For example, the studies had successful random assignment (as evidenced by highly similar treatment and control groups), used systematic surveillance systems involving key informants to identify all live births and infant deaths in the study areas, and conducted analyses that appropriately accounted for the fact that geographic areas rather than individual households were randomly assigned.
 There have been three other RCTs of participatory women’s groups in rural areas – two in Malawi and one in Nepal (they are cited in the references below). A report on the Nepal RCT is forthcoming. The Malawi RCTs fall outside our website’s criteria due to limitations that reduce confidence in the findings, such as the use of study design and analysis methods that may generate false-positive results.
 The primary outcome for all studies was the neonatal mortality rate, defined as deaths within the first 28 days of life per 1,000 live births.
Manandhar D.S., Osrin D., Shrestha B.P., et al, (2004). Effect of a participatory intervention with women’s groups on birth outcomes in Nepal: cluster randomized controlled trial. The Lancet 364: 970–79.
Azad K., Barnett S., Banerjee B., et al. (2010). Effect of scaling up women’s groups on birth outcomes in three rural districts in Bangladesh: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 375: 1193–202.
Tripathy P., Nair N., Barnett S., et al. (2010). Effect of a participatory intervention with women’s groups on birth outcomes and maternal depression in Jharkhand and Orissa, India: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 375: 1182–92.
Shrestha, B.P., Bhandari, B., Manandhar, D.S., Osrin, D., Costello, A., & Saville, N. (2011). Community interventions to reduce child mortality in Dhanusha, Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials 12:136.
More, N.S., Bapat U., Das S., et al. (2012). Community mobilization in Mumbai slums to improve perinatal care and outcomes: a cluster randomised controlled trial. PLoS Medicine 9(7): e1001257.
Fottrell E., Azad K., Kuddus A., Younes L., Shaha S., & Nahar T. (2013). The effect of increased coverage of participatory women’s groups on neonatal mortality in Bangladesh: a cluster-randomised trial. JAMA Pediatrics 167(9):816-0.
Colbourn T., Nambiar B., Bondo A., et al. (2013). Effects of quality improvement in health facilities and community mobilization through women’s groups on maternal, neonatal and perinatal mortality in three districts of Malawi: MaiKhanda, a cluster randomised controlled effectiveness trial. International Health 5: 180-195.
Lewycka S., Mwansambo C., Rosato M., et al. (2013). Effect of women’s groups and volunteer peer counselling on rates of mortality, morbidity, and health behaviours in mothers and children in rural Malawi (MaiMwana): a factorial, cluster randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 381: 1721–35.
Tripathy, P., Nair, N., Sinha, R., et al. (2016). Effect of participatory women’s groups facilitated by Accredited Social Health Activists on birth outcomes in rural eastern India: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet Global Health 4:e119-28.
Sinha, R.K., Haghparast-Bidgoli, H., Tripathy, P.K., Nair, N., Gope, R., Rath, S., & Prost, A. (2017). Economic evaluation of participatory learning and action with women’s groups facilitated by Accredited Social Health Activists to improve birth outcomes in rural eastern India. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 15:2.