Assessing Unpaid Care Work: A Participatory Toolkit

Published on 7 March 2021

This is a participatory toolkit for understanding unpaid care work and its distribution within local communities and families.

Together, these tools provide a way of ascertaining and capturing research participants’ understanding of women’s unpaid care work – giving special attention to the lived experiences of carrying out unpaid care work and receiving care. Please note that these tools were developed and used in a pre-Covid-19 era and that they are designed to be implemented through face-to-face interactions rather than online means.

We developed the first iteration of these tools in our ‘Balancing Care Work and Paid Work’ project as part of the Growth of Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) programme. The mixed-methods project sought to collect data across four countries – India, Nepal, Rwanda, and Tanzania – with data collected in four sites in each country (16 sites in total). The participatory tools were developed with two main intentions: (1) as a data collection tool to gain a broader understanding of the social norms and perspectives of the wider community in each of the 16 sites; and (2) to be implemented with our local partners as a sensitisation tool for the community regarding women’s unpaid care work burdens.

While it is not essential to apply these tools in the order that they are presented, or even all of them, we would suggest that this toolkit be used in its entirety, to gather in-depth knowledge of social norms around the distribution of unpaid care, and the impacts that these have on care providers’ lives and livelihoods.

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Chopra, D.; Sempere, K. and Krishnan, M. (2021) Assessing Unpaid Care Work: A Participatory Toolkit, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2021.016

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Image of Deepta Chopra

Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Image of Kas Sempere

Kas Sempere

Postgraduate Researcher

Image of Meenakshi Krishnan

Meenakshi Krishnan

Research Officer and Postgraduate Researcher

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published by
Institute of Development Studies


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