Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Journal (APSDJ) aims to stimulate debate and enrich research in the formulation of policy in the Asia-Pacific region towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The APSDJ seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, ideas and analysis on issues concerning sustainable development across its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Published twice a year, the APSDJ is a rebranded journal of ESCAP that builds on the success of two earlier journals – the Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ), being published since 1994, and the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ), in print since 1986. These journals are being merged in recognition of the interconnected and multidisciplinary nature of sustainable development.


Contributory factors towards sustainability of bank-linked self-help groups in India

The present study focuses on the Indian flagship financial inclusion scheme – the Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme, which successfully leverages the social collateral concept and the vast network of bank branches in India to deliver financial services to small, cohesive and participatory women’s self-help groups. To develop a deeper understanding of the topic of sustainability of self-help groups, we propose a framework that conceptualizes sustainability by integrating the financial and organizational aspects of functioning of self-help groups. Sustainability is assessed in the light of the group’s performance (on set of indicators) with respect to the primary objective of the Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme, which is financial intermediation. Subsequently, we ascertain the effect of plausible contributory factors related to group management practices on the sustainability of self-help groups. The results of regression analysis on primary data captured from a survey of 170 self-help groups show that such factors as equitable access to credit, group savings, growth in savings, loan utilization in income generation activities, members depositing a savings contribution or loan installment on each other’s behalf, and distance from bank contribute significantly to group sustainability. Accordingly, designing suitable measures to monitor and improve group governance and management practices would be a critical policy intervention.


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