Cowan Presents Research at Winter MEHA Conference

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																			February 16, 2015

Environmental Health Sciences MPH student Eliza Cowan presented her research with CARE India’s Pathways Initiative at the 2015 Minnesota Public Health Association (MEHA) Winter Conference.

Cowan beside her research poster at the recent conference.
Cowan beside her research poster at the MEHA conference.

The conference convened more than 200 of Minnesota’s environmental health professionals for a day of learning, professional development and networking.

The conference committee invited students in environmental and public health disciplines to submit posters to be included in the poster session event. The poster session served as an opportunity for students to showcase their research and network with professionals in the field.

CARE India’s Pathways initiative is part of a multi-country development program that aims to increase women smallholder farmers’ productivity and empowerment in more equitable agriculture systems at scale.

Pathways India works in two districts–Kalahandi and Kandhamal–in the eastern state of Odisha.

Directly serving more than 10,000 women from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households, Pathways works directly with women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and other collectives to build capacity and help create enabling environments for women.

The Midterm Review used qualitative methods (focus groups and interviews) with Pathways participants to monitor the program’s progress and evaluate its efforts thus far.

Female participants most commonly reported increases in self-confidence, mobility, and capacity.

For men, two of the biggest changes observed were increased workload sharing with spouses and decreased consumption of alcohol.

These gradual changes indicate that Pathways is on track to accomplishing its goals.

The program will continue to strengthen SHGs and other collectives, engage men and boys, and provide agricultural trainings. Pathways will work closely with women’s groups to ensure stability and provide support and trainings through SHGs to monitor gender-based violence, alcohol consumption, agricultural productivity, and marketing.

~ Post by Joy Archibald

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