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Transforming gender norms through Uruguay’s integrated care system

Call for proposals: primary research partner 

ODI’s ALIGN programme is looking for institutional partners in Uruguay to undertake primary research and subsequent communication/dissemination activities on the topic of transforming gender norms through Uruguay’s Sistema Nacional Integrado de Cuidados (SNIC).


The distribution of care work – paid and unpaid – remains deeply gendered. Unpaid care work constitutes the main barrier to women’s participation in the labour force globally.

Gender norms, the implicit, informal rules that most people accept and follow, underlie these patterns. Prevailing norms globally assign care and domestic work largely to women. Three key strategies to redress the unequal distribution of unpaid care work involve recognising, reducing and redistributing care work, known as the 3R framework

Integrated care systems, as have recently emerged across Latin America and most notably in Uruguay, are an innovative way of combining these strategies. They seek a new social organisation of care, based on a set of guiding principles including recognition of the human right to care and be cared for; a guarantee of universal access to care for all rights holders; and the co-responsibility of care between different social institutions and genders. However, these care systems can also be politically contentious and vulnerable to cuts in budget and service provision – as has been the case in Uruguay, where the SNIC has been reconfigured over its different phases of operation.

Integrated care systems aim to encourage gender norm change so that caregiving responsibilities are valued and shared more equitably between the state and people of all genders. However, little is known about their impact in shifting gender norms relating to care.


This study aims to examine how far Uruguay’s integrated care system has shifted gender norms around care and contributed to greater economic empowerment for women. 

We welcome proposals that respond to the following questions, and/or propose related research questions:

Uruguay’s National Integrated Care System (SNIC):

  • What are women’s experiences of the SNIC? Are they able to easily access the services? How useful is the provision? How has this changed over the different phases of the SNIC?
  • How far is the SNIC achieving its goals? Is it working better for certain groups than others? Why? Who is being left out?

Women’s economic empowerment:

  • Is Uruguay’s SNIC contributing to greater economic empowerment for women e.g. greater labour force participation; increased hours in paid work; reduced income inequalities between women and men; increases in average income; reduction in unpaid care work; or other measures of women’s economic empowerment (e.g. wellbeing, agency)?
  • Do these patterns differ by income quintile? i.e. are the benefits of the SNIC skewed towards certain demographics?

Transforming gender norms:

  • What are prevailing norms around care responsibilities in given contexts/social groups in Uruguay? (e.g. by age, gender, location, socio-economic status, nationality/origin, family composition, etc).
  • Is there evidence that Uruguay’s SNIC has contributed to gender norm change around care? In what ways? 
  • What is needed to make further progress? What lessons can be drawn for other countries/ municipalities regarding political and fiscal change? What are the implications for how to sustain progress?

What are we looking for?

Proposals should outline the rationale for the proposed research, key research questions, proposed locations, sample and methods for research and analysis, proposed outputs and dissemination activities, timeline, budget and experience of key staff.
Preference will be given to proposals that:

  • Demonstrate good awareness of how to measure change in gender norms
  • Emphasise mixed methods approaches with quantitative and qualitative components
  • Include analysis of time use data (primary or secondary)
  • Plan primary research with diverse social groups
  • Consider changes across different phases of the SNIC

Timeline, outputs and budget

The expected timeline for the project is June 2024 – February 2025. The research, analysis and write up should be completed by the end of January 2025, to allow sufficient time for dissemination activities.

The project should produce the following outputs:

  1. Methodology: to be developed and finalised in collaboration with the ODI team.
  2. Research report: write up of the results, analysis and key findings, in Spanish or English.
  3. Presentation of key findings: to share feedback with key stakeholders.
  4. At least one additional output aimed at practitioners and policymakers. This could include a shorter executive summary, policy brief, op-ed, blog or other resource material.

The available budget for this project is $25-35,000 USD, which should cover researchers’ time, primary research costs (including travel and write up of the report) and dissemination activities. 

Correspondence with the ODI team members will be in English and Spanish, so English language is desirable – though some of the ODI team speak Spanish. We envisage that the research will be undertaken and written up in Spanish. ODI will translate the report and other outputs into English. Eligible organisations must be registered entities.

How to apply

We welcome full proposals (max 4 pages) in Spanish or English, plus a summary budget and CVs of team members. The closing date is 23:59 BST on Sunday 21 April 2024. To submit your proposal, or if you have any questions, please contact [email protected] and [email protected].