Innovations in care

Le Thi Ban, a shop keeper from Tra Vinh Province, Southern Viet nam. Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam

At a glance

Our work on care aims to find solutions to the challenge of providing effective care whilst also ensuring women's rights.


Innovations in Care is an initiative to make care work more visible and address it as a factor influencing gender equality. Our goal is to join with others to build solutions to the centuries-old challenge of providing effective care for people whilst also ensuring women's human rights.

Why is Oxfam interested in care work?

Care is a crucial dimension of well-being. People need care throughout their lives in order to survive and thrive. Care has long been considered to be the natural responsibility of women, as a result of which the costs of providing care fall disproportionately on women. Women's unpaid care work has recently been recognised as a major human rights issue. Women, especially those living in poverty, face heavy and unequal care responsibilities which impede efforts to promote gender equality and women's equal enjoyment of human rights.

Our aims

As a precondition for achieving women's political, social and economic empowerment, and for overcoming poverty, Oxfam aims to bring about the following changes in care work:

  • Increase the recognition of care
  • Reduce the drudgery of care work
  • Redistribute responsibility for care more equitably between women and men and between households and the state/employers.

The initiative will facilitate improving the design and impact of selected programme interventions to address care work. Working with others, Oxfam will use programme evidence and experience to influence governments, donors, companies  and Oxfam staff and partners in order to recognise and address care as a development issue.

Rapid Care Analysis

Oxfam has developed a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA) to assess context-specific patterns of unpaid household work and care of people. 

Designed to integrate into existing tools on livelihoods, food, security or vulnerability, it makes visible how care responsibility impacts women's time, health or mobility, and identifies practical interventions to help ensure that women can participate fully in and benefit equally from development programmes.

Download the Rapid Care Analysis.

Rapid Care Analysis toolbox

How to implement a Rapid Care Analysis for various contexts and programmes.

Background research

Covering the conceptual issues and debates on care in households and communities.

Related blogs

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It's great that care is on the agenda but where do we go from here?