Pr Page Block: Global Trade

Organization & Representation in the Informal Economy

Pr page Block: Social Protection

Pr Page Block: Statistics

Pr Page Block: Urban Policies

Core Programmes

WIEGO's Five Programmes  For each of its five programme areas, WIEGO commissions issues papers to identify programme, research and policy priorities. It then convenes workshops of grassroots, research and policy actors. Collaborating institutions and individuals undertake component activities.

Organization and Representation

WIEGO works with grassroots organizations and international networks of informal workers, such as HomeNet South and South East Asia and StreetNet International to strengthen organizing capacity and and to increase the visibility and voice of women in the informal economy. WIEGO also works with international trade union organizations and tries to put informal sector workers on the agenda of governments and international organizations.


The WIEGO Statistics Programme works to develop statistics on the informal economy as an essential component of mainstream or official statistics at national, regional and international levels. It does so by contributing to the development of improved classifications, concepts and methods for data collection and for estimation of its contribution to the national economy and by encouraging countries to collect these data.

An additional aim of the programme is to make statistical data and analysis on the informal economy available to policy makers, researchers and advocates in easily accessible formats. It does so by preparing compilations of data and reports on the size, composition, and contribution of the informal economy and the characteristics and situation of workers in it. In these efforts, the programme works collaboratively with both users of statistics within and outside the WIEGO network and producers of official statistics, including the ILO, the Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (the Delhi Group), the United Nations Statistics Division, as well as national and regional statistical offices.

Global Trade

The Global Trade Programme of WIEGO aims to investigate, highlight, and address the impacts - both positive and negative - of global trade and investment policies on the livelihoods of the working poor in the informal economy. More specifically, the Programme focuses on comparative studies in different countries of informal workers in selected global value chains.

Social Protection

Few informal workers - whether waged or self-employed - have access to social benefits such as health insurance, materity benefits, disability compensation, and retirement promotion. WIEGO's Social Protection Programme promotes innovative approaches to extend social protection to women working in the informal economy.

Urban Policies

WIEGO's Urban Policies Programme seeks to understand, highlight, and address how different functional areas of urban planning, policies, and regulations affect different categories of urban informal workers. Additionally, the Programme works to correct the public policy bias against street vendors and establish their right to vend. The programme also works to improve services for street vendors and helps them to organize themselves and present their concerns to city planners.

Special Initiatives

In addition to the five programme areas, WIEGO also works on activities more generally related to the informal economy which are detailed in the special initiatives  section. These activities also include cross-programmatic collaborations.