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Study Overview

Urmul Trust - Empowering women’s craft collectives in Rajasthan
Study is 3ie funded:
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The study will examine the impact of value chain development by Urmul Trust in Rajasthan, India. Under this project, Urmul will develop and setup a new value chain that will primarily deal in processed wool and yarn. Accordingly, Urmul will collectivise, train and provide input support to marginalised women (in 18-55 year age group) who will form a part of this value chain. We propose a mixed methods impact evaluation. We will use a village level clustered randomised control trial (C-RCT) to examine the impact of these interventions (including collectivisation, skill enhancement and input support) on various women (such as participation in productive activities, confidence, agency and income) and household level outcomes. Whereas, program and qualitative data will be used to understand mechanisms driving the observed changes.

Registration Citation:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Additional Keywords:
Secondary ID Number(s):
AEA Social Science Registry - RCT ID: AEARCTR-0008394

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Dr. Chandan Jain, Shreya Banerjee
Name of Second PI:
Dr. Smriti Sharma
Newcastle University

Study Sponsor

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Not Applicable
Type of Organization:

Intervention Overview


Under this intervention Urmul will work with around 1100 women to form collectives at the village level, train these women in crafts for skill enhancement, support quality enhancement and, output improvement. The activities will aim to ensure that these women artisans are able to come together to work as a collective, enhance their skill and quality of output through the collective, and sustain themselves as a group.

Specifically, Urmul will develop and setup a new value chain that will primarily deal in processed raw wool collected from sheep and yarns produced using the processed raw wool. The wool value chain in Rajasthan is highly unorganized, and this is one of the reasons that the locally produced wool in the region is losing out from the market.

Accordingly, for this value chain, it will mobilize women who either know how to spin yarn or have sheep in their households. Urmul will collectivize these women to form Common Interest Groups (CIGs) at the village level and there will one CIG in each of the intervention villages. The CIG members will arrange for a village level center that would work as a common center where the members can meet and operate from at the village level, these facilities will be identified by the CIG members themselves. With regard to capacity development, Urmul will train the CIG members on handling and processing of raw wool, including cleaning, shearing and segregation of raw wool, and spinning of raw wool. Two sets of 3-day trainings are being proposed by Urmul – an initial training and a refresher training. CIGs will also be provided access to improved equipment needed for shearing and carding of wool via Urmul’s Common Facility Center (CFCs). Each CFC will cater to around 4-5 intervention villages in the vicinity. CFCs will also serve as nodal point for the CIGs to - a) sell processed raw wool, b) procure processed raw wool for spinning and producing yarn, and c) sell yarns to Urmul.

Theory of Change:

1) Women are mobilized to join women’s collectives formed under Urmul’s programme and participate in skill development trainings; common facilities are set up that provide tools and technology to the women.

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

3) Equipped with better 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:
Urmul Trust
Type of Organization:
NGO (local)/Community Based Organization/Other civil society organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
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 and qualitative evaluation

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

To evaluate the impact of collectivization and input support provided to women artisans, the proposed evaluation will use a mixed methods approach that combines a quantitative evaluation with embedded process and qualitative evaluation. The quantitative evaluation is based on a clustered randomized control trial (C-RCT) with village being the unit of randomization. Given that the artisans are clustered across villages, randomization at the individual level will not be appropriate due to possible spill overs within the village. Villages will be randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, with an equal number of villages in each group, and each village having an equal probability of being assigned to either group.

Baseline data will be collected at the household and village level in 2021-22, whereas mid and end line data will be collected in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Within each household, we will interview an eligible woman on woman-level outcomes. Prior to the baseline survey we will do a listing exercise which will be used to identify the eligible households and collect basic household level information. Villages will be randomly allocated to treatment and control after the listing and village survey. Household level data from these will be used to conduct balance checks at the baseline.

The qualitative evaluation would aim to understand if the interventions led to increased empowerment among the participants, what factors contributed to it, and what the enablers and barriers in the process were. Women’s agency at the household and community level, aspirations, social capital, knowledge and skills, economic empowerment are some of the thematic areas that will be covered by the qualitative survey.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The following intermediate and final outcomes are of interest in this evaluation:

Intermediate outcomes:

1) Women’s participation in productive and entrepreneurial activities

2) Women’s social capital

3) Women’s skills   

4) Quantity of output produced by household and women led enterprises

Final outcomes:

1) Women’s confidence level

2) Women’s participation in personal, household, enterprise and community decision making

3) Women’s ownership and control over productive assets

4) Women and household level income, savings and consumption  

Unit of Analysis:
Analysis will be done at the household and individual level.

As part of this study, we aim to rigorously evaluate the impact of the proposed institutionalized support provided to women who will form part of the Desi wool cluster on the stated project level outcomes. The project outcomes include women’s empowerment, along with an improvement in livelihoods and income levels, financial autonomy, improved capabilities and skills of women artisans and craft leaders from marginalized communities.

Our main research questions are summarized below:

  1. Does the Urmul intervention led to an increase women’s participation in productive activities and their income levels (including household income and consumption) ?
  2. What is the impact of the intervention on stated project outcomes of interest as identified in the theory of change, including women’s empowerment (decision making and confidence), women and household level savings, and ownership and control over productive assets?
  3. How do WECs increase women’s empowerment? What mechanisms explain the linkages between outputs, outcomes and impact?
  4. Why, or why not, did the observed impacts occur?
  5. Were the observed impacts similar across socio-economic status at baseline?
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Unit of assignment is the village.
Number of Clusters in Sample:
There are 100 villages in the evaluation sample, out of which half will be assigned to treatment and the other half to control group.
Number of Individuals in Sample:
The total sample size is 4000 household and from each village we will interview 40 households.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
50 villages will be randomly selected for participation in the treatment group and the remaining 50 villages will serve as control.

Supplementary Files

Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Primary data at the household, women and village level will be collected to measure outcomes. In addition to standard demographic, educational and occupational information about each household member, the household questionnaire will collect in-depth information on household income and sources of income. The women’s questionnaire will be used to collect information on women level outcomes, and it will be administered to one eligible adult woman in each household.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Assignment to treatment and control group will random and we will use the data collected from the village survey and listing exercise to run baseline checks and ensure that the treatment and control group is balanced. Whereas, program participation will captured using - a) MIS data collected by the implementation organization, and b) household data collected at the end line.
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

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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:
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Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped