Who We Are

WIEGO is a global action-research-policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy, especially women. Economic empowerment of these workers is at the heart of WIEGO’s mission. We believe all workers should have equal economic opportunities and rights and be able to determine the conditions of their work and lives.

The WIEGO Network

The WIEGO network consists of individuals and institutions from three broad constituencies:

  • membership-based organizations (MBOs) of informal workers such as cooperatives, unions and associations
  • researchers and statisticians who carry out research, data collection, or data analysis on the informal economy
  • professionals from development agencies (inter-governmental, governmental, and non-governmental) who provide services to or shape policies towards the informal workforce

At the network's inception in 1997, WIEGO's founders decided that the WIEGO network should build alliances with individuals and institutions from our constituencies, and should draw on expertise from around the globe as it forged partnerships and linkages.


MBOs of informal workers who are active in WIEGO are invited to become our Institutional Members. Individuals from the other two constituencies who are active in WIEGO are invited to become our Individual Members. As of May 2014, the WIEGO network had 177 Members – 34 Institutional and 143 Individual Members – from 41 countries. Read the WIEGO MBO Newsletter, a newsletter for membership-based organizations (MBOs) of informal workers.


A10-person Board of Directors governs the WIEGO network. Board members are drawn from our three constituencies. The Board has two committees: a Management (or executive) Committee and a Financial Committee. Most of our five Programmes have an international Advisory Committee, with members drawn from the three WIEGO constituencies. Meet our Board.


The number of people working for WIEGO has more than doubled since 2007. As of December 2012, the WIEGO virtual team was comprised of eight employees and 27 contracted consultants. Nine members of the team were based at the WIEGO Secretariat at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, USA or the WIEGO Ltd. office in Manchester, UK; the rest lived and worked in 11 countries around the world. Only eight members of the team worked full-time for WIEGO; other team members worked from one-third to three-quarter time. Meet our Team.