Update: The Informal Economy Monitoring Study


by Imraan Valodia

WIEGO and its Inclusive Cities partners are engaged in a multi-year longitudinal, 10-city Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS). The IEMS combines qualitative and quantitative research methods to provide an in-depth understanding of how three groups of urban informal workers – home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers – are affected by and respond to economic trends, urban policies and practices, value chain dynamics, and other economic and social forces. The study also examines what factors help or constrain urban informal workers to respond effectively to these forces. Over time, it is intended to assess the impact of these forces and factors on urban informal workers, their households, and the membership-based organizations to which they belong.

The cities involved are Accra (Ghana), Ahmedabad (India), Bangkok (Thailand), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Bogota (Colombia), Durban (South Africa), Lahore (Pakistan), Lima (Peru), Nakuru (Kenya), and Pune (India).

After an extensive period of data analysis, the WIEGO team is currently preparing 10 city reports for publication. The reports will be published on the WIEGO and Inclusive Cities websites and should be available over the coming months. In each of the cities, WIEGO has also produced a short policy advocacy publication. The Research Team is currently working on three sector reports (home-based work, street vending and waste picking) and one global report, which will present the overall findings of the first round of the data collected in 2012.

A further round of data collection is planned for 2015.