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Informal Economy Topic(s): Policies & Programmes in the Informal Economy

Home-Based Workers' Policies in Pakistan

Sindh Province Finalizes Policy

KARACHI, Sept 3: The Sindh government has prepared a final draft to legalise the rights of the home-based workers (HBWs), declaring them a ‘special category’ of workers, distinct from domestic workers. Read more.

Policies & Programmes

Policy Debates

Causal Theories

Over the years, the debate on the informal economy has crystallized into four dominant schools of thought regarding the causes, composition, and nature of the informal economy, and what should be done about it.

Documenting Policy & Organizational Practice

Work completed so far has focused on three sector groups: waste pickers, street traders and home-based workers. This work is largely driven by WIEGO’s sector specialists: Sonia Dias, Sally Roever, and Shalini Sinha.

Social & Legal Protection for the Informal Workforce

In development policy circles, two types of state protection for the informal workforce – especially the working poor – are actively under consideration: social protection and legal rights.

Labour Law and Informal Workers: The WIEGO Perspective

Historically, around the world, the “employment relationship” has represented the cornerstone – the central legal concept – around which labour law and collective bargaining agreements have sought to recognize and protect the rights of workers.

Policies & Programmes for Household Enterprises in Africa

In 2008, the World Bank Africa Region launched a three-year cross-country study on Improving the Productivity and Reducing Risk of Household Enterprises. One objective of this study was to highlight the scale and persistence of self-employment and economic activities based in the household rather than “firms,” even in economies with strong growth both overall and in wage employment (which remains too small to absorb a substantial share of new entrants in most developing countries).

Rethinking Formalization: The WIEGO Perspective

Formalization of the informal economy can take different forms: registration, taxation, organization and representation, legal and social protection, business incentives and support, and more. Formalization also means different things to different categories of the informal workforce. What is required is an approach to formalization of the informal economy which is comprehensive in design but context-specific in practice. A comprehensive design for formalizing the informal economy is outlined in Box 1:

Typology of Social Protection Programmes

Social Security – The term is commonly used to refer to government programmes designed to provide for the basic economic security and welfare of individuals and their dependents. The programmes classified under the term social security differ from one country to another, but all are the result of government legislation and all are designed to provide some kind of monetary payment to defray a loss of or a deficiency in income, and/or to assist individuals to build their own security mechanisms for their futures.