Micro finance and SHGs are effective in reducing poverty, empowering women, creating awareness and ensure sustainability of environment which finally results in sustainable development of the nation. Self help groups (SHGs) have emerged as popular method of working with people in recent years. This movement comes from the people’s desires to meet their needs and determine their own destinies through the principle “by the people, for the people and of the people”. The SHGs today have become a vehicle to pursue diverse developmental agendas and even for the profit motive. The proliferation of SHG has posed a serious challenge to sustain this movement by maintaining quality of SHGs and hence, the quality assessment of SHGs is now being considered as a key concern. To avert such a situation, growth with quality has became the paramount agenda of today among different stakeholders, as there is an over reaching concern about sustainability of the SHG movement in India. Several rating systems for micro-finance interventions and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have been developed in the past. But most of these were restricted to understanding the creditworthiness of SHGs and employed indicators on performance on basic group functions and credit absorption capabilities. Social, empowerment and behavioural aspects of SHG functioning rarely found a place in the rating system. The present study differs from earlier studies as it covers descriptive study on grass root issues relating to quality assessment of SHGs and a modest effort is also taken to study perception of SHG members about the quality assessment parameters. The study is limited to Barak Valley of Assam and data collected from the primary sources during first half of 2011. Parametric and non-parametric test used to analyse the data and to draw meaningful conclusion. is observed that due to fast growing of the SHG-bank linkage programme, the quality of SHG has come under stress. Some of the factors affecting the quality of SHGs are the target oriented approach of the government in preparing group, inadequate incentive to NGO’s for nurturing their groups etc. It is further observed from the present study that Financial Management is the most critical factor where respondents are supporting highly followed by Plan and Vision.
Cite this article:
Sanjay Kanti Das. Quality Issues and Perceptions of Self Help Group Member’s about Quality Assessment: A case study of Barak Valley of Assam. Asian J. Management 3(2): April-June, 2012 page 99-108.