Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Waste Pickers

Sonia M. Dias, Melanie Samson
  • IEMS Type: Sector Report

Waste pickers are one of the three urban informal worker groups – along with street vendors and home-based workers – who are the focus of the 10-city Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS).  

Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Waste Pickers

The IEMS seeks to provide more recent and in-depth evidence of the contributions and challenges this group of informal workers faces across various cities. In addition, it looks at the way these workers respond to such challenges and how institutions help or hinder them in the process. The IEMS is a collaborative effort between researchers and membership-based organizations (MBOs) of informal workers in each city. Waste pickers from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Pune, India; Nakuru, Kenya; and Durban, South Africa participated in the study.


Executive Summary (English)

Sumário Executivo (português)
Resumen Ejecutivo (español)


The Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS) is designed to provide credible, grounded evidence of the range of driving forces, both positive and negative, that affect conditions of work in the urban informal economy in 10 cities over time. Specifically, it examines how informal workers are affected by, and respond to, macroeconomic trends, urban policies and practices, value chain dynamics, and other economic and social forces.


Learn more about the Informal Economy Monitoring Study.

View all IEMS publications.

Informal Economy Theme
Occupational group