Economic and Empowerment Impacts of Millet Processing and Value
Addition Enterprises by Women SHGs in Tribal Areas of Odisha

Key Research MethodologyMethods used to test assumptions and make causal claims along the causal chain

We will use mixed methods to evaluate the effects of millet processing with SHGs and to understand the mechanisms through which these effects are realized. We will undertake qualitative investigations, including focus group discussions and key informant interviews with participating households. We design a multi-arm clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT). The village-level cluster randomized controlled trial design has three study arms: T1 (Millet processing with members of less mature SHGs) where the project will freshly implement millet processing with SHGs that are more than 3 years in operation; T2 (Millet processing with members of matured SHGs) where the project will freshly implement millet processing with members of matured SHGs that are in operation for more than 6 years; and C (status quo SHGs). Overall, a sample frame of about 1,500 households from 75 villages from two districts in Odisha (exact sample size with clustered randomization have been determined after power calculation) will be selected randomly from the population to ensure enough statistical power to evaluate the impact. Data from a baseline and an endline survey will be used to investigate short- and medium-term impacts of millet processing and value addition enterprises on household income, women’s empowerment, child health, education, and nutrition relative to both the intervention with less mature SHGs as well as the status quo SHGs. To evaluate heterogeneous effects, we will include behavioral experiments (including qualitative experiments) drawn from the psychology and behavioral economics literature, allowing us to directly link heterogeneous treatment effects with these typically unobservable preferences, attitudes, and beliefs.

Our findings of the study will inform the Indian Government’s National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) of the feasibility, effectiveness, and scalable model of millet processing enterprises in the country. Our project will also contribute to tackling the post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation by developing immunity through increased millet consumption and by rebuilding broken millet value chains.