Contract Position: Institutional Mapping of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and its regulation of informal trade 

To complete this mapping study, WIEGO is seeking a consultant with a graduate degree in urban planning and/or political science and with knowledge of the governance and institutional frameworks dynamics of Accra, Ghana, as well as experience with the informal economy and excellent interview/writing skills.

Deadline to apply: Friday 27 March 2020. 


About the Position

All over the world, people who rely on access to public space and public esources face a litany of challenges to earn their livelihoods. The challenges largely result from decisions made by local government authorities who control public space and access to waste and land. 

These decisions, known as administrative decisions, have far-reaching impacts on the workers’ ability to earn a livelihood and on their income levels. Local government officials typically derive their powers from regulations or by-laws. But in doing so, they must comply with the overarching principles of administrative justice, which regulate the actions and decisions of all government officials and requires them to follow due process.

WIEGO’s Administrative Justice Project comprises four components:

Research to understand the legal and institutional context and the informal workers’ organisations that includes:  


  • a technical brief, written by an administrative law expert that describes the legal framework and the principles of administrative justice in the country concerned;
  • an analysis of the laws that regulate informal work and their implementation and enforcement in practice;
  • an institutional mapping to understand the nature, processes and constraints of the institutions whose work impacts on informal workers;
  • a situational analysis of the MBOs representing informal workers. 

Based on this information, we develop worker education materials for training workshops with informal worker leaders. We hold a series of participatory three-day workshops, with the following aims:

  • to shift workers’ perception of law and enable them to understand the regulatory framework that governs their work
  • to enable workers to understand administrative justice and use it to protect their livelihoods
  • to strengthen worker leaders’ collective bargaining skills and facilitate an engagement with local authorities. 

We identify and build institutional relationships with lawyers who can support informal worker organizations after the workshop, when their help is needed. 

We undertake a series of engagements with local authorities to enable them to operate in a transparent and accountable manner: 

  • Technical engagement to understand the objectives and thinking behind the laws regulating informal work. 
  • Site visits or exposure dialogue programmes to expose officials to workers’ living and working conditions.
  • Capacity-building on their constitutional duties and the principles of administrative justice before the engagement with informal workers.
  • Where possible, mentoring of the officials through partners such as AeT.  

Since 2018, in Accra, we have held three-day workshops on Administrative Justice and Knowing the Law. In addition, WIEGO has hosted two one-day refresher workshops with workers,as well as engagements with Legal Aid Commission (Accra Regional Office) and with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly officials. WIEGO plans to host and facilitate an engagement between informal traders and AMA officials in May 2020. 

Institutional and stakeholder mapping in Accra, Ghana: A framework for policy analysis and institutional change in the informal economy 

This study aims at mapping the existing policy and institutional framework in which the informal economy and actors operate in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). It supplements existing work done by the Law Program on the legal framework that affects informal economy workers. 

The purpose of the study is to understand how the Accra Metropolitan Assembly systems and processes operate, and their impact (positive or negative) on informal workers and the informal economy. Special attention must be paid to the following areas that relate to the challenges that informal traders have identified during workshops and other interactions with WIEGO: 

  • the licensing regime for informal trade;
  • the demarcation of space for informal trade and the allocation of space to individual traders (including issues concerning the AMA’s ownership of land on which markets are built);
  • the determination and collection of fees and local taxes and budget processes;
  • the provision of infrastructure and services to informal traders;
  • the regulation of health and safety, especially for sellers of produce and cooked food;
  • the regulation of temporary structures for trade; - enforcement, including evictions and confiscations. 

While the scope of the study is broad and comprehensive, the end-results are specific: 

  1. to provide information that supports WIEGO programs in advocating for the rights and livelihoods of the informal economy; 
  2. to identify the points of leverage in the system for doing so and to build worker leaders’ capacity to navigate the AMA’s institutional framework;
  3. to work closely with the AMA to support the livelihoods and well-being of informal workers.

There are two overarching perspectives to this work: 

The first is descriptive, focusing on ‘formal’ institutional practices or the ‘rules of the game’ (AMA structure, mandate, functions, financing, programs, and activities) that impact directly or indirectly, the outcomes of informal workers and the informal economy in Accra. The descriptive aspects must provide details of the institutional context: inter-alia inter-governmental relationships; horizontal inter-departmental relationships; local government financing and budgeting mechanisms; urban planning processes and regulations; community participation platforms and processes in Accra etc. 

The second is an appraisal of the capacity of the AMA’s institutions/departments/actors to address the needs of the informal economy and its workers. Using interviews and existing material, this aspect of the study seeks to evaluate how effective the AMA’s institutional structures and actors are in the delivery of their mandate, and how this impacts the informal economy. Some of the potential themes covered could relate to coordination with other levels of government, unfunded mandates, inter-governmental relationships, human resources, funding resources, etc. 


  1. Desk research and analysis of relevant materials – laws, policy documents, reports which outline the mandates, structure, frameworks and interdepartmental and inter-governmental relationships. A key focus of this part of the study is to identify key departments and government actors in AMA that affect the informal economy directly or indirectly; explore the financial and legal autonomy of local government; outline departmental mandates, trace inter and intra governmental financial flows; describe the policy making process, identify key planning processes and other institutional contexts that support or constrain actors and opportunities in the informal economy. 
  2. Key informant interviews with officials at selected AMA, state and national government levels whose work interfaces with issues in the informal economy. These will be co-selected with the WIEGO team. A key area of inquiry in this phase of the project is to understand the following: 
    1. How do different departments understand their role in the informal economy? Do they see the informal economy as part of their mandate? 
    2. Do they have a vision/mission for the informal economy?
    3. What aspects of their policies affect informal economy workers, e.g. fee fixing, market management, enforcement?
    4. How do departments actually engage with the informal economy? e.g. what programs, policies, interventions, regulations or other processes of engagement exist? 
    5. What challenges do departments face in engaging effectively with the informal economy?


The consultant shall submit the following outputs no later than 10th of May 2020:

  1. A bibliography of existing resources and literatures on laws, institutional structures, policies, local government, inter and intra-governmental collaboration and departmental mandates that have an impact on the informal economy.
  2. Approximately 20 page descriptive and analytical report based on the literature review and interviews. In addition to describing  the institutional framework and systems, this report should also provide analytical insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the AMA in supporting the informal economy. 
  3. Included in the report should be a clear diagram on the institutional framework and actors, their relationships, and their impact on the informal economy. 

Qualifications / Application Process

We are looking for a consultant with a graduate degree in urban planning and/or political science with knowledge of the governance and institutional frameworks dynamics of Accra. The successful candidate will need to have excellent writing skills and interview skills, access to key governmental actors in Accra and experience in working in the informal economy.

The selected candidate will work closely with the WIEGO Accra Focial Cities Coordinator (Dorcas Ansah) and the Law Programme Coordinator for Africa (Pamhidzai Bamu). 

Interested persons may submit a CV with a covering letter and a writing sample to and CC on or before Friday, 27 March 2020.