Global Projects

WIEGO's two global projects combine the specific expertise of our core programmes with the broad reach and knowledge of our partners. Both Inclusive Cities and Women’s Economic Empowerment involve close collaboration with our members and partners around the globe. Under the leadership of Global Projects Advisor Rhonda Douglas, WIEGO plays a lead coordination and technical support role.

Inclusive Cities Project

Asiye e Tafuleni

Launched in 2008, the Inclusive Cities project has strengthened membership-based organizations (MBOs) of the working poor in the areas of organizing, policy analysis and advocacy. The aim: to ensure urban informal workers have the tools necessary to make themselves heard within urban planning processes. A collaboration between MBOs of the working poor, international alliances of MBOs and those supporting the work of MBOs, Inclusive Cities involves the following partners:

  • Asiye eTafuleni (South Africa)
  • AVINA (Latin America)
  • HomeNet South Asia
  • HomeNet South-East Asia
  • Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP, India)
  • Latin America Network of Waste Pickers
  • Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA, India)
  • StreetNet International

A mid-term review of the Inclusive Cities project revealed significant progress has been made by partners and the urban workers they serve. All partners reported significant efforts to influence municipal and national policies in order to secure legal recognition and access to public resources for informal sector workers. Read more.


Inclusive Cities has undertaken significant activities. The following are some key examples of where WIEGO has played a coordinating role:

  • Worker education materials have been created; a Learning Hub at SEWA Academy builds on that organization’s long history and experience in organizing informal workers.
  • In 2008 the world economy took a sharp downturn. For informal workers, the financial crisis led to greater competition, inflation and reductions to already low incomes. However, few analyses of the crisis considered the impact on the working poor. In 2009 and again in 2010, the Inclusive Cities partners conducted in-depth research global recession’s impact on urban informal workers in 10 countries. The first round of research, resulted in a report that helped inform global discussions at the highest levels: No Cushion to Fall Back On: The Global Economic Crisis and Informal Workers. The second round of the study, which revisited the same participants, are presented in a report entitled Coping with Crises: Lingering Recession, Rising Inflation, and the Informal Workforce. For more information, see The Global Economic Crisis and the Urban Informal Economy
  • In 2012, a more complex and robust study into the state of the informal economy was launched using a bigger sample size. Learn more about the 10-city Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS).
  • WIEGO has provided technical, communication and logistical support to waste picker delegations as they make their voices heard at the highest levels of international climate change negotiations. Read more
  • An Informal Economy Budget Analysis tool was developed that will expand understanding of how government budgets address the interests of informal workers, and identify opportunities for informal workers or their representatives to participate in the budget process. First used in South Africa by Debbie Budlender, an expert on gender budget analysis, in consultation with Francie Lund and Marty Chen, this tool was recently tested in Brazil, Pakistan, Peru and Philippines.
  • Inclusive Cities partners had a big impact at World Urban Forum 5 (WUF5) in Río de Janeiro in March 2010. Delegation members relayed strong messages through networking, meetings, a press conference and a book launch. Several were panellists in various dialogues; others made presentations at networking events.
  • In collaboration with StreetNet International, WIEGO has been supporting a policy approach to planning for “mega events” (such as the World Cup in 2010) that is inclusionary of the urban working poor.

In addition to creating and maintaining an  English website on behalf of project partners Inclusive Cities is available in Portuguese ( and Spanish (

Women's Economic Empowerment

The first Women's Economic Empowerment project ran from 2009-2012. A new multifaceted project, Securing Economic Rights for Informal Women Workers, is running from 2013-2015.