Informal Economy Budget Analysis (IEBA)

Home-based worker in Thailand
Home-based worker in Thailand shows off her work.

Informal Economy Budget Analysis (IEBA) examines how government budgets address the needs and interests of different groups of informal workers. It also explores what opportunities exist for informal workers (or their representatives) to participate at different stages of the budget process.

Pioneered by the women’s movement, interrogation of resource allocation within government budgets has proved to be a powerful policy analysis and advocacy tool. WIEGO has adapted these techniques for the informal economy.

Participatory budget initiatives provide opportunities for ordinary citizens and/or representatives of organized groupings to participate in decision-making around how government budgets are allocated. They can also involve citizens and group representatives in implementation and monitoring of projects for which budgets have been allocated.

Latest IEBA Reports

Developing IEBA

IEBA was developed and tested in South Africa by Debbie Budlender, Francie Lund, Caroline Skinner, and Imraan Valodia as part of the Durban Informal Economy Policy Process.

WIEGO then commissioned an analysis of government budgets from an informal economy perspective in Belo Horizonte,  Brazil; Lahore, Pakistan, Metropolitan Lima,  Peru; and Quezon City, Philippines.  

IEBA Case Reports

Debbie Budlender provided technical guidance for the four-city budget analyses, which focused on both the national budget and a city budget and led to these 2010 reports. In each case, country researchers drafted detailed research reports.

A policy dialogue was held to share and discuss the findings with membership-based organizations of informal workers and other relevant stakeholders.


Debbie Budlender drafted popular versions of these reports. See:

Read the consolidated report summarizing the findings from the four cities: Budlender, D. Informal Economy Budget Analysis in Brazil, Pakistan, Peru and Philippines. WIEGO Working Paper No. 11.

Guide on Conducting IEBA

Debbie Budlender also drafted a guide on how to conduct informal economy budget analyses. This guide is aimed at researchers and others who might like to undertake IEBAs in other cities and countries. See:

The research reference team for this project consisted of Marty Chen (WIEGO International Co-ordinator and Harvard University) and Francie Lund (WIEGO Social Protection Programme Director and University of KwaZulu-Natal).


Informal Economy Topic