India. SHGs have grown explosively in recent years. It is reported that by March 2006, 2.23 million SHGs were reaching about 33 million members. Such outreach appears to represent a major breakthrough in a country where 50 million households live in poverty, with very limited access to financial services.