Colin Campbell/Flickr 


Have you ever wished that one of those people who phone while you are preparing dinner — to ask you about coffee brands or real estate or local body politics — would ask you instead about the importance of what you are doing right now? If so, there’s a survey that is perfect for you.

The Global Home Index has been designed by people who value the amount of work required to build and care for healthy, thriving home environments, and they want to hear from people around the world — in particular, through this website, Australians — who are over 18 and running a home, how they value the work of the home.

And because they know you are busy, the questionnaire takes only 15 minutes. Really.

Furthermore, they don’t just want something from you: if you complete the survey you will get instant feedback in the form of a profile affirming your investment in home life and/or offering tips for improvement. (I have to admit that mine showed there was room for improvement – which I already knew – but the prod was helpful.)

As well as gathering data the survey aims to raise awareness among participants about the value of their own work in the home as a contribution to human development.

So who are “they”?

The Global Home Index (GHI) is an initiative of the London-based Home Renaissance Foundation, with academic support from the Walmart Centre for Family and Corporate Conciliation (CONFyE) at  IAE Business School, Argentina, and the Culture, Work and Care Research Centre at INALDE Business School, Colombia.

The Home Renaissance Foundation has been promoting understanding and valuing of the work of the home since 2009. HRF holds conferences and seminars with experts in various disciplines and professions, as well as other public figures, including celebrities, with the aim of influencing policy makers and public opinion.

The Global Home Index survey comes at a time when governments and international organisations are paying more attention to the unpaid work that goes on inside a home. So far the accent has been on the monetary value of raising children and doing household chores – what it would add to GDP.

Estimates include an additional 26 percent in the US and in the UK a doubling of GDP! The UK estimate is supported by an OECD paper which suggests that “between one-third and half of all valuable economic activity in the countries under consideration is not accounted for in the traditional measures of well-being, such as GDP per capita.”

A common concern is that women still do most of this unpaid work even though more of them remain in the workforce – the so-called second shift effect. However, a 2012 analysis of US data showed that between 1965 and 2010 women’s average “home production” fell from 40 hours to 26 hours, while men’s increased by only 3 hours, from 14 to 17 hours – leaving, it seems, a deficit.

Assailed by information and arguments about who is doing what and how much it is worth in cash, the intrinsic value of work done in the home – especially of the human capital “produced” there by parent-child and other relationships — tends to get lost.

That is where the Global Home Survey comes in, and why it is important.

MercatorNet is a partner in this project and we urge any readers who are running a home to participate. In particular, with our help, those running the project are looking for at least 500 participants from Australia. So encourage your friends to complete the survey as well.

GHI says: “We look forward to your private and confidential responses to the questionnaire, which is being used all over the world. The results obtained will give us a global vision of the topic of ‘The Home’.”

To complete the survey click here  (

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet