Sally Roever

International Coordinator

"The effective protection of basic rights is essential for street vendors and the households that rely on the earnings they generate. No vendor should be beaten, arrested or jailed for selling legal goods or services in the streets."


informal employment, law and informality, gender, employment and poverty, urban and local government, research design, qualitative and mixed methods, survey research, questionnaire design

Sally has 15 years’ experience studying the ways in which laws, policies and politics — at both local and national levels — shape informal work and informal workers' organizations. This experience is based on grounded, in-depth knowledge gained through mixed-method field research and collaboration with informal workers and their membership-based organizations.

Sally holds a PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley (2005). Her current research focuses on the risks and vulnerabilities associated with own-account work in the urban informal economy, the role of urban infrastructure and public space in supporting informal livelihoods, and innovations in urban legal frameworks regarding informal employment. Her research has appeared in several journals, including Environment and Urbanization, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, and Cityscape. She also has published articles in The Guardian, Cityscope, the Global Urbanist, and Development Progress, among others, and has been cited by media outlets including National Public Radio and Next City. Dr. Roever currently serves as WIEGO’s International Coordinator, and was formerly its Urban Policies Programme Director. She has lived and traveled abroad extensively, including a year in Lima, Peru, where she studied street vending organizations and local governance as part of her doctorate. Dr. Roever is currently based in Rome, Italy.

Forthcoming Publication:

2015 (forthcoming). “Key Drivers of Asset Erosion and Accumulation in Informal Employment.” In Caroline Moser, ed., Gender, Asset Accumulation, and Just Cities: Pathways to Transformation.

In the News:

2014. A Tale of Two Cities: Mixing the Urban Poor into a Rich Urban Life. Pooja Bhatya. NPR.

2014. “‘It’s As If We Don’t Exist’: Hawkers from Accra to Lima Speak Out.” The Guardian.

2014. How Informal Workers Contribute to Cities.  Inclusive Cities.

2013. What a Brazilian Soap Opera Can Tell Cities About Street Vending. Inclusive Cities.