Global Resources

Participatory methodology: Rapid Care Analysis

Author: T. Kidder, C. Pionetti
Publisher: Oxfam
Publication Date: Oct 2013

Although care is at heart a public good, responsibility for unpaid care work falls predominantly on women, contributing to their extreme poverty and social exclusion. Although changing the ways in which care is provided may take decades, the relative invisibility of the issue means that there are potentially many short-term, investigative, and ‘small-win’ opportunities to examine care in a participatory manner. In order to facilitate such preliminary exploration of care at a community level, Oxfam have published this toolkit and accompanying guidance document for designing and implementing a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA); a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) designed to identify, quantify, reflect upon, and adjust patterns of care provision within communities, and highlight and resolve problematic aspects. The guidance document, aimed at managers and facilitators, defines and explains the key concepts within care and unpaid care; illustrates the flexibility and ease-of-integration of RCA into existing frameworks; provides information on setting the parameters for using RCA (scope, roles, outcomes, etc.); planning and implementing the RCA tool, including tailoring for specific contexts, e.g. rural versus urban communities; ensuring good quality documentation, including advice that respondents replies be transcribed in full; as well as getting support and giving feedback. There are seven FGDs in the toolkit, spread across four steps of the RCA process (though depending on context and time-available, some FGDs may be dropped, while others may be expanded upon):

  • Step one (FGD 1) explores relationships of care in the community, asking participants to identify who they care for, what form that care takes, and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) of the care delivered, before group reflection.
  • Step two (FGD 2) identifies women’s and men’s work activities, asking participants to estimate their average hours per week through the compiling of a diary and using symbols (examples provided) to denote types of work and differentiate between paid and unpaid activities.
  • Step three identifies gender- and age-related patterns in care work (FDG 3); changes in care patterns, caused both through external factors such as climate-change and economic shocks, and internal factors like illness and old age (FDG 4); and locates the ‘most problematic’ care activities through discussions set by parameters agreed with participants (FDG 5).
  • Step four consists of two focus group discussions: one concerning the infrastructure and services available to support care work in communities (FDG 6), and the other providing space to think through intervention options to address problematic aspects of care previous FDGs have uncovered (FDG 7).

This webpage has links to the English guidance paper and English toolbox PDF files, as well as text only versions. For more information, read this blog post, 'Unpaid carers of the world, unite!' (14 Nov 2013) by Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/11/unpaid-carers-of-the-world-unite

Although care is at heart a public good, responsibility for unpaid care work falls predominantly on women, contributing to their extreme poverty and social exclusion. Although changing the ways in which care is provided may take decades, the relative invisibility of the issue means that there are potentially many short-term, investigative, and ‘small-win’ opportunities to examine care in a participatory manner. In order to facilitate such preliminary exploration of care at a community level, Oxfam have published this toolkit and accompanying guidance document for designing and implementing a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA); a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) designed to identify, quantify, reflect upon, and adjust patterns of care provision within communities, and highlight and resolve problematic aspects. The guidance document, aimed at managers and facilitators, defines and explains the key concepts within care and unpaid care; illustrates the flexibility and ease-of-integration of RCA into existing frameworks; provides information on setting the parameters for using RCA (scope, roles, outcomes, etc.); planning and implementing the RCA tool, including tailoring for specific contexts, e.g. rural versus urban communities; ensuring good quality documentation, including advice that respondents replies be transcribed in full; as well as getting support and giving feedback. There are seven FGDs in the toolkit, spread across four steps of the RCA process (though depending on context and time-available, some FGDs may be dropped, while others may be expanded upon): * Step one (FGD 1) explores relationships of care in the community, asking participants to identify who they care for, what form that care takes, and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) of the care delivered, before group reflection. * Step two (FGD 2) identifies women’s and men’s work activities, asking participants to estimate their average hours per week through the compiling of a diary and using symbols (examples provided) to denote types of work and differentiate between paid and unpaid activities. * Step three identifies gender- and age-related patterns in care work (FDG 3); changes in care patterns, caused both through external factors such as climate-change and economic shocks, and internal factors like illness and old age (FDG 4); and locates the ‘most problematic’ care activities through discussions set by parameters agreed with participants (FDG 5). * Step four consists of two focus group discussions: one concerning the infrastructure and services available to support care work in communities (FDG 6), and the other providing space to think through intervention options to address problematic aspects of care previous FDGs have uncovered (FDG 7). This webpage has links to the Spanish guidance paper and Spanish toolbox PDF files, as well as text only versions. For more information, read this blog post, 'Unpaid carers of the world, unite!' (14 Nov 2013) by Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/11/unpaid-carers-of-the-world-unite
Although care is at heart a public good, responsibility for unpaid care work falls predominantly on women, contributing to their extreme poverty and social exclusion. Although changing the ways in which care is provided may take decades, the relative invisibility of the issue means that there are potentially many short-term, investigative, and ‘small-win’ opportunities to examine care in a participatory manner. In order to facilitate such preliminary exploration of care at a community level, Oxfam have published this toolkit and accompanying guidance document for designing and implementing a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA); a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) designed to identify, quantify, reflect upon, and adjust patterns of care provision within communities, and highlight and resolve problematic aspects. The guidance document, aimed at managers and facilitators, defines and explains the key concepts within care and unpaid care; illustrates the flexibility and ease-of-integration of RCA into existing frameworks; provides information on setting the parameters for using RCA (scope, roles, outcomes, etc.); planning and implementing the RCA tool, including tailoring for specific contexts, e.g. rural versus urban communities; ensuring good quality documentation, including advice that respondents replies be transcribed in full; as well as getting support and giving feedback. There are seven FGDs in the toolkit, spread across four steps of the RCA process (though depending on context and time-available, some FGDs may be dropped, while others may be expanded upon): * Step one (FGD 1) explores relationships of care in the community, asking participants to identify who they care for, what form that care takes, and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) of the care delivered, before group reflection. * Step two (FGD 2) identifies women’s and men’s work activities, asking participants to estimate their average hours per week through the compiling of a diary and using symbols (examples provided) to denote types of work and differentiate between paid and unpaid activities. * Step three identifies gender- and age-related patterns in care work (FDG 3); changes in care patterns, caused both through external factors such as climate-change and economic shocks, and internal factors like illness and old age (FDG 4); and locates the ‘most problematic’ care activities through discussions set by parameters agreed with participants (FDG 5). * Step four consists of two focus group discussions: one concerning the infrastructure and services available to support care work in communities (FDG 6), and the other providing space to think through intervention options to address problematic aspects of care previous FDGs have uncovered (FDG 7). This webpage has links to the French guidance paper and French toolbox PDF files, as well as text only versions. For more information, read this blog post, 'Unpaid carers of the world, unite!' (14 Nov 2013) by Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/11/unpaid-carers-of-the-world-unite