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The New Design Process

Data Collection- Methodology and Schedules  

Location Profile


Household Profile


Support and Service Network


Household Profile

Methodology adopted

Separate formats were used to collect information on household/individual profiles, their plans, their aspirations, and the constraints in visualizing and attaining their aspirations, their main and secondary source of income etc.

While some of these details are relatively easy to collect, understanding the aspirations and the kinds of activities they would like to undertake for improving their livelihoods took more time and interactions.

For designing any programme or project, it is critical to know whether women’s aspirations are considered that at the design stages. It is important to determine what women are aspiring to earn their livelihood and what activities they would like to engage in. We found that many women found it difficult to articulate their aspirations. However, by engaging with women in small groups, this information can be collected.

In the sample area of Tamil Nadu, the aspirations of the women broadly come under the following heads:

  • purchase of assets,
  • value addition aspects,
  • non-farm sector, which includes running petty grocery shops, tiffin centres, cloth retailing, rice retailing, expansion of existing business, street vending etc.

Many women aspire to set up similar non-farm business, which already exists, in the same village without knowing the demand. In the fishing community, women are not equally the breadwinners of the families. They remain as housewives. Even though they have the urge to learn something and want to be economically empowered, their husbands dominate them. Most of the women aspire to do something useful in the village itself and they need to be trained in the village itself.

In Orissa, the aspirations of the women are broadly as follows:

  • Proper education for their children
  • Build better houses, health centres near their villages
  • Capital to expand current business or to start new business
  • Land rights
  • Assets that can tide them over in emergencies
  • Purchase plain land and/or enhance agriculture
  • Training/information to start new activities that would add to their incomes.
  • As far as Gumma Block is concerned, women had full of hopes and plans. However, in Meghalaya, most of the women did not have any plans, as they were not thinking beyond the day-to-day needs. Not many women have long-term plans.

The aspirations of the women broadly are as follows:

  • Sending children to higher education
  • Non-farm sector activities, which includes running petty grocery shops, tea shops, securing government jobs, expand their livestock (pigs) and sell it for higher returns, expansion of existing business, learning tailoring, getting assured labour work for at least 1 person/household in the village itself to tide them over lean days

They need useful and correct information on government schemes and programme, useful information on new and better seeds, ways to improve agricultural productivity, build better houses for themselves which would not need repairs in rainy season.

Each individual was asked about their plans/aspirations, which would improve their livelihood. They were also asked to contemplate the course of action they would be willing to undertake to fulfil these aspirations and what were the possible constraints they faced in realizing these goals.

Each individual was also asked to enlist three support needs (finance, market access, information, credit, infrastructure, license permission etc) and the possible sources of services. However, many of the individuals were not able to express more than one activity. Majority of the respondents expressed that lack of access to finance as the only major deterrent in fulfilling their aspirations.



Name of the Investigator:
Date of Visit:

  1.  Name of the Individual:
  1. Gender and Age:
  1. Location:
  1. Caste:
  1. Food Security Status:    Serious Shortage/Food Not Enough/Food Just Enough/food                                                      Comfortable
  1. What is the food security status of women in the household?

      Serious Shortage/Food Not Enough/Food Just Enough/Food Comfortable

  1. What is the main and secondary source of income?

  2. What is the nutritional status of women and children in the household? Is it Good/Average/Poor

  3. Owner ship of Assets of the Household:            By men/Women/Combined

  4. Responsibility of the Decision Making:   By men/Women/Combined

  5. Handling of money:                               By men/Women/Combined

  6. Involvement in marketing of the produce:           Yes/Other

  7. Details about the time spent by men and women on different household activities like fetching
    drinking water, cooking, childcare and other housekeeping work?

  8. Aspirations identified by Women to increase income:**



Agriculture/Horticulture Owned/Leased land




Business Non farm activity






Labour Agriculture


Labour Non-Agriculture Skilled










Post harvest activity


Rent on Assets


  1. What do they need to achieve their aspiration? Details.

      Finance/marketing/training/governance/infrastructure/information/license             permission

  1. General information about the incidence of domestic violence at the household level, access to education, awareness of the existing government and other programmes, their access to credit, involvement in local institutions, participation in extension training programmes etc.


  • Business and non-farm activities include grocery shops, small petty shops, cashew and NTFP business, tiffin centres, tea shops, goat business, tailoring shops, cloth shops, small contractors etc.
  • Livestock includes dairy, piggery, poultry and goatery
  • Artisanal, traditional and minor skills are barbers, carpenters, palm leaf weaving, drivers, mechanics etc
  • Agriculture/horticulture owned/leased activity includes purchase of additional lands, improvement of the existing practices, fencing, irrigation facilities etc
  • Aquaculture is promoting fish, prawn and shrimp culture either in own/leased lands
  • Employment refers those who aspire to be employed in public and private sectors
  • Fisheries in owned/shared crafts refer going for fish catching in owned/shared crafts
  • Labour in agriculture implies assured labour availability throughout the year within the village, especially in Mawphlang Block of Meghalaya
  • NREGS refers to the rural employment guarantee programme implemented by the government
  • Others include education, better housing, pension, health services, toilets etc
  • Post-harvest activity includes value addition to the farm/fish/forest produce
  • Rent on Assets include lending out vehicles on hire, rent on building
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