The proposed methodology to answer the research questions includes: 

A scoping study, involving a desk review and consultation with experts, to identify and typologise Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The scoping study is assessing the extent to which empowerment interventions have integrated care and how they contribute to the potential of a ‘double boon’ or ‘double burden’. The scoping study is enabling selection of the WEE programmes for primary research. Having selected the WEE programmes, secondary data from each of these programmes and consultations with programme staff is being used to inform the sampling of sites.  

A programme document analysis of the eight selected programmes to identify the programme theory of change, undertake an analysis of the programmes – their policies, intent and action on WEE, evaluation and so on in order to identify program needs and challenges or to describe the program. 

Close-grained analyses of unpaid care arrangements and how programmes impact (positively or negatively) those care arrangements in Nepal, India, Tanzania and Rwanda. These analyses are being undertaken along two axes of comparison in order to allow for identifying meaningful lessons that can be learned across socio-economic, political and programmatic contexts: regional (South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) and programme participation (respondents in families with women that are and are not participating in WEE programmes).


The research is taking a mixed-methods approach combining the following methods in each site:

Community Mapping to identify possible respondents.

  • Quantitative data is being collected using a survey questionnaire, which is being administered to households through a gender-balanced sample of adult respondents from each community. The questionnaire is focusing on: household demographics; socio-economic characteristics (including caste, ethnicity, religion, age composition and migrant status); values and norms around paid work and unpaid care work; participation in paid work and unpaid care work activities; care needs and responsibilities; care arrangements and impacts; and activities in individual programmes.
  • Qualitative data collection is including a series of face-to-face interviews at household level (for household case studies) with the primary female care giver, and where possible other members of the household; participatory exercises with men, women and children in the communities, and key informant interviews with community members, and programme staff. 
  • Household case studies are focusing on norms, experiences and perceptions about women’s unpaid care work, as well as children’s work; experiences and perceptions about women’s paid work and women’s participation in economic empowerment programmes; perceptions and opinions of the balance between paid work and unpaid care work; and the extent to which this contributes to or impedes women’s economic empowerment. 
  • Participatory exercises are focusing on issues such as on adults’ and children’s experiences, and perceptions and opinions of the balance between paid work and unpaid care work within the communities. 
  • Key informant interviews with communities
  • Key informant interviews with programme staff are including perceptions about women’s care work and their care arrangements, the vision and intent of the programme, implementation of the programme, and solutions towards a ‘double boon’ from staff perspective


Participatory methods in mixed methods research – a methodological treasure

Since the inception of the GrOW project, on unpaid care work and women's economic empowerment, the team mixed three strands of research methods – qualitative, quantitative and participatory. What added value do participatory methods bring to mixed methods research? Kas Sempere writes about the particular professional challenges of methods in the project taking place in India, Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania. 

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