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Study Overview

Gramyashakti: developing rural women’s spice processing enterprises in three Indian states
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
In Development

We study the impact of value chain development in women’s farmer producer organisations on household and women’s economic outcomes and their agency in the enterprise and the household. The project “Gramyashakti” aims to collectivise rural women into producer groups for processing of local spices for sale in high-end urban markets. We propose a village level randomised evaluation design where randomly selected spice-producing village will participate in the project. We use three rounds of household and enterprise panel data and process level qualitative data to estimate program impacts and understand the mechanisms of change.

Registration Citation:

Barooah, B; Jain, C; Banerjee, S; Kejriwal, K; Hammaker, J. Gramyashakti: developing rural women’s spice processing enterprises in three Indian states. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). 

Agriculture and Rural Development
Additional Keywords:
Livelihoods, Women's empowerment, gender
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Bidisha Barooah
Name of Second PI:

Study Sponsor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

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

Intervention Overview


ACCESS will establish and scale four new spice processing farmer producer companies in the states of Rajasthan, Odisha and West Bengal, mobilizing at least 800 female participants. The main interventions proposed in the first year of implementation are (i) technical training on spice processing and storing, (ii) training on business management and strategy, (iii) training on gender and leadership and (iv) establishing four new common processing facilities. Towards the end of the second year, and once market linkages have been established through business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) channels, spices procured by the company will be marketed under a high-value brand called StirNSpike.

Theory of Change:

ACCESS: The evaluation is organized under the following theory of change:

1) Women are mobilized to join women’s enterprise collectives formed under the Gramyashakti programme and participate in skills-based and gender leadership training; common facilities are set up that provide advanced spice processing tools and technology

2) Participating in the program increases women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities, business skills and social capital; enterprises increase capacity to produce high-quality and quantity products

3) Equipped with leadership and entrepreneurial skill sets and functioning machinery, women-led collectives develop market and institutional linkages to sell products and generate revenue. Increases in sales generates income for women. Women control the collectives’ economic and human capital resources. This leads to greater confidence among participants.

4) Women are more equipped to participate in personal, household, enterprise and community decision-making.

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
ACCESS Development Services
Type of Organization:
NGO (local)/Community Based Organization/Other civil society organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Intervention Timing

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

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (specify)
Other (not Listed) Method:
Process evaluation, qualitative evaluation

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

3ie will use a theory-based, mixed methods experimental approach to evaluate the ACCESS programme. To examine the impacts of the project and establish the causal link between project interventions and outcomes, we will use experimental methods to identify the counterfactual against which project areas will be compared. To understand the contextual factors that may influence project impact and project implementation, we will use qualitative methods such as key informant interviews and focus group discussion with project participants and non-participants.   

We adopt a cluster randomized method to establish causality in which villages will be randomly assigned to the project (treatment) or not (control).  The research team will develop survey instruments to collect data on project participants and non-participants at the individual, household and collective level before project activities begin in both treatment and control villages in August 2021. The same sample will be interviewed at the midline in 2022 and endline in 2023 to examine the changes in key processes and outcomes.

The evaluation will include a qualitative process evaluation in which we will analyse the implementation of the project, highlighting areas of strong and weak implementation. This will help us answer why the project was or was not able to achieve its stated outcomes. It will include an examination of participation in the project by women farmers the quality of trainings, as well as the reach of project services. This should also help us in getting a clearer understanding of the overall context of the region and community, structural barriers to women’s empowerment in the region and the journey of women farmers in overcoming the same.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

We will monitor intermediate and final outcomes. In our intermediate outcomes we measure:
1) Participation in entrepreneurial activities

2) Social capital

3) Business skills

4) Quality and quantity of products

 In our final outcomes we measure:

  1. Confidence
  2. Participation in personal, household, enterprise and community decision making
  3. Ownership and control over productive assets
  4. Income
  5. Sales/profits of enterprises
Unit of Analysis:
Results are analysed at the participant level.

What is the impact of the intervention on stated project outcomes of interest identified in the theory of change?

How do WECs increase women’s empowerment?  

Why, or why not, did the observed impacts occur? 

Were the observed impacts similar across caste and economic status at baseline? 

Does gender and leadership training for female participants and their male family members lead to better economic outcomes for women? 

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
The intervention will be assigned at village level. Villages are randomly assigned to treatment and control groups
Number of Clusters in Sample:
There are 91 villages in our sample, 42 of which are assigned to the treatment group.
Number of Individuals in Sample:
We aim to include 30 households per village in our sample. To account for attrition we will list 40 households per village, for a total of 3640 households.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
46 villages are randomly selected for participation in the treatment group and the remaining 45 villages will serve as control.

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Household survey fielded to head of household, Women’s survey to female household (based on eligibility criteria for the Gramyashakti programme), and village survey to village leader will be fielded at baseline, midline and endline.
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:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

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