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Study Overview

Impact evaluation of PRADAN’s Livelihoods Enhancement through market Access and women emPowerment (LEAP) project, as part of the Applying New Evidence for Women’s Empowerment (ANEW) portfolio
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:

The proposed study will use both quantitative and qualitative research methods to assess the impact of a set of interventions delivered under the Livelihoods Enhancement through market Access and women emPowerment (LEAP) project on household asset accumulation, cultivated agricultural output, and women’s empowerment. The interventions administered through women farmer collectives - producer groups (PGs) and farmer producer organizations (FPOs) - are three-fold (1) Setting up and strengthening the capacity of FPOs (2) Enhancing agricultural productivity of the smallholder women farmers connected to these FPOs (3) Providing gender-sensitization training to FPO leadership and member farmers to raise awareness and trigger collective action on gender-related issues. We seek to identify how activities related to the three areas affect the agricultural output of member farmers, their accumulation of assets, and their empowerment in agriculture. In doing this, we hope to generate evidence on how FPOs could be used as a viable platform to improve agricultural incomes and women’s empowerment in the Indian context.

Registration Citation:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Additional Keywords:
Gender, Women's empowerment, India
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Kalyani Raghunathan
Name of Second PI:
Jessica Heckert

Study Sponsor

Walmart Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Type of Organization:
NGO (local) or other civil society organization

Intervention Overview


The intervention is implemented by Professional Assistance for Development Action, PRADAN, an Indian NGO that works with women’s self-help groups (SHGs) to promote economically viable and sustainable agriculture and other livelihood practices. The interventions being evaluated in this study are part of PRADAN’s Livelihoods Enhancement through market Access and women empowerment (LEAP) project. LEAP is a two-year project aimed to increase employment opportunities and incomes of smallholder women farmers working in vegetable, fruit, cereal and livestock value chains in three large eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. PRADAN is accomplishing this goal by supporting the formation and strengthening of women farmer collectives - producer groups (PGs) and FPOs - which will deliver training and material inputs aimed at improving agricultural planning and practices, access to infrastructure, market linkages on both the input and output markets, and access to financial services. In addition, they will implement gender-sensitization activities that involve developing and delivering gender-sensitization modules to the FPO leadership and to FPO member smallholder farmers to trigger collective action on gender-related issues. The primary objectives of this intervention are to improve agricultural output, household asset accumulation, and empowerment of the direct project beneficiaries (female FPO member farmers) and their spouses. This impact evaluation will be conducted in 3 districts within Jharkand; Khunti, Gumla, and Ramgarh.

Theory of Change:

The LEAP interventions fall within three components:

  1. Strengthening FPOs- PRADAN will assist in the formalization of FPO structures and processes, strengthen capacities of FPO in developing governance structures, compliance, and important systems (e.g., accounting, finance etc.). Additionally, PRADAN will create linkages to formal financial institutions, market actors, and agricultural entrepreneurs (AEs). Through these activities, PRADAN will establish FPOs as strong rural institutions with regularized functioning and strong backward and forward linkages that can provide support and engage livelihoods opportunities for existing and incoming female member farmers.
  2. Agriculture and livestock-related interventions- PRADAN will support trainings on improved agronomic practices for select “winner crops” to female FPO members and other SHG members in the community. Additionally, PRADAN will foster linkages to local service providers for specific agriculture-related services, to markets for selling produce, and to institutional actors providing financial services. These interventions are aimed at enhancing the farmer’s agriculture knowledge and improving their access to service providers and markets which will lead to greater cropping area, higher agricultural yield and profits, and greater asset accumulation in the long term.
  3. Gender-related interventions- PRADAN will facilitate discussions with female farmers and entrepreneurs on specific gender topics. Additionally, PRADAN will administer a gender-related training to FPO board members and select FPO members. These trainings will improve the perspectives of FPO management and members on women’s agency and their role in agriculture which in turn will lead to women’s empowerment and improved gender relations.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN)
Type of Organization:
NGO (local)/Community Based Organization/Other civil society organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
The Walmart Foundation
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Other (specify)
Other (not Listed) Method:
Difference in difference with matching
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The impact evaluation is based on a quasi-experimental design, with one treatment arm and one control arm. The treatment arm consists of 3 blocks (one block per district) where PRADAN is implementing their interventions through select Walmart foundation supported Farmer Producer organizations (FPOs). In the first stage, the 3 treatment blocks will be matched to 3 blocks from the same districts where there is no PRADAN presence using a set of development and socio-economic indicators. The matched blocks will become the control arm. In the second stage, individuals from the treatment blocks will be matched to individuals from the control blocks using a set of baseline characteristics using the Nearest Neighbor Matching (NNM) method. Finally, in the third stage, we will estimate impact using difference-in-difference models – comparing the change in outcomes over time (baseline to endline) between the treatment and control individuals.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Primary outcomes:

  1. Household asset accumulation: measured using the total number of assets and total number of productive assets owned by the household.
  2. Total land cultivated in rabi and kharif seasons, especially under the winner crops.
  3. Women’s empowerment from the pro-WEAI+MI: measured using the individual score on the three domains of empowerment (3DE), the number of activities for which the respondent has some input in production, number of activities where the respondent has input into income decisions, and the time spent working (in hours).

Secondary outcomes:

  1. Agricultural yields, revenues and profits.
  2. Cropping intensity and cropping area, especially for the identified winner crops.
  3. Adoption of improved agricultural practices.
  4. The intrahousehold inequality measure (a comparison of the scores on the pro-WEAI+MI for men and women in the same household).
  5. Binary measures of women’s and men’s empowerment in each of the domains of the pro-WEAI+MI.
Unit of Analysis:
Individual FPO/SHG members and their spouses

Streamlining production through FPOs, providing access to input and service providers, facilitating access to markets for both inputs and outputs, and providing science-based agricultural training to farmers is expected to result in enhanced knowledge and adoption of improved agronomic practices, better quality and quantity of output, better price realization and higher profits. At the same time, the gender sensitization training will encourage women to think of themselves as producers and entrepreneurs, give them confidence in negotiating both within and outside the household, increase their access to resources and improve their participation in decision-making. Improved women’s agency and empowerment will also feed back into the agricultural production, giving them a sense of ownership and encouraging them to take decisions on livelihoods-related activities. We expect this set of interventions, therefore, to lead to improved agricultural outcomes, enhanced household income (as proxied through asset accumulation) and higher women’s empowerment.


Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
The intervention is being delivered at the level of the FPO. Once FPO maps to one block (a sub-district administrative unit).
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
The study has two arms. The treatment arm consist of 600 households and the control arm consists of 600 households. The total sample will be 1200 households.

Outcomes Data

In the treatment blocks, the sample will consist of 600 women FPO members from 3 FPOs (200 women per FPO). In the control blocks, we will select 600 women at random who are members of self-help groups (SHGs) (200 women per block). Selection criteria for the control blocks will not be based on FPO participation, but on membership in a SHG. The selected 1200 households will participate in a baseline and an endline household survey, for a two-wave panel survey.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Change History for Participation or Assignment Information
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 No
Change History for Description
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 We will use member lists of the 3 FPOs in our 3 treatment blocks to select 600 women members. These lists will be provided by PRADAN. We will use a partial enumeration exercise to select women SHG members in the control blocks. In addition, our survey will ask about exposure to interventions (like trainings or agricultural demonstrations) as well as duration of membership in the relevant collectives, positions of responsibility held etc.
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Change History for Data Status
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 Yes
Data Previously Used?
Change History for Previous Use of the Data
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 No
Data Access:
Change History for Data Access
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 Not restricted - access with no requirements or minimal requirements (e.g. web registration)
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Change History for Data Obtainment Status
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 Yes
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:
Baseline questionnaire for men (English and Hindi): LEAP_Men_QRE_FINAL.docx
Baseline questionnaire for women (English and Hindi): LEAP_Women_QRE_FINAL.docx
Baseline community level questionnaire (English and Hindi): LEAP_Community_QRE_FINAL.docx
Change History for Upload Study Materials
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2023 Description: Baseline questionnaire for men (English and Hindi)
Filename: LEAP_Men_QRE_FINAL.docx
Link: http://
Description: Baseline questionnaire for women (English and Hindi)
Filename: LEAP_Women_QRE_FINAL.docx
Link: http://
03/20/2023 Description: Baseline questionnaire for men (English and Hindi)
Filename: LEAP_Men_QRE_FINAL.docx
Link: http://

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:


Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped