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South Asia Gender Innovation Lab

Stories from the Field Podcast

© World Bank

‘Stories From the Field’ is a new podcast hosted by the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab that documents the experiences of key stakeholders and beneficiaries engaged in designing, implementing, and participating in women’s groups in South Asia. The podcast episodes feature researchers, task team leaders managing World Bank operations, local implementers working with women’s groups in South Asia, and women beneficiaries, endeavoring to uncover the multifaceted nature of women’s groups in South Asia. The

podcast goes beyond causal evidence to explore impact of women’s groups through a different lens —one where local voices and lived experience of impactful projects are at the center of inquiry. Stories from the field strive to bring the beneficiary voices from the periphery to the center while unearthing big questions around empowerment and mental wellbeing. Join us on this odyssey and come away empowered and inspired.  

Hosts: Najaf Zahra and Ayesha Tahir 

Producer: Serenat Kivilcim

Editor: Christopher Jeremy Cymbalak

Listen to the Trailer

Episode 1: Women’s Groups in South Asia – a Magic Bullet or a Missing Piece of the Puzzle?

Our first two guest speakers Thomas de Hoop and Sapna Desai present their recent work to create a typology of women’s groups in South Asia. In addition, they shed light on the history of women’s groups in the region and their evolution into mainstream development practice. Together, they unpack the impacts these groups have had on women’s empowerment—economic and otherwise.

Episode 2: Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

Our guest speakers Mohammad Imtiaz Akhtar Alvi (Senior Agriculture Economist, World Bank) and Melissa Williams (Senior Rural Development Specialist, World Bank), explore the design modalities of women’s groups and the impact they have created in Pakistan through the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund project

Episode 3: Sisters' Nest

This episode brings forth the stories of women beneficiaries who have joined women's groups in Pakistan and have experienced significant benefits. Through interviews conducted by the SAR GIL team, these impactful stories come to life, providing insights into the transformative journeys of these women.