Time Use Research Cell (TURC) at CFDA

It is now realized that time use statistics are critically important in understanding and addressing multiple dimensions of socioeconomic life of people and development related concerns in developing countries.

The data give visibility to all forms of work, remunerated and non-remunerated; provide full visibility to the care economy by estimating paid and particularly unpaid care; improve estimates of workforce, along with throwing light on scattered and sporadic nature of informal work; measure socioeconomic changes by explaining the changing nature of paid and unpaid work and its sharing by different socioeconomic groups; throw useful light on the nature of poverty and human well being; explain the dynamics of intra-household sharing and gender inequality; provide valuation of unpaid non-SNA work and providing estimates of total well being; and finally provide total picture of the economy consisting of paid and unpaid work and thereby present inputs for macroeconomic policy making and monitoring.

Most developing countries however have not been able to mainstream time-use surveys in their respective national statistical systems primarily because (1) the statistical offices and policy makers are not able to appreciate the utility of time use data, (2) they do not have the required capacity and/or funds to use the data, (3) frequently the data collected by them through time use surveys have serious limitations with respect to the quality, thanks to limited expertise with these countries and (3) the data are not backed by harmonized concepts and methods at the global level.

In this context, Time Use Research Cell (TURC) has been set up at Center For Development Alternatives (CFDA), India under GEM IWG (International Working Group on Gender and Macro Economics) with the main objective of promoting mainstreaming of time use surveys in developing and emerging countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Though there are a few time use research centres at present, such as Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR) at University of Oxford; American Time Use Survey (ATUS) in Washington; Research Network on Time Use (RNTU) in Germany; and Time Use Research Programme (TURP) at St Mary’s University, Canada, they are all located in the North and they tend to address mainly the needs of the countries in the North than to those in the South. There is not a single research centre located in the South South in spite of a large number of researchers from these countries engaged in time-use research.

Since the needs of the North are different from those of the South, there is a need to set up a research cell / centre exclusively for developing countries, and in a developing country to serve these countries effectively. TURC is the first TUS research centre and it is supported by experts on times use studies in developing countries from all over the world.  TURC aims at expanding the frontiers of knowledge in the field of time use studies to contribute towards development of sound methodologies of collecting and analyzing time use data in developing countries, illustrating the multiple uses of time use data in understanding the critical areas of concerns related to gender inequalities as well as human development, poverty etc and undertaking policy advocacy for mainstreaming time use surveys in these countries.

The main functions of TURC are to conduct research for generating sound time use statistics and promoting its analysis and use developing countries; develop a repository of time use research and statistics for developing countries; promote capacity building in national statistical offices as well as among scholars and civil society organizations through developing curriculum and organizing virtual and face-to-face training programmes; support young researchers to use the data and material; organize workshops and conferences to disseminate research, to discuss important socio-economic dimensions relating to gender inequalities; promote debates on issues related to mainstreaming time use surveys in developing countries; publish working papers, occasional papers, books and policy briefs; and to network with national and international organizations and policy advocacy.

TURC, located at Centre For Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad, India, has an Advisory Committee to advise it on its policies and activities. The Committee consists of the best experts on time use studies in developing countries from all over the world:

  1. Dr. R Radhakrishna, Chairman of CFDA and Chairman, National Statistical Commission, Government of India, is Chair-person of TURC.
  2. Dr.  Nilufer Cagatay, Co-director, GEM IWG and Principle Instructor, Knowledge Networking Programme, GEM IWG; and Professor, Department of Economics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
  3. Dr. Rania Antonopoulos, Co-director, GEM IWG and Principle Instructor, Knowledge Networking Programme, GEM IWG; and Research Scholar and Director, Gender Equality  and the Economy Programme. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
  4. Dr. Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru university, New Delhi, and the executive secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS).
  5. Dr Nancy Folbre, Professor  of Economics, University of Massachusetts, USA and Member, Sarkozi Commission on Measuring Well-being of People.
  6. Dr. Valeria Esquivel,  Instructor, GEM IWG and Investigadora Docente, Instituto de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina
  7. Dr.  Solita Collas-Monsod, Professor of economics at the School of Economics, University of the Philippines, and Chair of the Philippine Human Development Network, Former Minister of Economic Planning of the Philippines
  8. Dr. Jacques Charmes, Professor of Economics, Director of Department of Social and      Health Sciences, Institute of Research for development (IRD), France (He has been Advisor on TUS in several African countries)
  9. Dr. Kimberly Fisher, Secretary – Treasurer of International Association for Time Use Research; and Member of Core Team, Center for Time Use Research (CTUR), Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, UK.
  10. Dr. Duncan Ironmonger, University of Melbourne, Australia
  11. Dr. Margerita Guerrero, Advisor, Statistics, UN ESCAP, Bangkok, Thailand
  12. Prof. Michael Bittman, President, International Association on Time Use Research, and Professor of Economics at University of Melbourne, Australia
  13. Dr Maria Floro, Professor of Economics, University of Washington, Washington DC, USA
  14. Dr. Indira Hirway, Director and Professor of Economics, Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad (India) and Principle Instructor & Advisor on TUS, Knowledge Networking Programme, GEM IWG (She will be the Director of TURC and  Convener of the Advisory Committee)