WIEGO is a global network focused on securing livelihoods for the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. We create change by building capacity among informal worker organizations, expanding the knowledge base on the informal economy, and influencing local, national and international policies.
A membership-based network, we have three membership constituencies: membership-based organizations (MBOs) of informal workers; researchers and statisticians; and development practitioners.
We support MBOs to gain strength and recognition as legitimate, representative democratic organizations and we seek to enhance their capacity to shape the policy and regulatory environment that affects the work of their members. Our research, statistics and policy work is always guided by the expressed needs of informal workers’ organizations.
Our partnerships and activities
WIEGO forms partnerships that leverage resources towards meeting our strategic priorities, which focus on securing livelihoods for the working poor and are informed by the needs of our members.
We have a specific niche: to bridge the day-to-day realities of informal workers and the global policy debates that affect them; and to combine our social movement function of supporting organizations with our think tank function of producing research, statistics and policy analysis that supports those organizations. We do not enter partnerships outside of this niche.
Learn more about WIEGO’s niche.
Our way of working demands that we take the time to carefully plan activities that keep membership-based organizations at the centre of our priorities. We develop partnerships and collaborations that further our existing priorities and that aim, as we do, at making systemic change.
Are you looking for information on the informal economy?
This website offers a knowledge base with thousands of resources on the informal economy and a search engine to help you find what you’re looking for. Please explore it. (Remember to cite our material.)
We regret that we are unable to reply to the numerous requests we receive from students to assist with their research.
If you are MEDIA, visit out Press Room.
Do you want to partner in a subject area we don’t already focus on?
WIEGO does not pursue funds for projects that fall outside of our strategic priorities. These priorities are informed by our members’ needs and our own specific niche.
Are you from the private sector wanting to engage with informal workers?
We know that real systemic change on issues facing informal workers will take a commitment from everyone and appreciate the role forward-thinking corporations can play. However, based on previous experiences, our Board has taken a decision not to accept corporate funds for WIEGO work. We no longer enter partnership agreements for work done jointly with the private sector. Private sector entities interested in engaging with organizations of informal workers should reach out to them directly. We are also unable to provide advice for corporations seeking to develop their strategies, including consultancy firms on contract with corporations for this purpose.
Are you looking for an internship or for a work-study placement with informal workers?
WIEGO doesn’t currently have an internship programme, but we know that our Institutional Members can sometimes host interns if their costs are covered and encourage you to reach out to them directly.
Are you looking for access to informal workers?
WIEGO is not a gatekeeper to informal workers or their organizations. If you want to speak directly with the regional and global Networks of informal workers, or to any of the WIEGO Institutional Members, you can reach out to them via their own websites.
Are you looking to fund or ensure service delivery in a specific location or locations?
As a general rule, WIEGO does not undertake service delivery projects, such as (for example) the provision of water and sanitation, vaccine campaigns, “slum” upgrading, or projects requiring the building of infrastructure. It is possible that some grassroots groups among our Institutional Membership may be interested in these kinds of opportunities if it improves the livelihoods and/or working conditions for their members.
Do you want WIEGO to join a large-scale open call for proposals for government funding?
Our experience is that this type of funding arrangement is not well-suited to the work we do supporting membership-based organizations of informal workers. While we explore some of these opportunities from time to time, if they are a clear strategic fit, it is generally in partnership with the regional and global Networks of informal worker organizations and comes out of their expressed needs.
We prefer to develop partnerships slowly over time to ensure our values and objectives are aligned and then proceed to joint fundraising as needed to fulfill those objectives.
Is your proposal due within the next month?
We cannot get involved in funding proposals with very short time frames. These don’t leave enough time for proper consultation with our members.
Are you looking for a speaker?
From time to time, WIEGO team members accept speaking engagements at relevant events. However, our primary commitment is for informal workers to represent themselves in key global policy forums. Feel free to reach out to the regional and global Networks of informal workers directly if you are looking for informal worker leaders for speaking engagements.