Informal Workers' Champions Recognized

Published Date

When the World Resources Institute (WRI) announced the first-ever winner of the Ross Prize for Cities in April 2019 in New York, two champions of informal workers—both partners of WIEGO—were among the top five recognized as finalists for the prize.

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a trade union of waste pickers based in Pune, India, and Asiye eTafuleni (AeT), an NGO that supports informal workers in Durban, South Africa, were both among the finalists.

KKPKP is a member of the WIEGO Network. AeT was a partner with WIEGO in the Inclusive Cities project, and we continue to support their efforts to ensure street traders and waste pickers in Durban have fair access to public space and productive dealing with the municipality.

Spotlight on KKPKP and AeT

KKPKP—which established a cooperative, SWaCH, that has a door-to-door collection agreement with the municipality—has made significant gains on behalf of thousands of waste pickers, including minimum wage and health benefits. Read about KKPKP’s work on the WRI blog.

AeT promotes and develops good practice and process around inclusive urban planning and design that supports sustainable livelihoods for informal workers. The goal is to empower the working poor to become co-developers in their working environments. AeT advocates investment in urban planning and design interventions, and deep consultative and participatory processes. Read about AeT’s work on the WRI blog.

About the prize

The WRI Ross Prize for Cities is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative projects that have ignited sustainable changes in their city. This is a groundbreaking effort to identify and highlight outstanding initiatives that have had an outsized impact on their communities and cities.

The winner of the prize: SARSAI in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The other two finalists were:

SARSAI receives $250,000 (USD) to further their work.