Informal Economy Themes

Most of WIEGO's work is organized under these thematic areas. Each is essential to securing informal livelihoods, and there are multiple ways in which these themes intersect.

Inclusive Cities and the Urban Informal Economy

Cities that recognize informal workers and involve them in every aspect of planning can create cleaner, greener, more socially responsive and more vibrant cities.

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Organizing & Organizations

Informal workers are organizing for change around the world to overcome barriers. Their organizations need to be legally recognized and officially represented in collective bargaining, policy-making and rule-setting processes.

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Law & Informality

Informal workers require a regulatory framework that protects their rights in the workplace, balances the needs of all stakeholders, and promotes a climate of stability and security. An appropriate legal framework can encourage economic development, allowing informal workers to achieve their full potential as workers and, often, as micro-entrepreneurs.

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Social Protection

Millions of workers across the globe cannot access social benefits such as retirement funds, maternity benefits, health services, occupational health and safety, and child care.

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Women's Economic Empowerment

For WIEGO, empowerment refers to the process of change that gives working poor women – as individual workers and as members of worker organizations – access to the resources they need while also gaining the ability to influence the wider policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that shapes their livelihoods and lives.

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Formalizing and Formalization

What does formalization mean for the world’s majority of workers, who earn their livelihoods in the informal economy? And how can policymakers best approach this complex transition in a smart and sustainable way?

Learn more about formalizing and fomalization