News and Events

Ruth Levine

How WIEGO Inspires Sustained Social Change

April 11, 2019

In a Devex online interview, Ruth Levine, outgoing program director of the Global Development and Population program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, explained how WIEGO helped her understand “how fundamental to sustained social change it is to support the capacity of self-led organizations.” More

Photo by Steven Purcell / Brookings Institution / CC BY-NC-ND

Warwick Junction Tina Mteshane

Informal Workers' Champions Recognized

April 11, 2019

When the World Resources Institute (WRI) announced the first-ever Ross Prize for Cities on April 10th in New York, two champions of informal workers—both partners of WIEGO—were among the top five recognized as finalists for the prize. Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a trade union of waste pickers based in Pune, India, and Asiye eTafuleni (AeT), an NGO that supports informal workers in Durban, South Africa, are both among the finalists. Read more.

WIEGO Senior Advisor at Expert Group Meeting on Reducing Inequalities

March 27, 2019

The WIEGO Senior Advisor, Dr. Martha Chen will speak at the Consultation on the Human Development Report 2019: Inequality in Human Development at the Expert Group Meeting-Reducing Inequalities: SDG 10 Progress and Prospects held in Geneva, Switzerland (April 2-3, 2019). This preparatory meeting, organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the World Bank, will help inform the narrative at the July 2019 meeting of the United Nations High Level Political Forum 2019 on “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. Read more.

Kenya National HBW Workshop and HBW Africa Regional Meeting

March 22, 2019

42 participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa gathered at the Savelberg Retreat Centre in Nairobi for the Kenya National HBW Workshop and the HBW Africa Regional Meeting from 17-21 March 2019.

Hosted by WIEGO in partnership with the Kenyan Federation for Alternative Trade (KEFAT), both events  sought to support national and regional organizing and networking of home-based workers in an effort to promote greater visibility for these workers. Read more

RWCC Strategic Planning Meeting and West África Waste pickers Workshop

March 27, 2019

The Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities Strategic Planning Meeting and the first-ever West African waste pickers Workshop is being held in Dakar, Senegal from 1-5 April 2019.

The event gathers waste picker leaders from across the globe (Argentina, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, India, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) as well as academics and WIEGO specialists. Participants will reflect on global trends surrounding ocean pollution and plastic contamination and their intersection with solid waste management practices. Read more

WIEGO's Mexico City Focal City Coordinator presents at Congress on Non-Traditional Work

March 8, 2019

Tania Espinoza Sánchez, WIEGO's Focal City Co-ordinator for Mexico City participated in a Seminar on Work and Equality at El Colegio de México (Colmex). Tania's presentation highlighted challenges faced by informal workers in Mexico.

Over three days, researchers, academics and other professionals gathered at Colmex have had the opportunity to compare thesis research and progress in the area of non-traditional work. View taped feed l View Complete Agenda 


WIEGO Podcast: Urban Infrastructure, Social Protection and Informal Workers

March 8, 2019

WIEGO's Informal Economy Podcast: Social Protection is a monthly conversation focusing on some of the most pressing issues related to social protection from the perspective of informal workers. In this  episode, Urban Infrastructure, Social Protection and Informal Workers, Dr. Laura Alfers, WIEGO's Social Protection Programme Director dives into CSW63's priority theme: “Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls” and discusses the linkages between social protection, public services and urban infrastructure in relation to protecting the livelihoods of women informal workers. Listen to Episode 2


WIEGO Network Delegation to Participate in 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63)

March 6, 2019

Representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities will gather at the UN headquarters in New York from 11 - 22 March 2019 for the 63rd session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW63). This year, the Commission's annual two-week session will centre on the theme "Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls." Several members of the WIEGO Network including WIEGO Team members and representatives from the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) of India and the Greater Accra Market Association (GAMA) will attend. Read more

Workers Narrative 2019 (Women Speak)

March 2, 2019

To comemmorate International Women's Day, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre, has organised a second edition of the Workers’ Narrative.

Coined Women Speak, it will be held at 7 p.m. on 7 March 2019 and is expected to draw scores of informal workers from across Delhi.

The panel will be moderated by Havard University Professor and WIEGO Senior Advisor, Dr. Marty ChenRead more











Sharing Workshop on Informal Workers in Hanoi

March 1, 2019

In Vietnam, the majority of workers work in the informal economy. While the work they do is vital, informal workers often earn little and can be isolated, stigmatized—even criminalized. 

The Sharing Workshop on Informal Workers in Hanoi will build an understanding of the vital need to consolidate existing activities related to informal labour, strengthening action and research networks, and building avenues for worker representation. Hosted by the Centre for Gender, Family and Community Development (GFCD), the Network of Action for Migrant Workers (M-Net) and Oxfam Vietnam, the workshop will bring together participants from regional and global networks and many local organizations on 13 March 2019. Several members of the WIEGO Network will take part. This workshop was made possible through the generous support of Oxfam Hong Kong. Read more

Public Consultation on Citizen's Charter of Demands- Defining the Urban Agenda 2019

February 28, 2019

WIEGO's Delhi Focal City Coordinator, Shalini Sinha, was a guest speaker at the Public Consultation on Citizen's Charter of Demands- Defining the Urban Agenda 2019 hosted by the Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) in Delhi.

This public consultation was attended  by academians, civil society groups, working professionals, specialists, researchers, NGOs, associations and concerned citizens and provided a platform for them to interact, discuss and share concerns on urbanisation, city development, related policies, programs, investments and institutions in defining the urban agenda for 2019, ahead of India's general elections which are expected to be held between April and May.

Shalini spoke on the importance of gender and informality in defining the urban agenda and planning for a city. 





The Politics of Gender-responsive Social Protection

February 22, 2019

WIEGO’s Director of Social Protection, Laura Alfers will present on the role of grassroots civil society in furthering a gender-responsive social protection agenda during a webinar entitled, The Politics of Gender-responsive Social Protection hosted on at 13:00 GMT on March 7. The event is organized by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the UK's Department of International Development (DFID). Read more| Register to attend

Informal Workers Are Vital to Cities, ‘Legitimate Actors,’ 

February 11, 2019

"Illegal. Criminal. A drag on the economy. These are just a few of the derisive labels that beleaguer urban informal workers, Marty Chen, co-founder of and senior advisor to WIEGO, told The City Fix at the World Resources Institute. She explained that informal workers make up more than half of the world’s urban workforce, yet negative narratives around them persist. Read more.

Together to Achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030

February 5, 2019

Rachel Moussié, WIEGO's Deputy Director of Social Protection attended the high-level conference Together to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030 in Geneva. The conference was organized by the EU and the ILO with support from the OECD. It sought to encourage governments in the Global South to commit to achieving universal social protection as outlined in the SDGS. Rachel presented on extending social protection across the lifecycle and shared WIEGO's expertise in the area of challenges informal workers face in accessing social protection and what governments can do about this. Read more

Statistics Director Wins Prestigious Award

January 29, 2019

A book co-authored by Françoise Carré, WIEGO’s Director of Statistics—Where Bad Jobs Are Better: Retail Jobs Across Countries and Companies—has won the prestigious William G. Bowen Award for the Outstanding Book on Labor and Public Policy, presented by Princeton University, Industrial Relations Section. Read more.

New Markets - New Forms of Exchange

January 23, 2019

Caroline Skinner, WIEGO Director of Urban Research and Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Cities (ACC), presented at a free event entitled, 'How do new forms of global commercial exchange affect us, and how can it lead to a wider form of inclusionary economic progression?'

The event was held at the Zeitz MOCAA - Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and explored how new forms of global commercial exchange affect us, and how can it lead to a wider form of inclusionary economic progression.

SDG 8 Information Sharing Event

January 21, 2018

WIEGO Senior Advisor, Marty Chen, and Manager of HomeNet Thailand, Poonsap Tulaphan, were featured speakers at an interactive information sharing event on SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). The event was hosted by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and ILO and addressed the progress and challenges in advancing formalization of enterprises and workers (SDG target 8.3) were discussed.

Roma movie domestic workers Mexico

Victories for Domestic Workers in Mexico

December 28, 2018

The domestic workers movement achieved significant victories and gained profile worldwide in Mexico in December 2018: A Supreme Court decision will help extend social protection to domestic workers. The president announced he would send Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers to the Senate. And a film about a domestic worker in Mexico City, Roma, took the world by storm. Read more.

Caroline Kihato

WIEGO Urban Policies Director featured in WUC's #OnTheMove Newsletter

December 21, 2018

In a recent Q&A for the World Urban Campaign (WUC) #OnTheMove Newsletter, WIEGO’s Urban Policies Programme Director, Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, discusses her background and research interests, as well as where she sees opportunities to better involve informal workers in the future of cities. Read more in the newsletter on the World Urban Campaign website.


Shalini Sinha

Digital Innovation Technologies for Creating Safer Cities

December 17, 2018

Shalini Sinha, Delhi Focal City Coordinator, highlighted how the lack of proper infrastructure like washrooms and toilets for women has contributed to harassment issues when she spoke at the 7th International Conference on Digital Innovation in New Delhi. The event was hosted by the FORE School of Management in partnership with The London School of Economics & Political Science, King’s College London and the Department of Management Studies (DMS) IIT Delhi. Read more in this OHKLA Times article.

How Digital Platforms are Shaping Africa's Informal Economy

December 16, 2018

Marty Chen's Rethinking the Informal Economy was recently cited as Recommended Reading on Kioneki, a blog by Michael Kimani, a thought leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry that looks at the future generation of informal workers in Africa. The blog "How Digital Platforms are Shaping Africa’s Informal Economy looks at how young informal workers have adopted and adapted gig economy tools and digital platforms to meet their needs for a flexible and negotiable digital marketplace -- changing the face of informal work in the process.

Empowering the Poorest of the Poor

December 14, 2018

A recent article, entitled,Empowering the poorest of the poor, on the Giving Evidence website, highlights the plight/realities of informal workers. WIEGO is referenced several times throughout the article and Caroline Skinner, Director, Urban Research, is quoted saying “Officials are often visibly shocked by the size and contribution of these workers.”

Read the entire article here.

Marty Chen Harvard Malala event

A Holistic Approach to Women's Rights

December 6, 2018

WIEGO Senior Advisor was part of a special event at the Harvard Kennedy School that celebrated Malala Yousafzai and explored the interconnected challenges that women face globally and the solutions for improving women’s status and rights. Marty stressed the importance of representation in statistics as a source of empowerment and spoke about resilience and leadership at the grassroots level. Read more in the article on the Harvard Kennedy School website.


WIEGO's General Assembly Held

November 12-14, 2018

Over 130 people from 41 countries came together for the WIEGO Network's 7th General Assembly: Organizing for Change. Held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the GA gathered leaders, activists, researchers and policymakers in the informal economy to celebrate past achievements and chart the course ahead. Read more.

street vendors

Public Space for All Resources

November 2018

The Public Space for All project, a joint initiative of WIEGO and the Cities Alliance Joint Work Programme on Equitable Economic Growth in Cities, has produced three new resources for both  informal worker organizations and public officials. These manuals and toolkits aim to help all stakeholders achieve more inclusive city management and regulations. Read more and access the resources.