The political and social economy of care: Tanzania Research Report I

Type Report
Title The political and social economy of care: Tanzania Research Report I
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
The Political and Social Economy of Care project of UNRISD encompasses comparative research
on the provision of care by households and families, government, markets and the
voluntary/‘community’ sector across two countries in each of four continents. The emphasis in the
study is on the multiplicity of sites where care takes place, and the mix of institutions involved. Of
special interest is analysis of how unpaid care is articulated with the commodity economy from a
gender perspective – the ‘labour/care regime’, and how responsibility for unpaid care shapes the
carer’s paid work profile, access to income and poverty (and vice versa).
Tanzania was selected to be included in this comparative research, alongside South Africa as the
other African case. One of the non-negotiable criteria for selecting countries for inclusion in the
project was that they must have had a time use survey, and that data from this survey had to be
available for further analysis. There are very few African countries which have, to date, conducted
national time use surveys. Tanzania joined this small group in 2006 when it included a time use
module in the Integrated Labour Force Survey of that year. Within each region, UNRISD aimed to
select one country that had a more developed welfare/care infrastructure and a second with a less
developed one. For Africa, South Africa and Tanzania were felt to present good contrasts. Both
countries also are experiencing serious HIV&AIDS; pandemics. This will allow for interesting
comparisons as to how the political and social economies of care cater for the particular needs
arising from this crisis in the two countries.
The following section provides a brief socio-economic and political context analysis within which
the care economy is going to be further analysed.

Related studies