WIEGO's Social Protection to Informal Workers Initiative
The extension of social protection to informal workers is a major global policy concern highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Informal workers make up over 60 percent of the global workforce, representing two billion people, yet they are often excluded from all forms of social protection. This meant that when the crisis hit, only a minority of informal workers were able to access income support measures.
Our work focuses on producing research to support more inclusive social protection policies and programmes, as well as supporting organizations of informal workers to more effectively engage in global, regional and national level policy spaces, through research, advocacy and workers’ education.
Our latest social protection research project focuses on the economics of social protection; specifically challenging what we consider to be key economic orthodoxies which undermine the extension of universal social protection.
Hear more about our “Challenging the Economic Orthodoxies” project through our podcast.
Read our other latest pieces of research:
- This report for the UNDP on Informality and Social Protection in African Countries: A Forward Looking Assessment
- A report written with the WIEGO Law Programme on Social Protection for Informal Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Rights-Based Assessment of the Covid-19 Crisis.
- A series of briefs with the International Domestic Workers Federation focusing on access to social protection in Bangladesh, India and Nepal
Policy Analysis and Engagements
WIEGO is an active member of various coalitions and platforms working on universal social protection. This includes the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, observer membership of the Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B), and the Universal Social Protection 2030 initiative. During 2020 and 2021 we also participated in the Social Protection Alternatives for Covid-19 Expert Advice (SPACE) group, providing advisory services to bilateral and multilateral institutions working to extend relief to informal workers.
- Read our blog post The World Bank’s Push for Individual Savings Provides Little Protection for Crisis-hit Workers
- Find a summary of policy options for extending social protection to informal workers written with SPACE.
- In Southeast Asia we work to support policy engagements at regional level between organizations of informal workers and ASEAN.
WIEGO supports organizations of informal workers to build their capacity to work on social protection issues and to use social protection as a mobilizing and organization building tool. With StreetNet International, we are currently piloting on an online workers education course on social protection.
Read the Position Paper on Extending Social Protection to Workers in the Informal Economy, developed with worker organizations for the 109th International Labour Conference.
Working with StreetNet International we provided an analysis of worker-driven social protection schemes in Africa.