- Title of Report: WIEGO Strategic Review and Planning Workshop
To mark the 15th anniversary of its founding, the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) convened a strategic review and planning workshop entitled “The Working Poor in the Informal Economy: Strengthening a Global Alliance, Forging a Global Response” at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy from June 5-6, 2012. Participants in the workshop included 7 external resource persons plus 28 members of the WIEGO Board and Team: see Participant List and Bios in Appendix I. The purpose of the workshop was to reflect on big picture trends affecting the informal economy, including both threats and opportunities (Day #1); WIEGO’s niche or value added compared to other key stakeholders working on the informal economy, especially in respect to new entrants in the field (Day # 2). Members of the WIEGO Board and Team stayed on for a third day to discuss future directions for WIEGO’s work; and members of the WIEGO Team stayed on for a fourth day to reflect on the lessons from the workshop for their work, to further discuss unresolved issues, and to plan how to follow-up on the key ideas and recommendations coming out of the workshop.
From all accounts, the Bellagio workshop was a great success: the “best WIEGO meeting ever” according to several WIEGO Board and Team members and the “most stimulating meeting recently attended” according to a couple of the external resource persons.
The immediate outcome of the workshop was a renewed sense of purpose and direction for the WIEGO network and its members from three constituencies: member-based organizations of informal workers; researchers and statisticians working on the informal economy; and development practitioners in governmental, non-governmental, or inter-governmental agencies who are also working on the informal economy. A key output, to be finalized by the WIEGO Team, is a five-year strategy and plan of action for WIEGO’s work. This report is another output of the workshop.