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The Global Economic Crisis & the Urban Informal Economy

WIEGO and our partners in the Inclusive Cities Project conducted a rapid assessment of the impact of the crisis on the informal economy. During May, June and July 2009, individual and focus group interviews were conducted with home-based workers, street traders and waste pickers in 10 developing cities. 

The WIEGO Network - Defining Features

WIEGO focuses on the concrete reality of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. We seek to integrate an informed understanding of this concrete reality into mainstream development thinking, policies and institutions.

- We draw on the distinct expertise of, and build effective alliances between, our three constituencies:

Videos and Slideshows - WIEGO Members & Partners

These videos and slideshows depict the struggles and triumphs of informal workers and the organizations to which they belong.

Street Vendors  |  Waste Pickers   | Home-Based Workers  |  Domestic Workers


Street Vendors

Fedeval: Women working at the Caqueta market - Video

International Women’s Day 2014

On March 8, WIEGO joins the world in marking International Women’s Day. The day has its roots in workers’ movements for fair and equitable treatment of women. While the struggle is ongoing, progress is being made. This year, we commemorate International Women’s Day by sharing stories of change, led by informal women workers and their organizations.

On WIEGO’s multi-faceted “Securing Economic Rights for Informal Women Workers” project site, you can find:

SEWA Bharat's Inclusive Solid Waste Management Tool

"Nobody would give us respectable salary; SEWA is only one who has given us an option of a better life."- Basanti Ben, Saundarya Saathi

(This article was prepared by SEWA Bharat)

In Katihar, Bihar, Inclusive Cities partner SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) has been implementing a solid waste management strategy that provides women at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid with better incomes, working conditions and other services. This brief article offers highlights of the programme and its structure.    

Organization & Representation Programme Advisory Committee

Renana Jhabvala
Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)

Chris Bonner
WIEGO Organization & Representation Programme Director

Kofi Asamoah
Ghana Trades Union Congress

Barbro Budin
International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF)

Martha Chen
WIEGO International Coordinator

Jose del Valle
CROC, Mexico

Rhonda Douglas
WIEGO Global Projects Advisor

Lucia Fernandez
WIEGO Waste Pickers Global Coordinator

Dan Gallin
Global Labour Institute

Accra Street Traders Make Their Concerns Heard by Municipal Officials

In March 2013, a Policy Dialogue was held in Accra, Ghana between informal street traders and officials from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Ga East Municipal Assembly. Facilitated by WIEGO, the policy dialogue centred on the theme Ensuring Optimal Involvement of the Urban Informal Sector in National Economic Development. It was deemed a success in bringing the traders’ concerns to the attention of the authorities and sparking opportunities to engage further.

The World celebrates International Workers Day - 1 May

Press Release (StreetNet International)


2 May, 2013 - International Workers' Day celebrated on the First of May commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world. It is also recognition of the Global Workers Movement and people unite to express their international solidary.

Spotlight on Informal Workers in South Africa

In March, South Africans mark Human Rights Day (March 21), established to raise awareness of human rights and ensure the abuses common in the past  do not happen again. In honour of this, we have compiled a list of stories and publications about South African informal workers.

Connections in Accra, Ghana

WIEGO held its annual Team retreat and Board meeting meetings in October in Accra, the capital of Ghana, a country in which informal employment accounts for as much as 90 per cent of all employment. At concurrent Board and Team meetings, the focus was on “Maximizing the Moment,” a theme chosen because increased funding has allowed for the acceleration and expansion of WIEGO activities, especially those in support of the membership-based organizations (MBOs) of the poor.