Feminist Rapid Response Research (FRRR) On COVID-19

Since 2012, we have been using  Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) and developing it as an organising tool to build and strengthen local feminist movements. Through FPAR, women collect evidence about what is happening in their communities and collectively take actions. It is conducted by and for women. With strong, locally produced research and documented evidence, women challenge rights violations and gendered power imbalances and  take control of development agendas and programmes that are affecting their lives. Typically, one FPAR cycle would last for two years, allowing sufficient time for local organising, documentation, and advocacy.

In the context of COVID-19, with the guidance from our members, APWLD has decided to conduct a Feminist Rapid Response Research (FRRR) which better suited the need for a more targeted and urgent support. 

The purpose of FRRR is to document women’s stories for policy advocacy and explore ways to provide much-needed rapid direct support to women and their communities. The programme will be conducted within the time frame of six months, allowing women to document their realities during the COVID-19 crisis and collectively strategise for new ways of feminist organising. 


  • Overall: To advance women’s human rights and realise Development Justice in light of the COVID-19 crisis by documenting grassroots resistance and solutions for human rights and Development Justice advocacy through powerful storytelling. 
  • Specific:
    • Develop the capacity of women to analyse the impacts of COVID-19 policies on women’s lives using Development Justice perspectives, and their capacity to document evidence and stories for advocacy;
    • Foster knowledge and resources on the impacts of COVID-19 response policies and projects on women at the local level, national and regional level, as well as grassroots resistance and solutions and various new ways of organising and mobilising;
    • Prepare for strategic advocacy plans and opportunities to support women’s own position and solutions for policy change at national, regional and international levels;
    • Strengthen feminist networks through cross-movement collaboration and organising.


What is FRRR? The Power of Storytelling

Research is political. It can prioritise or ignore women’s voices and stories. Our FRRR not only prioritises women’s voices, it is made up almost entirely of women’s voices. It is led by women, validated by women, and used by women for the changes women want. Our participants are not objects on whom research is conducted but rather the subjects of the inquiry who set the agenda, participate in the data collection and analysis, and have full ownership of the research on their communities as well as what is to be done with the outcomes, i.e. how their stories are told, and for what purpose. 

In FRRR, storytelling will be used as the main research tool. We believe the power of storytelling comes from the agency of women who decide to voice out, organise, and resist in order to challenge and change systems of oppression, particularly how globalisation, fundamentalisms and militarism reinforce patriarchy. Therefore, the researchers’ journals documenting their experiences in the communities, noting quotes and feelings will be considered valuable data that reflect lived realities. At the same time, women and their communities will tell their stories in their own chosen ways, not limited to report-writing. Creative methods such as handicraft making, music, theater, poems, drawing, and photo diary will all be encouraged. 

For COVID-19 FRRR programme 2020-2021, APWLD will provide six member organisations with a small grant of $5,000. These organisations, together with the communities they work with, will conduct action research on their chosen topics on the following:

  • The impact of human rights violations on women at the local or country level during COVID-19, with potential focus areas including livelihood and decent work, gender-based violence, food security, digital security, freedom of assembly and association, accountability in response measures, among others.
  • Community-owned solutions and demand for development justice and how they have been adapting to the COVID-19 crisis to keep on resisting and organising.

If you are an APWLD member organisation and interested in participating in the Feminist Rapid Response Research on COVID-19, then apply below.

Call for Application