Research unveiled at World Urban Forum challenges myths about the
informal economy, and shows that urban informal workers play vital roles
in the urban economy and help keep their households out of extreme
poverty. The findings also indicate that city policies and practices
tend to undermine informal livelihoods.
The researchers conclude that informal workers, who make up the majority of the urban workforce in most regions, could make greater contributions if local policies and practices supported, rather than hindered, their work.
The findings are from the Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS), which examined the realities faced by informal workers in 10 cities of Africa, Asia and Latin America. IEMS is a collaboration between Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), which led the study, and WIEGO's partners in the Inclusive Cities project.