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

Jagjit Plahe, Anjana Purkayastha, James Neil Devasahayam, Sharif Rasel, Kirti Mishra

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened livelihood outcomes for women in India for multiple reasons including loss of work, domestic violence and higher carer duties. This study empirically measured the resilience of women involved in a particular World Vision (WV) India program known as the Graduation Model (GM), during the COVID-19 pandemic. WV India is one of the country’s largest humanitarian organisations. 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 control 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 pandemic. The study found that mean resilience of the beneficiaries is much higher compared to the control group due to the multifaceted 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 capacities 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 individual woman beneficiary but of the household and society at large,creating deep structural change and transformation. The findings of this study are critical in terms of (a) informing the policy and practice of World Vision India and other organisations across the world which are implementing the Graduation Model, and (b) using a statistically robust method to develop a reliable and valid scale which empirically captures resilience, and which can be replicated in other studies.


  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • women
  • India
  • domestic violence
  • World Vision
  • social protection
  • Graduation Model
  • resilience


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the resilience of women during COVID-19 pandemic in India: An empirical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this