Olga Abizaid - Dakar Focal City Advisor/Urban Policy Analyst
Olga Abizaid has worked with WIEGO in a variety of roles since 2014. Currently, she provides support to WIEGO's work in Colombia, Peru and Senegal to strengthen, and give visibility to, informal workers organizations. This entails documenting the challenges and progress made by informal workers’ organizations at the municipal level to improve livelihoods, especially those of women workers. She has also engaged in fieldwork to document the needs of informal women waste pickers in Ecuador, as they relate to gender and workers´ health issues. Before joining WIEGO, Olga worked at the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), where she led research on North American integration and directed FOCAL’s work in the areas of education, health and labour migration. Between 1997 and 2000 she was Editorial Assistant of the academic journal Política y Gobierno, published by the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City. She holds a MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA)-Carleton University, and a Licenciatura in International Relations with a concentration in International Political Economy from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
Cyrus Afshar - Social Protection Officer
Cyrus holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University and in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo. He worked at CBN news radio station and completed a year-long university exchange programme at IEP-Université Lyon (France) before joining Folha de São Paulo newspaper, where he was a reporter for more than two years. Cyrus then worked as a communications manager with Instituto Polis, a Brazilian NGO that researches urban public policies. In 2010, he joined the Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme in Public Policy and received an MA in Development Studies (Governance and Democracy specialization) from the Institute of Social Studies (Netherlands)and an MA in International Relations from Ibei (Spain). As a research intern at UNRISD in Geneva, he supported an international conference on Social and Solidarity Economy. Subsequently, he worked as a research assistant on an academic project on Argentine indigenous movements and state capacity. His most recent experience was at Dieese (a Brazilian labour union think-tank) as a research officer, studying labour topics such as turnover, youth employment, informal labour, and women’s participation in Porto Alegre and in São Paulo.
Laura Alfers - Director, Social Protection Programme
Laura has worked with WIEGO since 2009 in the Social Protection Programme and was appointed the programme's Director in 2017. During her time at WIEGO, Laura has been involved with projects investigating occupational health and safety in informal workplaces, informal workers’ access to health care and the links between child care, informal work and women’s economic empowerment. Laura holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, with a focus on social policy, and an MPhil from Cambridge University. She is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at Rhodes University, South Africa, and is a co-editor of The Handbook of Social Policy and Development (2019, Elgar).
Edith Anampa - Project Officer
Edith is a Project Officer based in Lima, Peru. She works on WIEGO's project, "Strengthening the Voice and Leadership of Informal Women Workers Around Social Policy Issues". She also worked on the Voice project that was implemented in Peru and Mexico. Edith holds a degree in Anthropology, with emphasis on urban issues. Her thesis focused on women street sweepers in Lima. She has worked across different sub-national regions of Peru on strategic planning for development initiatives.
Dorcas Ansah - Accra Focal City Coordinator
With 15 years of development experience and a background in designing and delivering adult learning programmes, Dorcas has worked extensively in facilitating processes, organizing development interventions, gender mainstreaming, monitoring and evaluation, as well as training and capacity-building at many levels—from the informal sector to civil society and parliament. She is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland OSD Center, the University of Ghana Legon, and the Central University College and Corporate Administration Institute of Professional Studies, with an MA in social policy. Dorcas is the Accra Focal City Coordinator for WIEGO, leading organizational development as well as capacity- and relationship-building work for membership-based organizations (MBOs) and stakeholders.
Katia Araujo - Programme Advisor
Araujo joined WIEGO in 2019. As Program Advisor, she coordinates the Home-based Workers Organizing for Economic Empowerment and Empowering Home-based Workers initiatives and manages the MLE. Katia is a passionate activist for women's rights, racial and economic justice with over fifteen years of development experience and commitment to amplify grassroots-led initiatives and voices. Katia holds a master's degree in international affairs (with a concentration in governance and human rights) from the New School University, NY. Before joining WIEGO, she held senior management positions with Landesa, Huairou Commission and advised the Global Coordinator for the PSEA at the International Rescue Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Crossing Point Arts (Bringing the Arts to Survivors of Human Trafficking) and on the Board of Directors of the SLoCaT Foundation (Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport). She was a Ford Foundation's Public Voice Fellow 2014-2015 at The Op-Ed Project.
Pamhidzai was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She holds an LLB, LLM (Labour Law) and a PhD (Labour Law) from the University of Cape Town. She has worked as a Researcher in the Institute of Development and Labour Law at the University of Cape Town, and the Social Law Project at the University of the Western Cape and has published research on various labour issues in South Africa and southern Africa. She recently completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Stellenbosch University, where her project considered the Zimbabwean labour market with a focus on the development and regulation of its informal economy. She has consulted for agencies such as the International Labour Organization and SADC Secretariat on a number of labour and human rights issues.
Jane Barrett - Director, Organization & Representation Programme
See Jane's detailed Specialist Profile.
Jane is a trade unionist from South Africa with over 30 years’ experience in the labour movement. A former General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union (now the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union), she worked for the International Transport Workers Federation (London) for five years. Before joining WIEGO in 2016, she served as the Affiliate Support Officer in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Jane has a Social Work Degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an Industrial Sociology honours degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MPhil degree from SOAS, University of London. She has published widely. She is based in Johannesburg.
Mike Bird - Operations Director
Mike is based at the WIEGO office in Manchester. He has worked in the international aid and development sector for over 20 years, managing NGO programmes in Africa and Asia. Prior to joining WIEGO in 2010, he ran the New Zealand government's NGO funding programme. Mike is a generalist with a degree in French and Portuguese and a teacher training qualification.
Christine (Chris) Bonner - Advisor, Emeritus Team Member
Chris spent 20 years working in the trade unions in South Africa during the apartheid era: first as a volunteer and then as the Regional Secretary of the Chemical Workers Industrial Union, followed by six years as the union’s National Educator. In this position, she worked with a team to help set up the Development Institute for Training, Support and Education for Labour (DITSELA) based in Johannesburg, and in 1996 was appointed by the trade unions as its founding Director, a position she held until 2003. From 2004 until 2016, Chris was WIEGO’s Organization & Representation Programme Director. In that position, she focused on collecting and documenting information on organizations of informal workers — including developing an interactive data base (WORD) and facilitating and supporting global networking and capacity building among informal workers, in particular among domestic workers, waste pickers, home-based workers, and street vendors. She has also contributed to research and writing on organizing in the informal economy, as well as developing informal worker education materials. She now serves as an Advisor.
Laura Bosch - Finance Officer, Finance Team
Laura is originally from Barcelona, Catalonia, she moved to the UK in 2013. Whilst living in Catalonia, Laura embarked on a career in Accounting, typically working as an Accountant Assistant for various organisations, these raging from, a car dealership company, a real estate organisation and a professional body of engineers. After leaving Catalonia, Laura obtained AAT Level 2 in Accounting from Salford City College. Laura has since, worked as a Finance Assistant for GB Taekwondo in Manchester and is now working as a Finance Officer for the WIEGO team in Manchester.
Françoise Carré - Director, Statistics Programme
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Françoise is also a Research Director at the Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA. Her areas of expertise are: labour economics and industrial relations; comparative employment systems; low wage employment; and worker representation systems. She conducts research on work transformation, nonstandard, and informal work in the USA and cross nationally. Recent projects include a study of retail employment in the US and Europe (Where Jobs are Better: Retail Jobs across Countries and Companies, with Chris Tilly, Russell Sage Foundation) and policy impacts of dependent contractor misclassification. On behalf of WIEGO’s statistics programme, she serves on the International Labor Organization Expert Group on the Revision of the International Classification of Status in Employment and the UN-Economic Commission for Europe Expert Group on Quality of Employment. She is an Affiliated Fellow at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UCLA. Françoise holds a PhD, Urban and Regional Studies, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Yuleina Carmona - Focal Cities Project Officer
Yuleina Carmona is part of WIEGO’s Focal Cities Team since 2017 and is based in Mexico City, where she provides logistical and administrative support. She is originally from Venezuela and has spent the last ten years of her life on the move. Her experiences as a migrant, motivated her to undertake a Master Degree in Migration Studies (Université Lille-3, Babes-Bolyai University) with a specialisation in Gender Studies (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM). As a South American feminist and queer activist, among others, Yuleina is actively involved in actions to decriminalise abortion in Latin America. Her specific interests are diverse and involve: Collective processes of organising from the Global South, from informal workers to indigenous forms of existence and resistance in defence of territory; Affectivity and identity (re)configurations in migration trajectories;Decolonial feminist epistemologies. Yuleina also has a passion for languages and is a professional translator/interpreter in three languages: Spanish, English and French; and provides translation support.
Taylor works on WIEGO’s waste team coordinating the Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities project. She has worked at the confluence of waste reduction, job creation, and social inclusion for more than a decade, as both a project manager and an artist. Taylor spent four years developing a zero waste program for the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative, in SE Bhutan. She also worked for the SWaCH waste picker cooperative in Pune, India, developing their “Red Dot Campaign” to improve sanitary waste management. Taylor began working with waste pickers in 2008 as part of Live Debris, a series of international workshops and art exhibits that she designed to draw attention to social inclusion in the waste sector. She has a background in environmental studies and a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Taylor is currently based in Oregon, USA, where she also works part time for the organization Trash for Peace, supporting the formation of a new waste picker association there called Ground Score. In her free time, she herself picks waste for arts and crafts projects.
Carol Clayman - Executive Assistant
Carol joined WIEGO in 2021 and provides high-level executive support to the International Coordinator from the US. Prior to joining WIEGO, she worked at NBCUniversal and previously held other various positions in the media and entertainment industry in NYC. Carol also serves as the Junior Board President for the US- based non-profit Only Make Believe. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with a minor in International Studies.
Martha Chen - Senior Advisor
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Marty is also a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Affiliated Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before joining Harvard in 1987, she had two decades of resident experience in Bangladesh working with BRAC (now the world's largest non-governmental organization) and in India, where she served as field representative of Oxfam America for India and Bangladesh. In both capacities, she worked closely with working poor women in both villages and urban settlements to promote their economic empowerment. She led the WIEGO Network for two decades as the founding International Coordinator. Marty received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of numerous books including Bridging Perspectives: Labour, Informal Employment, and Poverty (co-edited with Namrata Bali and Ravi Kanbur), The Progress of the World’s Women 2005: Women, Work and Poverty (co-authored with Joann Vanek, Francie Lund, James Heintz, Renana Jhabvala and Chris Bonner), Mainstreaming Informal Employment and Gender in Poverty Reduction (co-authored with Joann Vanek and Marilyn Carr), Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture (co-authored with Joann Vanek) and Perpetual Mourning: Widowhood in Rural India. Marty was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012. Her lifelong work as a champion of the working poor is featured in her alma mater's magazine, Connecticut College, Winter 2013. Marty's mother, Barbara "Barry" Beach Alter, also a Connecticut College alum, is honoured in a separate story for her 35 years of missionary work in India. Read both interviews.
Rhiana Chinapen - Video Consultant
Rhiana is a documentary filmmaker providing multimedia communications support to the WIEGO team and network from Ottawa, Canada. With experience in scripting, filming and editing, she helps capture and share the stories and expertise of the informal workers’ movement, both amongst workers, and to global audiences. Rhiana holds a BA in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, and an MA in Communication from Carleton University. She studied filmmaking at SAW Video, an artist-run media art centre.
Shirley Crowther - Finance Officer
Shirley is with the Manchester UK-based WIEGO Office. She lived in South Africa for a couple of years when her family emigrated there but on her return to England she left school at 15 and worked for a large Electronic Manufacturing Company for 11 years. She studied Business Administration at the company's own training college. Shirley has over 40 years’ experience in Business, Finance, Management, and Administration, including 15 years with a local import/export hat company which dealt with people in Europe and around the world. She also worked for the Student Union at Oldham College for 6 years where she supported students through counseling, accommodation, finance, benefits and welfare services.
Marion Deschamps - Production Support Consultant
Hailing from Southern France, Marion joins WIEGO's Communication Team after her career as a Quito-based journalist, in Ecuador, covering grassroots struggles in the global South for a Pan-Latin American news organization. Her coverage focused on gender violence and racism, land conflict and food security, ecosystems, and biodiversity. After studying classical and modern humanities, she obtained her Master's Degree in political sciences at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle/Institute of Latin American Studies. Her thesis investigated the organization of the armed militias supporting Chavismo in the historic barrio del 23 de Enero in Caracas, Venezuela. Marion’s passion for music and dance also plays a part in her activism; under the pseudonym Marimarre, she has mixed DJ sets for Quito’s principal trans and non-binary collectives, in which she was heavily invested. She co-produces the radio show "Greenroom Para Todxs" about gardening, pets, and cultural appropriation in the music industry for a radio station based in Los Angeles, where she lived for a year.
Sonia has been WIEGO’s resident waste specialist since 2008. She is a sociologist by training and a “garbologist” with specialization in Solid Waste Management by the University of Kitakyushu, Japan (JICA grant). She also had a two years visiting professorship at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (she was housed at the Centre for Women´s Studies- NEPEM - from 2012-2014). She has a Master's degree in Human Geography (UFMG) on the role of the local governments in strengthening waste pickers' organizations in Belo Horizonte City, and a PhD in Political Science (UFMG) on the role of participation in solid waste management in Brazil. She has been active in the waste management field in Brazil since 1985 with a focus on promoting the integration of social inclusion aspects into the technical planning of waste collection and recycling, gender and occupational health. Her on-the-ground experience encompasses: work as a public officer at the Municipal Cleansing Agency in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; voluntary work for the NGO INSEA supporting the organization of waste pickers, and social activism for the Waste and Citizenship For and for the Observatory for Inclusive Recycling (ORIS). She is an Eisenhower Fellow for the Common Interest Program on Challenges of Urbanization – year 2007. Sonia was named best speaker at the International Solid Waste Association ’97 ISWA's World Conference, held in Wellington, New Zealand. She is member of Workers Place Health Without Borders. She collaborated in Habitat III as Policy Unit Expert (#2). She is based in Belo Horizonte, South-east Brazil.
Krithika A Dinesh - Lawyer, Law Program
Krithika is part of the Law Programme at WIEGO and works out of Kerala, India. She has experience in environmental governance & policy research and in pursuing enforcement & advocacy through legal empowerment approaches. She studied Economics and Law from the University of Delhi. She later went on to pursue a Masters in Environment and International Development at the University of East Anglia, after working for a few years. She previously worked at the Centre for Policy Research and Namati’s Environmental Justice Program. Here she worked with communities affected from environmental injustices to seek remedies with administrative authorities. She is passionate about social justice issues and is interested in research on the intersections of law and society.
Maguette Diop - Project Assistant Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities
EL hadji Maguette Diop is a Technician/Trainer Specialist in networking and organizational development, project development and monitoring. In these recent years, he has worked in the field of civil society organizations in Senegal with several national organizations (Enda Graf Sahel West Africa, CNVAF, FAFS,) on projects for young people and women. As well as, the monitoring and coordination of several projects funded by the European Union, USAID and UNWOMEN. Currently, he is working on a Wiego program in Dakar called Dakar Focal City and is also a organizer for Wiego of 'Waste reduction in coastal towns' project with waste collectors from Mbeubeuss.
Rhonda Douglas - Programme Strategy Advisor
In her role as WIEGO’s Programme Strategy Advisor, Rhonda coordinated the Inclusive Cities project and the Securing Economic Rights for Women’s projects, as well as the Focal Cities initiative. She is a member of WIEGO’s global operations team, leading the Programme Support and Communications Teams. She also provides operational and strategic planning support to membership-based organizations (MBOs) of the working poor. Rhonda holds a Master’s degree in Management for the Voluntary Sector from McGill University and has over two decades of experience in resource mobilization and organizational development. Prior to joining WIEGO in 2006, Rhonda held senior management positions with Amnesty International Canada and CARE International and worked as a consultant. She’s the Series Editor for Sustainability for MBOs: Resource Books for Organizations (WIEGO 2014), and Editor, Building Inclusive Cities: Lessons from the Inclusive Cities Project.
Agustin Eduardo Velez - Translation & Interpretation Support Officer
Agustín Vélez is a non-binary Latino (pronouns: he/him) born in the Argentinian city of Córdoba. His great passion for languages led him to obtain a degree as a French-Spanish sworn translator at the National University of Cordoba. While there, Agustín received a scholarship to study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, an experience that has allowed him to delve into themes surrounding diversity in language and linguistic varieties. Further to completing his undergraduate degree and fueled by his interest in multiculturalism and the construction of identities, Agustin is presently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Migration and Refugees Protection at the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. He currently supports the WIEGO Communications Team in the capacity of Translation and Interpretation Support Consultant. He is a member of the WIEGO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group and continues to explore the relationships that exist between languages, cultures and ways of perceiving the world.
Tania comes to WIEGO with 10 years of experience practicing international human rights law. She studied law at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and holds a Master’s Degree in International Legal Studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. During the last three years she has focused on labour rights in the waste pickers’ sector, on the linkages between human rights and waste management services, as well as the interplay between human rights and the recycling industry. In 2011, Tania worked at the National Council for Discrimination Prevention in Mexico, where she collaborated on a project on labour law discrimination against domestic workers. As a paralegal, she worked with a USA-based law firm to assess the situation of migrant workers in Mexico, obtaining signatures for a class-action lawsuit regarding workers’ rights violations. In 2013, she worked in the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., and in 2014 she was appointed General Director of a human rights NGO in Mexico. In 2016, Tania was elected as an honorary board member of the Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission by the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City.
Renata Farías - Translation & Interpretation Coordinator
An Argentinian national from the quaint town of Rosario, in central Argentina, Renata has spent the past 7 years working as an activist, supporting feminist movements and social and solidarity economy organizations. Her passion for languages and culture led her to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Translation (French and Spanish) at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, which she completed in 2018. Since 2019, Renata has provided support to WIEGO’s Communications Team as a Translation and Interpretation Coordinator. In her spare time, she enjoys learning about indigenous languages and cultures or dancing up a storm (from tango, yoga, contemporary dance to aerial silks). She regularly participates in initiatives with grassroots organizations in her area along with her social justice warrior colleagues.
Lucía is based in Montevideo where she works for WIEGO as the Waste Picker Sector Advisor and is a PhD candidate of the Doctorate in Architecture at Universidad de la República Uruguay. She is an assistant professor at both the Institute of Theory and Urbanism, of the Faculty of Architecture as well as the Social and Solidarity Economy and Cooperatives Unit. Lucía holds a MA in Architecture, focused on spontaneous recycling dynamics from the Ecole National Superieure d’Architecture (ENSAG) and a MA on Ethical and Sustainable Development from the Philosophy Faculty of Universite Lyon. From 2011 – 2013 Lucía was based in Boston where she had a research affiliation with CoLab, at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. She has worked with WIEGO since 2008, when she coordinated the first World Conference of Waste Pickers, held in March 2008. Since then, she has supported large scale networking, with the Latin-American Network of Waste Pickers and the international coordination of the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers. She has been involved for so many years with the waste sector that some people fondly call her “basurita”.
David Fernández Soriano - Business Travel Support Consultant
David is Spanish and has a bachelor´s degree in Business Administration and Tourism Management at Alfonso X University, his professional background begins working along more than 12 years in administration and sales departments for different tourism companies, which allow him to get a deep knowledge of the business tourism field. After been living in Luxembourg and have been studying a Master´s degree in Microeconomics and Development Cooperation at Cadiz University, he moved to the humanitarian field where he worked for different international NGO´s based in Peru and Colombia at administration,finance and procurement departments.
Taluah Girard - Creative Development Manager
An island girl with a passion for words and an effervescent personality, Taluah lives on beautiful Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. Fluent in French, Spanish and English, her native tongue, her qualifications include a Master’s Degree in Project Management (2014) from the University for International Co-operation, Costa Rica and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Modern Languages and Business with a concentration in Tourism and the Environment (2009) which she received from the Université de Franche-Comté, Besancon, France. Over the past ten years, Taluah has worked in the field of Marketing and Communications across various sectors, interacting with diverse stakeholders while developing exciting media campaigns, creating targeted communications and advocacy strategies, helping to build brands and implementing projects. A mother’s girl at heart, Taluah credits her mother Renee Girard for her organizational qualities and work ethic. Taluah joined WIEGO in August 2018 and currently serves as the Creative Development Manager.
Prior to joining WIEGO in 2016 Jenna worked in Nicaragua, first with a women’s rights organization on cooperative development, and subsequently with a network of grassroots organizations providing project management support. After leaving Nicaragua she spent a year carrying out research on Nicaraguan migration and informal work in San Jose, Costa Rica. She has a bachelor’s degree in global studies and a master’s degree in City Planning from MIT. Jenna coordinates WIEGO's Focal Cities initiatives. Her specific interests are participatory planning, critical education, and inclusive models of urban economic development.
Riad Hassaine - Information Systems & Admin Coordinator
Riad currently lives in Portugal but is originally from Algeria. He has eight years of experience providing IT support, and is passionate about digital systems and new technology. Riad is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Algerian Arabic.
Roberto Hernandez - Design Consultant
Roberto is a graphic designer working with a focus on brand identity, he specializes in helping the team develop content that brings WIEGO's visual identity to life. He has more than 10 years of experience as a creative designer working closely with marketing and brand companies in Europe, LaTam, and East Africa.
Kendra Hughes - Interim Senior Communications Manager
Kendra joined WIEGO in January 2012 and currently supports WIEGO’s Communications Team as the Interim Senior Communications Manager. She holds a Master of Arts in globalization and development from the Institute for Development Studies (University of Sussex) where she explored collective actions by grassroots environmental groups facing human rights abuses. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business (minor in Spanish). Kendra is currently engaged in a variety of work for WIEGO including research, project planning and evaluation support, desk-based research, social media management and strategic communications support. Her interests include the gig economy, business and human rights, and grassroots collective action.
Bertha Isidore - Finance Director
Bertha Isidore is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) with over 25 years’ experience which spans accounting, finance, auditing and policy development. She also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Leicester, UK; a Post Graduate Certificate in European Union Law; and a Certificate in International Financial Reporting (CertIFR), ACCA. She was born on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia where she has lived and worked most of her life. However, prior to joining WIEGO as Finance Director in June 2022, she lived and worked in South America for ten years serving the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Bertha is no stranger to the informal economy having been raised by her mother Daphne Aimable, who was a market vendor for 32 years prior to retirement.
Kweku Kyere - Focal City Accra Project Officer
Kweku is currently the Focal City Accra Project Support Officer for WIEGO providing research, and administrative duties to the Accra Focal Cities Project. He also leads on Communications and knowledge management initiatives across the different programmes. He has worked with WIEGO over the past ten years focusing and conducting research and baseline studies, developing knowledge management products for Street Vendors, Market Traders, Kayayei and Waste Pickers. He has been part of major research projects conducted by WIEGO (10 cities study) at the global level - the Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS) in 2012 and at the local level in Accra, notably the Child Care study, Child Care Mapping study, Informal Economy Budget Study, Kayaye Scoping Study, Mapping Study of Accra Markets and Waste Pickers baseline Study. Kweku holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology respectively. He is currently pursuing the Professional Law Course to the Ghana Bar of Lawyers at the Ghana School of Law. His interests are in social policy and advocacy work, writing, literary works like acting, reciting, developing and directing concepts for stage arts.
Julian Luckham - Design & Photography Consultant
Julian is a designer, photographer, photo illusionist and teacher and has been providing creative services to clients across Canada and around the world through his company Luckham Creative, since 1985. Originally from the south of England, Julian has spent most of his life in Canada, from the West Coast to the capital city of Ottawa. With a love of all things creative, and a strong drive to do work that makes a difference, he takes great pride in working with small businesses and non-profits. Julian first began working with WIEGO in 2007 and was responsible for all design relating to the Inclusive Cities Project. In 2009 he worked with SEWA and KKPKP in India, as a photographer and training consultant; and in 2010 joined us, camera in hand, at the General Assembly in Belo Horizonte. Most recently Julian has taken over curation and maintenance of the WIEGO Photo Library. Julian has self-published three books of photography, including “Father Daughter Perspective” with his daughter Caitlin.
Francie was the Director of the Social Protection Programme of WIEGO from 2000 until early 2016. Currently, she works in the role of Advisor. She is also a Senior Research Associate in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. She trained as a sociologist and community organizer and developed an abiding interest in social policy and social security issues. She is interested in understanding the effects of different forms of social assistance on poor households, and especially their effects for women and children in rural and informal areas. More recently she has been working on the link between women’s paid and unpaid care work and also on occupational health and safety for informal workers. She has worked as a research and policy consultant for a wide range of international organizations and for local, provincial, and national government in South Africa. She chaired the Lund Committee on Child and Family Support. Convened after the transition to democracy in 1994, this resulted in a new form of cash support for poor children.
Avi Majithia - WIEGO Focal City Delhi (FCD) Coordinator
Avi joined WIEGO in 2017. She provides logistical and administrative support to the work in Delhi, and also plays a central role in building the knowledge base for Focal Cities Delhi through documentation, scoping work, organizational profiling and creation of communications inputs. Avi has a Masters degree in Regulatory Governance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai, India), and is interested in building out her work in labor and regulation.
Sarah McGrath - Admin Assistant
Sarah has worked in various sectors, from PA in a Motorcycle Company to front line work within Mental health. In 2014 Sarah obtained a Bsc in Social Policy, after doing so, Sarah went on to work in various health and social care/mental health roles, supporting those in residential or community settings. Sarah’s first role after graduating, was supporting young people and children with learning disabilities, Sarah then went and worked for national Mental Health Charity Mind as a course Coordinator where she created and implemented courses around mental health issues for young people in the Tameside and Oldham area. After this, Sarah worked for Turning Point, where she supported those with enduring mental health illnesses, typically schizophrenia. Sarah, has since embarked on a Msc in Counselling and psychotherapy, which she is still undertaking.
Graciela Mora - Press Officer (Spanish Speaking Markets)
Graciela Mora is a Costa Rican communications and press specialist, who began her professional career as a television journalist and editor in specialized magazines. In the last two decades, she has been dediciated to develop political communications for oorganizations, with various markets (collaborators, press, suppliers and public institutions); these organizations include the Costa Rican Engineers and Architects Association, INCAE Buisness School and the Pan American Union of Engineering Associations. Her skills include understanding the needs of the media and the capacity to synthesize texts in comprehensible key messages.
Laura Raquel Morillo Santa Cruz - Organization and Representation Programme Officer, Latin America
Laura works as WIEGO’s Organization and Representation Programme Officer. Her commitment to improve people´s working and living conditions motivated her to focus on labour issues. Since 2012, she has been supporting global networking among home-based workers organizations, especially organizations from Latin America, and also collaborating with organizations of workers in the informal economy. Laura was born in Peru and is based in Germany. She holds a Law Degree and a Diploma in Political Science and Governance from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a MA in Labour Policies and Globalisation from the Global Labour University (GLU), the University of Kassel, and the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
Rachel Moussié - Director of Programmes
Rachel is the Director of Programmes at WIEGO. Rachel contributes to WIEGO’s research, analysis and advocacy to extend social protection to informal workers. Since she joined WIEGO in 2016, she has led the Child Care Initiative, which supports informal workers’ access to quality child care services as part of social protection systems. Rachel previously managed programmes on women’s economic rights, tax policy reform and development financing at ActionAid International. She holds a MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics, and a BA from McGill University. After living in several other places, she now lives in Mauritius, where she was born.
Bronwen Dachs Muller - Communications Consultant
Bronwen edits and writes and does other collaborative communications work. She worked in the media department of an African democracy organization for 15 years in Cape Town, South Africa, where she lives.
Maralyne Narayan - Fundraising Coordinator
Maralyne is based in Ottawa, Canada and provides fundraising support to WIEGO’s management and programme teams. Previously, to working as a fundraising professional, she completed a Masters of Global Studies at Queens University in Kingston Ontario with a focus on gender and labour issues. Maralyne has worked with several diverse international non-profits, including those focused on education, gender, sustainability, and entrepreneurship.
Ana Carolina is a Research Associate for WIEGO’s Urban Policies Programme. She currently provides research support to programmes on qualitative and participatory methodologies, gender and waste and urban related issues. Based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, she works closely with WIEGO’s waste specialist. She has collaborated on several WIEGO projects including the Gender and Waste project, the Child Care Initiative, and health risk mappings with waste pickers. She was also the senior qualitative researcher for the Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS) team in Brazil. Prior to joining WIEGO she taught at the Federal University of Minas Gerais as part of her post doctoral fellowship and was an affiliated researcher at the Women’s Studies Research Center (NEPEM-UFMG). She holds Ph.D in political science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (2012), specializing in gender, feminist theory, and social movements.
Karin Pape - Deputy Director, Organization & Representation Programme
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Karin has been with WIEGO since 2007. She was a Works Council member at “Jacobs Kaffee” (now Mondalez) in Bremen, Germany, and an activist in the German Food and Allied Workers’ Union (NGG) for many years. She is an economist by profession. She worked as an international consultant on an industrial project in Russia before moving to Geneva. Since 2002 she has been working on informal and precarious employment at the Global Labour Institute (Switzerland) with a special focus on homework, in particular in Germany and Asia. From 2009 until July 2011 she was seconded to the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) to serve as the interim international coordinator of the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN). In August 2011 she went back to her “WIEGO Europe” work, which includes coordinating Domestic Workers Organizations in Europe, serving as liaison for the ILO, supporting networking among home-based workers in South East Europe, and ongoing work in Central and Eastern Europe generally.
Federico is an urban anthropologist/ethnographer with a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology. He has a PhD in Political Studies and International Relations at the National University of Colombia. Parra has undertaken several studies of urban recyclers as well as critical analyses of public policy related to waste management and social inclusion. His work has contributed to the understanding of the socioeconomic context of recyclers and the impact of public waste management policy on recyclers in the city of Bogota. Parra is a member of the Research Group on Collective Rights and Environmental GIDCA, and the Research Group on Public Policy and Public Management, both of the Faculty of Law, Political and Social Sciences of the National University of Colombia. Previously, as a public official in the Special Administrative Unit of Public Services (UAESP) attached to the Mayor of Bogota, he coordinated the development of the Inclusion Plan of Recyclers. He currently serves as coordinator of WIEGO’s Latin American Waste Pickers Programme.
Justina Peña Pan - Events Travel Manager
Vanessa spent most of her adult working life serving the South African labour movement, first as a shop steward in a white-collar union and then as a worker educator. She joined the DITSELA Workers Education Institute early in 2000 where she worked until mid-2011, working across different sectors, unions and federations and in the region. Her areas of focus in workers’ education have been women’s leadership development and organisational development in a trade union context. She is especially interested in the application or ‘plough back’ of learning to build democratic working class organisations. Before joining WIEGO, Vanessa was the Director of a vocational skills training centre for disadvantaged youth. In addition to her management responsibilities at St.Anthony’s Education Centre, she facilitated life skills programmes for the unemployed youth. She holds a MPhil degree in Adult Education from the University of Cape Town. At WIEGO she serves as Programme Officer: Organization and Representation in Africa. Her responsibilities include supporting the strengthening of organization and representation of Membership-Based Organizations (MBOs) of domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers.
Nicole Pryor - Press Officer
Nicole Pryor is a communications specialist from New Zealand with a background in journalism. She worked for several national outlets across print, digital, television and radio news, covering breaking news and social issues. Nicole has spent the last 5 years specialising in communications for humanitarian and international development NGOs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Carmen Roca - Lima Focal City Coordinator
Currently, most of Carmen's work is concentrated in WIEGO’s Focal City, Lima, Perú. Before joining WIEGO, Carmen worked for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada for almost 10 years on issues of social and economic policy. She was Deputy Director of the Consorcio de Investigación Económica y Socia (CIES) in Perú until 2009. Social protection for the working poor in the informal economy, capacity building for MBOs, and policy improvements at national and local levels are her current main areas of work. Carmen holds an MBA in Management for Development from McGill University (Canada), Perú.
Laura Roca Diaz - Digital Communications Specialist
Laura (pronouns ella/she/her) holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of the Basque Country and a master’s degree in Neuromarketing from the International University of La Rioja. She has also completed a Gender Studies MA from the University of Sussex, where she explored queer identity and media representation in Spain and was awarded for Highest Overall Performance.She has worked in digital communications in the UK’s charity sector, and prior to that completed a graduate training programme with UN Women’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama, working as Campaign and Communications Analyst. Before that she held different positions in diverse sectors ranging from tech to research. Laura is originally from the Basque Country in Northern Spain, but is currently based in the UK – she speaks Basque, Spanish and English. Her interests include feminist/queer theory and activism, strategies to end gender-based violence and migrant’s rights, among others.
Sally Roever - International Coordinator
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Sally Roever holds a PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley (2005). Her current research focuses on the risks and vulnerabilities associated with own-account work in the urban informal economy, the role of urban infrastructure and public space in supporting informal livelihoods, and innovations in urban legal frameworks regarding informal employment. Her research has appeared in several journals, including Environment and Urbanization, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, and Cityscape. She also has published articles in The Guardian, Cityscope, the Global Urbanist, and Development Progress, among others, and has been cited by media outlets including National Public Radio and Next City. Now WIEGO’s International Coordinator, Sally was formerly its Urban Policies Programme Director. She has lived and traveled abroad extensively, including a year in Lima, Peru, where she studied street vending organizations and local governance as part of her doctorate. Sally is currently based in Rome, Italy.
Michael Rogan - Research Associate
Michael Rogan is a Research Associate in WIEGO’s Urban Policies Programme. He first worked with WIEGO in 2011 as part of the research team that conducted the 10-city Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS). He has since worked on a number of projects and contributes regularly to the WIEGO blog. His current work centres on statistical analyses of earnings and status in employment in the informal economy, as well as issues around tax justice and urban regulation. Based at Rhodes University in South Africa, Michael works in the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit. His research and publications over the past five years have focused largely on informal employment, gender, poverty, food security, education and skills development, and survey design. He holds a PhD and MA in Development Studies and a BA in International Studies.
Karim Saagbul - Accra Focal City, Waste Pickers Project Officer
Karim has worked with WIEGO since 2017 as Waste Pickers Organizer in Accra. Prior to joining WIEGO, Karim worked with the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of Trades Union Congress (Ghana) for almost a decade with responsibilities for organising rural informal agricultural workers’,capacity building for community self-help groups, agricultural policy advocacy and campaigns, project coordination among others. He holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and an MA in Labour Policy and Globalisation from the Global Labour University, Germany. Karim has expertise in organising and strengthening organisations of informal economy workers, trade unions, negotiations, policy advocacy and research. He is passionate about rights of informal economy workers, solidarity and social justice.
Fatou Salim Mawanda - Senior Finance Officer
Fatou is originally from East Africa. She is a part-qualified chartered accountant, having studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and BPP university (UK). She is a qualified Accounting Technician (AAT) and is now finalist with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Previous roles have included working as an Assistant Accountant in both law and private sectors in Manchester, UK. She has also worked for the Charity sector as a Finance Officer and Administrator for Women Working Worldwide and Breakthrough UK Ltd. At present she works for WIEGO as a Senior Finance Officer at our UK office based in Manchester.
Halima Sadia - Finance Assistant
Halima is based at the Manchester UK office working as a Finance Officer. Halima is a part-qualified accountant and she studied AAT (Association of Accounting Technician) at Manchester College, Manchester in 2011-2013. She was born in Jhelum, Pakistan and came to live in the UK in 2004. She has had over five years experience in Business, Finance and Administration.
Shalini is based in India. She holds a M.Phil in Political Science from Delhi University, and has published on gender and pro-poor issues in the Indian and the South Asian context. Her work focuses on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women home-based workers in urban locations. Earlier Shalini worked as an independent consultant specializing in labour, gender and social development issues with several national and international NGOs and funding agencies.
Caroline Skinner - Urban Policy Director
Caroline Skinner is WIEGO’s Urban Policy Director and a Senior Researcher Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. For over two decades, Caroline’s work has interrogated the informal economy and processes of informality with a view to generate new knowledge and to inform advocacy processes, livelihood-centred policy, and planning responses -- and to better equip current and future urban practitioners to engage with ‘informality’. She has published widely on the topic. Skinner has a long track record of policy and advocacy work at a local, provincial, national and international level. She has written policy papers for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. She also provides technical support for membership-based organization advocacy campaigns both internationally and in South Africa. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Caroline was previously WIEGO's Director of Urban Policies.
Adama Soumaré - Dakar Focal City Coordinator
Adama is a lawyer in business law by training. He studied at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD). Before joining WIEGO, he was the representative of the German organization Doleel Jigeen (Strengthening and Empowering Women) in Senegal. He was also administrator, in charge of pedagogy, of the Center of Exchange and Development of Artisans of Senegal. He then worked for several years at Enda’s Research-Action-Training Group where he was responsible for programmes focused especially on women, children, craftsmen, and waste collectors. He is currently a special advisor to the Mayor of the municipality of Malika where he lives. He has proven experience in action research, popular mediation, and management of community and non-formal organizations. He is a member of several national and international organizations. He worked as an activist in his country and across Africa for the causes of vulnerable people and development problems for more than 20 years.
Gabriel Senn - Website Administrator
A member of the communications team at WIEGO, Gabriel has been a practitioner in the fields of graphic design & visual communications for almost 40 years. Working with clients including the Government of Canada, NGOs, and major private companies, his design work has included publications and packaging; exhibits and three-dimensional design; environmental design; corporate identity design, programs and product branding and usage guidelines. Over the last two decades, he has been applying his knowledge and experience to focus on web design, social media marketing, apps development and business process automation. Gabriel has also been a teacher of graphic design in Canada and abroad; a speaker at conferences about web marketing; and has been published in professional publications, both as a design practitioner and as a manager and business owner.
Sofia Trevino - Advocacy & Communications Strategist, Global Networks
Sofia is a development consultant with over 15 years of experience in organizational development, communications, and fundraising. Ms. Trevino has successfully designed programmes, raised funds for international development projects, and has over eight years experience in programme management, strategy, delivery, and reporting. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Sofia immigrated to Canada after graduating with a MA from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs where she specialized in development studies. Ms. Trevino is currently WIEGO’s Programme Support Unit Manager and Latin America’s Regional Facilitator for the International Domestic Workers Federation. For both clients, Sofia provides diverse services in project controls and strategic communications planning.
Juan Torres - Website Content Curator
Juan is an economist and philosopher with a master's degree in Editorial Studies. Since 2012, he has worked as a journalist, editor, writer, proofreader, translator (English to Spanish), and content manager in various educational, social, non-profit organizations and research centers, creating and disseminating useful content to improve the quality of life of people in Colombia.
Joann Vanek - Senior Advisor, Statistics Programme
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Joann is a gender/social statistician. She retired from the United Nations Statistics Division after 20 years of work. At the United Nations, she led the development of the programme on gender statistics and coordinated the production of three issues of the UN global statistical report on women, The World’s Women: Trends and Statistics. She has co-authored several WIEGO flagship publications including,Women and Men in the Informal Economy 2012: A Statistical Picture, and been the driving force behind WIEGO's groundbreaking work on informal economy statistics. Joann is featured in the bulletin of her undergraduate college, St. Mary's College Courier (Spring 2012). The story highlights pivotal moments of her career as a statistician and her research on the informal economy.
Yola Verbruggen - Writer & Editor
Yola is an experienced journalist, editor and researcher. She has written extensively about human rights, development, migration and conflict in Asia and Europe. She has also worked in the press team of an international development organization.
Marlese von Broembsen - Director, Law Programme
See her detailed Specialist Profile.
Marlese hails from Cape Town, South Africa. Currently she is a Visiting Researcher at the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School. Marlese joined WIEGO in 2015 as WIEGO’s first Law Programme Director. She holds law degrees from Stellenbosch, the University of Cape Town, and Harvard University. Marlese is a qualified attorney and has a MPhil in Development Studies. Early in her career she worked grassroots with informal enterprises (for four years), and was involved in policy work in Southern Africa for many years. She wrote the South African report on Business Rights for the UN Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor and was the lead researcher for the Global Enterprise Monitor (South Africa) for its 2005 study on the informal economy. Marlese has taught at the Universities of the Western Cape; Cape Town and North Eastern Law School. She pioneered an inter-disciplinary Master’s Degree in Social Justice in the Law Faculty, University of Cape Town, which she taught from 2009-2014, when she was awarded a Harvard South Africa Fellowship. She has published in the areas of development, labour law, global value chains, and legal empowerment of the poor.
Carmen Wilson - Impact Coordinator, Impact Team
Carmen was born in Guatemala and raised in The Netherlands. After eleven years working at the Dutch Embassy in Guatemala and Chile, she began working as an associated consultant to carry out evaluations the Outcome Harvesting methodology. Trained by her father, Ricardo Wilson-Grau who developed Outcome Harvesting, she has specialized during the past 5 years in Outcome Harvesting supporting social change organizations and donors, such as Save the Children, Ford Foundation and HIVOS, to assess and learn from their work. During this period, she also worked two years at CARE Guatemala, as Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, where she trained and coached staff in the use of Outcome Harvesting in their monitoring and evaluation. Besides her role within WIEGO, Carmen maintains her work as independent OH consultant. Carmen is based in Guatemala and is one of the Outcome Harvesting Community facilitators.
Henrial Yaidoo - Interim Financial Controller
Henrial is a qualified Chartered accountant, having studied at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). In 2007 she graduated with a BA Hons in Accounting and Finance. Previous roles have included working at Manchester Airport (Payroll Department), Shell Petroleum UK (Credit Management) and Oliver Wyman (UK, Wilmslow Office – Accounts Division). She has also worked for the public sector in the UK in the area of finance with the National Health Service (NHS). At present she works for WIEGO as the Senior Finance and Administration Officer at our UK office based in Manchester.