Social Protection Responses to COVID-19

Informal worker Iris Lamiorkor runs a snack stand at Kwame Nkrumah Circle Market. Unlike other vendors who sell during the day
Photo Credit: Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage

WIEGO has produced a series of briefs to analyze the Social Protection Responses to COVID-19, drawing from WIEGO's database of social protection responses to COVID-19, in order to support movements in their advocacy efforts to expand social protection to informal workers in this period of crisis.

These briefs comprise country cases of measures to protect informal workers from risks from lockdowns and from the pandemic itself. These are not policy recommendations, but are instead tools to share initiatives and policies implemented in different parts of the world.

 

Issue #4: Multi-dimensional approach to protect informal workers
English, French and Spanish

By Annie Devenish and Cyrus Afshar

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, worker-based organizations across the globe are advocating for a multidimensional policy response as part of their platform of demands. This must cover the various dimensions of a person’s needs; such as food security, accommodation, access to utilities, health, education, debt payments and income replacement. This issue focuses on three countries – Argentina, Burkina Faso and Indonesia – that have adopted multiple responses to tackle the impact of the pandemic, assessing the impact and appropriateness of these responses in meeting the needs of informal workers through the provision of cash transfers, food security measures, utilities subsidization and upskilling.

 

Issue #3 Informal workers and dialogue for social protection
English, French and Spanish

By Annie Devenish and Cyrus Afshar

This issue focuses on dialogue initiatives with informal workers in efforts to protect their livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis. The cases selected were drawn from the WIEGO’s social protection responses to the crisis tracking database. In this issue, we learn how informal worker organizations in South Africa and Argentina have sought to foster productive dialogue spaces for engagement with the government around the social protection needs of informal economy workers.

 

Issue #2 Alternative ways to reach informal workers
English, French and Spanish

By Annie Devenish and Cyrus Afshar

The second issue focuses on alternative ways to reach informal workers, beyond social assistance (cash) support, drawing from the WIEGO’s social protection responses to the COVID-19 crisis tracking database. We turn first to Brazil, and the example of waste pickers and extended producer responsibility (EPR), looking at how alternative economic relations may be leveraged to finance further social protection for informal workers. Morocco, our second case study, provides an example of efforts to adapt social insurance to reach the informal economy. The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity to push for the inclusion of informal workers into social insurance schemes in the long term, and the adaptation of such schemes to meet informal workers' needs and budgets.

 

Issue #1 Government grants and cash transfers to informal workers
English, French and Spanish

By Annie Devenish and Cyrus Afshar

The first brief focuses on government grants and cash transfers. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of these social protection measures, looking at levels of coverage, eligibility criteria, appropriateness of targeting, accessibility and delivery methods. In the cases of Brazil and Cape Verde, critical to the ability to move quickly has been the presence of large databases through which many informal workers have already been registered under the social system. By drawing on these social assistance databases, these countries have been able to target vulnerable groups directly, including informal workers, and save valuable time in terms of collection and verification of recipient data.

 

Informal Economy Topic
Informal Economy Theme