Self Help Group Formation And Its Management-Special reference to nutrition and food security B R SIWAL NIPCCD NEW DELHI
Food and Nutrition Security for women and children
More then one-third of our population suffers from malnutrition.
More then one-half of women and children in the country are undernourished.
Almost half the women in the age group of 15-49 and three-fourth of the children are anemic. According to the ORG-MARG survey," almost one-fifth of all rural households face the prospects of hunger,
14 per cent of all households do not get two square meals a day.`
Context and Issues
In India growth in real income and reduction in poverty have been observed in the past two decades. However, corresponding changes in nutritional status have not been reported.
The NSS data shows that the average calorie intakes have decreased since mid 1970s across all the states as well as both the sectors.
Context and Issues
States like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, whose per capita (real) state domestic product has grown significantly in the last two decade show marginal improvements in measures of nutritional status
Large percentage of under-nourished children (1-5 yrs)
High levels of IMR and CMR
Large percentage of women with low BMI
Context and Issues
These high levels of under nutrition are persisting despite existence of many direct/indirect intervention programs by both central and state governments.
Issues to be addressed
Assessing the impact of food security intervention programs in the following aspects:
Efficiency – for a Rs. spent per person, how much eventually reaches the individual
Effectiveness – does the program bring about the anticipated results
Targeting – whether universal coverage or specific group targeting would make the intervention programs more effective? What type of targeting is needed?
Issues for Awareness and Advocacy
Exclusive Breast Feading only 15.6 per cent and it is declining notwithstanding the fact that two-thirds of deaths occur during 1 st year because of wrong feeding practices
Disadvantaged Birth weight and later height
Stunted Growth in Weight and Height
Why are Women Important in Food Security
Because in many rural families women are in fact the heads of the household, and the main farmer.
This is true particularly where men migrate into the urban areas or abroad looking for work.
This is also a reality in the case of widows, and/or women with ill or disabled spouses, depend on their wife and children to carry out the farming duties as well as the household chores.
Because rural women often engage in farming activities and are knowledgeable about what the problems are and often have their own insights and ideas of how to solve the problems they encounter.
Because women farmers almost always are involved in auxiliary farming activities that are overlooked or not acknowledged as valued farming work.
the following increase the risk of malnutrition:
Chronic energy deficiency
Poor health care
Examples of integrated and sustainable program strategies
Contribution to household food security
Disease-specific nutrition support, treatment, and counselling
Growth monitoring and promotion
Nutrition promotion, education, and advocacy
Promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding
Micronutrient malnutrition control
Food safety and hygiene
Definition of SHGs
A self help group is a collection of people who have common problems that cannot be solved individually, and have therefore decided to form a group and take joint action to solve the problems.
OBJECTIVES OF SHG
A small, informal, economically homogeneous and affinity group of the poor people, voluntarily coming together for the following
To save small amounts of money regularly
To mutually agree to contribute to a common fund
To meet their emergency needs
To resolve conflicts through collective leadership and mutual discussion and
To provide collateral free loans with terms decided by the group at market driven rate
How to Form SHGs
Points for consideration:
The motivation of the first woman, local or outsider significantly influences the stability, continuity and growth of a group.
If the group is formed around the personal needs of the first woman only, it does not last long.
If the organiser forms a group to meet his/her job requirements alone, under such circumstances also the group will not last long.
The background of the organiser is an important factor. The more similar the background of the organiser, the greater the possibility of having a cohesive durable group.
Different approaches to form a group
Organiser may enter the group formation with an already prepared programme activity and first form a beneficiary group, which later becomes stable group –
Organiser may form a group around a common issue or problem (food security alcoholism, wife beating, IGP female infanticide, etc.).
The choice of entry point depends on the particular situation and the organiser should be receptive and be able to perceive the women’s urgent needs.
REASON FOR FORMING SHG
Empower them, socially and economically.
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEMBERS
A group should consist of a maximum of 20 members. If more than 20 the SHG has to be registered under ‘Society Act’.
PRINCIPLES OF SHG
Open and voluntary;
Autonomy and Independence;
Education and Training and skill upgradation;
Self-Help and Help to other members;
STAGES OF SHG
Meet members individually to collect all data like name, village, age, family income, borrowings, family history etc. and assure a homogeneity among the group members • Explain the concept of SHG and its objective
Disputes have to be resolved tactfully by the facilitator and ensure unity within the group • Feeling of ownership must be instilled into the minds of the SHG members
Rules & Regulations for better functioning of the SHG should be formulated
Bank a/c to be opened
• Regular meetings to be held
• Skill upgradation
• Impart training on maintaining records and accounts
• Linkages to financial organizations like NABARD, SIDBI for loan facilities • Motivate the members to start income-generating activities
CHARACTERISTICS OF SHG
To avail loans from financial institutions the criteria to be fulfilled are:
Size of SHG- Should be between 10-20 members
Composition of members- Homogeneous (according to skill, education etc)
Target group- Focus must be on pure target groups
Age of the group- minimum experience of 6months required
Regularity of meetings-Should be held regularly and all the resolution should be neatly mentioned.
Frequency of meetings- Ideally meets once in a month.
Attendance in meetings- Full attendance must be ensured.
Saving in regular intervals-
Decision making- All members must participate in decision making.
Gender aspect- A mixed group with male dominancy will score less
Loan utilization by members and recovery of loans- SHGs that have taken loans and fully repaid them will score more.
Record maintenance-Accountability of records and accounts must be maintained
Based on the results of the above criteria loan will be disbursed to the SGHs
Loans are given based on the following 4-Cs
Capacity to repay
AN IDEAL SHG
Homogeneous group of people who are willing to join;
Have the common objective to improve their social and economic life-style;
Have a feeling of ownership, be co-operative and understanding to all the group members;
Take responsibility democratically;
Transparency of all activities inside and outside;
Open to new ideas- willingness to up-grade their skills.
ROLE OF FACILITATOR
Select the area where SHG can be formed;
Collect all the required data of the targeted GROUP
Motivate the disorganized masons to unite on a common platform;
Facilitate skill up-gradation;
Help them to function as entrepreneurs;
Generate awareness in banking/ accounting;
Provide information about different loans, funds, govt. policies- ensure upward linkages for economic activities; • Conducting regular follow-up meetings
Ability: Skill and improvisation (constant up-gradation of skill)
Accessibility: Members should be accessible to each other and so also to the community.
Reliability: Members should be reliable to the group as well as the community
Responsibility: Uniform distribution of responsibility among the members and a mechanism to share, care & empower the group
Technology: They should be open & adaptable to Appropriate Technology using locally available resources
Transparency: There should be transparency in policy, finance & management.
Interactive: Should be able to present themselves according to market force
Innovative: The word itself is it’s meaning
Security: Should feel secure about their livelihood and should come under social safety networks like insurance, health & hygiene etc
Sustainability: Should go on creating assets as well as human resource and formulate a mechanism where entry of new members and retirement of older ones become smooth.
Accountability: Should be accountable for each & every service they render to the community.
Accuracy: should provide best workmanship and optimise the resource utilization to minimize the wastage leading to user satisfaction. Networking: should have proper networking among resources, community & like-minded groups/agencies.
Negotiability: Fair negotiation is the key word and bottom line; once this is achieved the ARTISAN will be a success story.
Conditions for an Effective SHG
Each member of the group should be facing a similar, crucial problem.
Only when each member realises that the problem cannot be solved individually will the member cooperate to act as a group.
Persons who have the resources or power to solve problem on their own should not be part of the self help group.
For a joint and collective action to have the best possible chance of success, each and every person must be convinced that the action being taken is the best possible one. For this a great deal of discussion is required.
When Can You Say a Group Is Formed?
A constant membership of not less than 10 women.
Common understanding among members about why they have come together.
Common understanding about who are the members.
Regular attendance in meetings.
High and shared participation in the meetings.
Free and open communication and feedback among members.
Consensus in decision making.
Realisation for a structure of the group.
Action on group decisions.
On-going activity in the group.
Shared leadership in the group.
Group Management Norms
Meeting day, time, frequency and venue.
Membership disqualification and/or delinquency.
Leaders election and rotation guidelines.
Responsibility of handling cash, bank account, etc.
Norms for admission of new members into the group and for dropouts.
Financial Management Norms
Membership fee amount - one time or annual.
Interest rate on savings and the periodicity for its calculation.
Interest rate for loans (flat or declining balance) commission/service charges on loans.
Loan sanctioning procedures (legitimate purposes for loan, sanctioning authority, etc.).
Maximum cash to be retained in the cash box for emergency purposes.
Maximum percentage of funds to be given as loan to any one member.
Repeat loans could be given to same women for higher amount depending on her repayment experience for earlier loans.
Amount to be paid to the outside accountant or record keeper within the group.