Assessing Change in Women’s Lives: A Conceptual Framework

Empirical evidence points to a causal relationship between the socioeconomic status of individuals and communities and their health. Indeed improvement in health is expected to follow socioeconomic development. Yet this hypothesis has rarely been tested; at least it has not undergone the scrutiny of scientific inquiry. Even less understood are the processes and mechanisms by which the changes are brought about. The Rural Development Programme (RDP) of BRAC is a multisectoral integrated program for poverty alleviation directed at women and the landless poor. It consists of mobilization of the poor, provision of non-formal education, skill training and income generation opportunities, and credit facilities. The program is the result of 20 years of experience through trial and error. However, an evaluation of its impact on human well-being including health has not been convincingly undertaken. The Matlab field station of ICDDR, B is an area with a population of 200,000, half of whom are recipients of intensive maternal and child health and family planning services. The entire population is part of the Center’s demographic surveillance system where health and occasionally socioeconomic indicators have been collected prospectively since 1966.

Authors: Chen, Marty; Mahmud, Simeen
Type: Working Paper
Year: 1995