Evaluating the resilience of women during COVID-19 pandemic in India: An empirical analysis

The GM is a multi-pronged approach which supports the ultra-poor across the world who earn less than USD 1.90 a day. A total of 1307 women (655 GM beneficiaries and 652 from the con- trol group) from six states across India were surveyed and fourteen focus group discussions were conducted for this study. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which measures the resilience of ultra-poor women who are beneficiaries of the WV Graduation Model across India during the second wave of the COVID-19 pan- demic. The study found that mean resilience of the beneficiaries is much higher compared to the control group due to the multifacet- ed approach of the GM model. The study also found that across all the four pillars of the GM (social protection, livelihood promotion, financial inclusion and social empowerment), beneficiaries of the GM model were more resilient compared to the control group. This study demonstrates how a multisectoral approach adopted by WV india’s GM has enhanced the resilience of beneficiaries by enhancing the adaptive, absorptive and transformative capacities of the women. By enhancing these three capacities the GM enables the wellbeing of its beneficiaries despite shocks, stresses and uncertainty, such as those induced by the pandemic. Furthermore, since these three capaci- ties are mutually reinforcing and exist at multiple levels (individual, household, community, district, national, and within social-ecological systems), the GM approach enhances the resilience of not just the in- dividual woman beneficiary but of the household and society at large, creating deep structural change and transformation.