The connections between gender, ICTs and empowerment in African and Arab countries are complex and not well understood yet. This in itself would be reason enough to opt for an in-depth qualitative research approach.

What is perhaps distinct about the perspective on women’s empowerment within GRACE is the acknowledgement of the crucial importance of women’s agency. And qualitative research, especially qualitative research that allows for participatory and transformational techniques, is eminently suitable to study women as active agents of social transformation.

Because the methodological foundations of qualitative research and the techniques implemented to attain rigor are generally not understood, qualitative research projects may be criticized for the wrong methodological reasons. Qualitative researchers therefore not only need the knowledge and skill to do their research well, they also benefit from having enough methodological insight to participate effectively in general research discussions.

A well functioning research network is a most effective vehicle to provide collegial support and capacity development. Such a network generates its own methodological discussions which are directly related to the researchers’ specific research reality, and the self-reflexive sharing and learning will thus create an environment of mutual empowerment.




Grace is an initiative envisioned and funded by
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), developed by Research For the Future (RFF) and managed by The GRACE Project Voluntary Association
Grace est une initiative initiée et financée parle Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI), développée par Research For the Future,
et gérée par l'Association Volontaire Projet de GRACE .