INCLUDE Platform

Informal workers' political leverage

Increasing Political Leverage for Informal and Formal Workers’ Organizations for Inclusive Development

The informal sector in Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 75% of its economy. The needs and conditions of workers in the informal sector are, therefore, important determinants of the inclusiveness of growth and employment.  The International Labour Organization’s Decent Work criteria relating to health and safety, job security, social protection and social dialogue often do not apply to informal jobs. This current project is studying the role and impact of trade unions (that organize formal-sector workers) and informal workers’ organisations when they act as strategic actors for inclusive development. It is analyzing the textile trade and construction sector in Ghana and the taxi and private-security sectors in Benin.

A multi-layered approach is being used that triangulates individual perceptions and experiences with sector observations and macro data. The approach is interdisciplinary and follows a multi-method approach, including participatory mapping, collective action analysis and two surveys targeted at informal workers and members of trade unions and informal workers’ organizations.

Knowledge sharing will be achieved by a dedicated weblog, joint policy briefs, papers, presentations and workshops targeted at African labour organizations, donors and academic audiences. To reach out to workers in Ghana and Benin, creative dissemination techniques will be developed in collaboration with local artists, musicians and storytellers.

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  • African Studies Centre Leiden
  • CNV International
  • Confédération des Organisations Syndicales Indépendantes (COSI)
  • FNV Mondiaal
  • Ghana Federation of Labour
  • International Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)
  • Research Institute for Work and Society (HIVA)
  • StreetNet International
  • Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana
  • University of Abomey-Calavi

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