Self reliant groups from India to Scotland : lessons from south to north

Hill O'Connor, Clementine and Mazzei, Micaela and Baker, Rachel (2018) Self reliant groups from India to Scotland : lessons from south to north. Community Development Journal. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0010-3802 (

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There is a move towards partnership working across the global north and south but there remain questions about how to do it most effectively. This paper reports on the findings from a project that built a partnership between women in Scotland and India in order to transfer knowledge about Indian Self Help Groups. By creating peer to peer relationships that challenged traditional roles of 'teacher' and 'learner', the project was effective in transferring learning from south to north and generating meaningful outcomes for those involved. Despite the contextual differences, the successful transfer of key components of the model, savings, and loans, has led to a sense of empowerment in the Scottish women that is comparable to their Indian counterparts. As the project continues, it will be important that the dialogue between the partners continues, so there is ongoing learning as the Scottish groups expand and develop.