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Theme: Informal Economy
Program(s): Urban Policies
Occupational Group(s): Waste Pickers
Colombia World Cities' Day . (31 October 2014)
By Hughes, Kendra.

October 31, 2014 marked the first World Cities Day celebration. World Cities Day was established by a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly in December of 2013. According to UN-HABITAT:

 

"World Cities Day is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and challenges in urbanization and contribute to sustainable urban development in cities and towns around the world."

 

The theme for the first every World Cities Day was "Leading Urban Transformation". To mark this day, Guardian Cities in partnership with UN-HABITAT held the World Cities Day Challenge. The Cities Day Challenge asked for representatives or organizations to submit a written description of their city's best idea in hopes that great ideas could be shared among cities around the world. The only caveat for the idea was that it had to be already or about to be implemented. From these submissions, 36 finalists were selected to present their city's idea in three-minute presentations which were followed by a question and answer session with a panel of judges and the public via a live blog and Twitter. Based on the questions and public response, a challenge winner was selected.

 

Federico Parra, WIEGO's Regional Coordinator for Waste Pickers in Latin America submitted an idea to the Cities Day Challenge for Bogota, Colombia related to efforts made to recognize and remunerate informal waste pickers. The submission, titled, "Let’s recognize, promote and compensate the work of waste pickers" was selected as one of the 36 finalists. On October 31st (the first ever World Cities Day), Federico presented Bogota's great idea - the recognition, promotion and remuneration of waste pickers via a video presentation and highlighted reasons why other cities should adopt Bogota's idea:

 

"Because recognizing waste pickers as an integral part of the solution to urban waste management, promoting their organizations, and remunerating their work, are crucial ways to make a more humane, more sustainable and more inclusive city."

 

Thanks to support for the project via social media and votes from the panel of judges, Federico's submission for Bogota was awarded third place in the Cities Day Challenge. First place was awarded to Porto Alegre's Gabriel Medeiros Gomes for Which Bus Stops Here – a project to create blank bus stickers on which city residents can write down bus route info while second place was awarded to Izmir's Can Sucuoglu for the floating docks project.

 

Federico's video presentation for the Cities Day Challenge which discussed Bogota's waste pickers can be found here.

 

Federico's submission and the judges' questions for the Cities Day Challenge can be read here.

 

Full coverage of the Cities Day Challenge via the Guardian Cities live blog can be found here.

India Ragpickers to Protest Against School Fees The Times of India . (23 June 2014)

PUNE: The members of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), an association of ragpickers, have warned of an agitation if the Pimpri Chinchwad municipal school board does not act against schools harassing children for fees though the admissions are under the Right to Education (RTE) quota.

Research unveiled at World Urban Forum challenges myths about the informal economy, and shows that urban informal workers play vital roles in the urban economy and help keep their households out of extreme poverty. The findings also indicate that city policies and practices tend to undermine informal livelihoods.

The researchers conclude that informal workers, who make up the majority of the urban workforce in most regions, could make greater contributions if local policies and practices supported, rather than hindered, their work.
The findings are from the Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS), which examined the realities faced by informal workers in 10 cities of Africa, Asia and Latin America. IEMS is a collaboration between Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), which led the study, and WIEGO's partners in the Inclusive Cities project.



Una delegación de recicladores de países como la India, Brasil, Sur África y Colombia hacen presencia en esta séptima edición del Foro Urbano Mundial. Maitreyi Shankar, es una de las líderes en la India de la fundación Wiego (Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing) y habló sobre la problemática de los recicladores en los distintos países.

United States Policy Matters: The Informal Economy Harvard Kennedy School News . (17 May 2012)
By Megias, Mari.

On a tour of a slum settlement in Ahmedabad City, India, Martha “Marty” Chen paused when she noticed a woman hunched over a neat row of little pill bottles.