Where are the homeworkers? What work do they do? For whom and with whom do they work? What resources do they have? What are their working and living conditions. their problems and needs? These are some of the questions that could be answered through mapping as a research methodology.
Homenet Southeast Asia conducted a mapping workshop on March 15-16, 2001 with the support of UNIFEM and ILO /EASMAT in Bangkok. There were about fifteen participants at the workshop, including the delegates from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The workshop enabled the participants to understand the meaning of home-based work, the forms it takes, and the methods of data collection and analysis. involved in mapping…
Soon after the workshop, HomeNet Thailand, with the support of HomeNet International, launched its mapping exercise in May 2001, after the finalization of the survey form for all their members. The training of the homeworker leaders to collect the information was held in four regions and they completed the data collection at the end of July 2001. (For a summary of this, see HomeNet Thailand website).
HomeNet Indonesia focused its UNIFEM-supported mapping exercise on women homeworkers in the putting out system in Surabaya and Bali. The project, envisioned to form part of its membership expansion efforts in the target research areas, commenced with a planning meeting in September 2001 and ended March 2002 with the finalization of the report. (This report appears in summary form in the HomeNet Indonesia website).
In the Philippines, PATAMABA (with UNIFEM support) commenced their mapping efforts in November 2001, targeting 500 of its homeworker members in four areas: Bulacan, Rizal, Iloilo, and the National Capital Region. In addition to a survey, PATAMABA area leaders conducted focus group discussions with their members and documented best practices. An important component of the mapping project is the built-in training for PATAMABA leaders and staff in computer-based data encoding, processing, and analysis, a step forward in their own empowerment in the area of research. (For a summary of the mapping report, please see the PATAMABA website).
All three HomeNets came together in a subregional workshop in Crown Peak Hotel, Subic, Zambales, the Philippines on 19-20 October 2002 to present and learn from the results of all their mapping efforts. (See related article on the subregional workshop on sharing mapping results in the section on SUBREGIONAL AND REGIONAL MEETINGS).
The HomeNets in the region have also been involved in a number of other multi-country researches. PATAMABA and HomeNet Indonesia conducted studies on the impact of the Asian financial crisis on selected homeworkers in the garments, food and other affected industries with the support of the World Bank. HomeNet Thailand did a similar project with ILO support and recently came out with a book on the research. All three national HomeNets were also involved in a recent UNICEF study on subcontracted women and children in various manufacturing industries. In 2002, HomeNet Southeast Asia (Thailand and the Philippines) embarked on a research on social protection for informal workers in the garments industry with the support of the ILO. (See subsequent section on social protection).