35 episodes

Globally, 2 billion people work in the informal economy. This means that 61% of workers rely on work that offers little pay and few protections. Women informal workers, such as domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers are at the base of the economic pyramid with the highest risk of poverty. Public policies and social protection schemes often do not consider these workers, leaving them vulnerable to income losses and struggling to cope after an event or shock. In this monthly podcast we will discuss some of the most pressing issues related to social protection from the perspective of informal workers, including debates around the future of work, demographic changes and the informal economy, as well as social services, like child care and health that can protect informal workers’ incomes. Subscribe to the “Informal Economy Podcast: Social Protection” to learn more about WIEGO’s cutting-edge research and hear from informal workers organisations about the debates, policies, successes and challenges they face in accessing and reforming social protection systems.

Informal Economy Podcast: Social Protection Wiego

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Globally, 2 billion people work in the informal economy. This means that 61% of workers rely on work that offers little pay and few protections. Women informal workers, such as domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers are at the base of the economic pyramid with the highest risk of poverty. Public policies and social protection schemes often do not consider these workers, leaving them vulnerable to income losses and struggling to cope after an event or shock. In this monthly podcast we will discuss some of the most pressing issues related to social protection from the perspective of informal workers, including debates around the future of work, demographic changes and the informal economy, as well as social services, like child care and health that can protect informal workers’ incomes. Subscribe to the “Informal Economy Podcast: Social Protection” to learn more about WIEGO’s cutting-edge research and hear from informal workers organisations about the debates, policies, successes and challenges they face in accessing and reforming social protection systems.

    #28 COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study: round 2

    #28 COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study: round 2

    In the episode 20 of our podcast, we discussed the first round of the WIEGO longitudinal survey, conducted in 2020. In this special episode, we will discuss the report of the second round of this global survey.

    In this stage, 11 cities around the globe were part of the research that explored how the fallout of the pandemic affected informal workers’ income, working hours, access to healthcare, but also their coping strategies, demands and the government responses in the second year of the pandemic.

    To discuss some of the main findings of the research, we invited Ana Carolina Ogando and Mike Rogan. Ana Carolina is Wiego’s Research Associate and holds a PhD in Political Science. Mike is an Associate Professor in Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University in South Africa and he is a researcher at WIEGO.

    In this special episode, we also played some clips from workers testimonies taken from two webinars of the global survey project.

    *Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

    ***

    References

    COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study – Round 2 report:

    COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study page: https://www.wiego.org/covid-19-crisis-and-informal-economy-study-0

    Webinar: There is No Recovery without Informal Workers: Towards a Better Deal for the Global Working Poor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g1EXHeAfjU

    Webinar: There is No Recovery Without Informal Workers: The View from 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIQqLBKYyjU&list=PLOdX1pDW0yXI3R0X-pTRdtK5_zeS0XcXF&index=11

    • 44 min
    #27 Social Security for Domestic Workers: trends and strategies

    #27 Social Security for Domestic Workers: trends and strategies

    For decades, domestic workers have struggled to be recognized and to enjoy the same rights as other workers – including social protection rights. There has been significant progress over the past few years, as the workers’ movement pressured in national and international forums to have labour and social protection rights enshrined in their legal system. The ILO Convention-189 and the ratification by 35 countries, is one example of such achievements.
    However, there is still a lot to be done in order to formally include domestic workers into social protection systems. But also, there are important steps to be taken in order to ensure that these workers are effectively enjoying their rights, even where they are legally entitled to them.
    In order to better understand the concepts, shortcomings, challenges and advances regarding the inclusion of domestic workers in social protection schemes I talked to Maya Stern-Plaza.
    Maya is the Social Protection Standards and Legal Expert of the Social Protection Department of the International Labour Organization. In addition to supporting the ratification and application of international social security standards she is also the Department’s focal point for domestic workers.
    She is the main author of the report “Making the right to social security a reality for domestic workers: A global review of policy trends, statistics and extension strategies”, which is being launched today, June 16th, the International Domestic Workers’ Day.

    *Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

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    References

    ILO report “Making the right to social security a reality for domestic workers: A global review of policy trends, statistics and extension strategies” https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/WCMS_848280/lang--en/index.htm

    “Ten Years Since Winning C189: Domestic Workers Become an Unstoppable Movement”, by IDWF and WIEGO https://www.wiego.org/sites/default/files/resources/file/C189%20Ten%20Years%20Since%20Winning%20C189%20for%20web_0.pdf

    "Making C189 Real": The Domestic Workers Project https://www.wiego.org/making-c189-real-domestic-workers-project
    Blog: What’s Changed for Domestic Workers since C189? Our Legal

    Team Unpacks the Progress, by Pamhidzai Bamu https://www.wiego.org/blog/what%E2%80%99s-changed-domestic-workers-c189-our-legal-team-unpacks-progress

    • 30 min
    #26 Challenging Global Social Protection Orthodoxies

    #26 Challenging Global Social Protection Orthodoxies

    Over the last few years, universal social protection and the government responses to the Covid-19 crisis has generated important debates in the field of social protection.

    The Universal Social Protection 2030 framework, for instance, has gained support from a variety of key social protection stakeholders, including national governments, the ILO, IMF, World Bank, and other United Nations agencies, as well as global civil society organizations.
    However, certain key principles and actions remain contested in practice at both the level of global financial institutions and within the roll-out of schemes at national level – which highlighted the importance of the role of the ideas.

    Much of the contestation over the desirable nature and role of social protection has its roots in implicit assumptions underpinned by neo-classical economic theory, resulting in powerful policy ideas which counteract the key principles of Universal Social Protection 2030, and ultimately undermine the extension of fair, equitable and sustainable provision of social protection to informal workers.
    In order to unpack, shed light into these assumptions and help us understand these dominant ideas and the actors behind it, we invited Florian Jurgens-Grant.

    Florian is leads, at WIEGO, the project “Challenging the global orthodoxies which undermine Universal Social Protection”. Before joining WIEGO, he worked on social protection for the ILO and HelpAge International.


    *Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

    References

    Blog: Are Unfounded Assumptions About the Informal Economy Undermining Universal Social Protection?, by Florian Jurgens-Grant https://www.wiego.org/blog/are-unfounded-assumptions-about-informal-economy-undermining-universal-social-protection

    Blog: World Bank’s Push for Individual Savings Provides Little Protection for Crisis-hit Workers, by Florian Jurgens-Grant https://www.wiego.org/blog/world-banks-push-individual-savings-provides-little-protection-crisis-hit-workers

    Op-Ed: The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector, by Mike Rogan, Max Gallien and Vanessa van den Boogaard https://theconversation.com/the-world-bank-and-imf-are-using-flawed-logic-in-their-quest-to-do-away-with-the-informal-sector-170325

    • 30 min
    #25 Social Insurance for Informal Workers in South Africa

    #25 Social Insurance for Informal Workers in South Africa

    The last two years have brought a huge challenge to social protection systems around the world as the pandemic hit and shed light to the need of strengthening social insurance policies to protect workers against shocks that affected their livelihoods.

    We look at the case of South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (or UIF) and Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (better known as TERS) to analyze how these policies were implemented to reach domestic workers, what went wrong, what went right, the challenges ahead and what learnings this might bring to help us think about new insurance schemes that can protect informal workers.

    To help us understand and navigate the UIF-TERS case we invited two guests. First, I talked to Amy Takié, Co-Founder at Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance, a network of domestic workers in Johannesburg, where Amy advises domestic workers on their labour rights, supports them in accessing justice and on their advocacy efforts.

    The second guest is Myrtle Witbooi, general secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) and president of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). Myrtle will provide us with an account from the domestic workers’ perspective.


    *Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

    ***

    References

    > Joint Statement: Impact of COVID19 on millions who work informally in South Africa - https://www.wiego.org/resources/joint-statement-impact-covid19-millions-who-work-informally-south-africa

    > WIEGO - Informal Work in South Africa and COVID-19: Gendered Impacts and Priority Interventions - https://www.wiego.org/publications/informal-work-south-africa-and-covid-19-gendered-impacts-and-priority-interventions

    > Izwi - Domestic workers pay a heavy price for employers’ non-compliance with labour law - https://www.izwi.org.za/post/domestic-workers-pay-a-heavy-price-for-employers-noncompliance-with-labour-law

    > Op-ed - Domestic workers hung out to dry during lockdown, by Amy Tekié https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/opinion/2020-05-01-domestic-workers-hung-out-to-dry-during-lockdown/

    • 33 min
    #24 Lessons from the Covid-19 crisis for social protection

    #24 Lessons from the Covid-19 crisis for social protection

    For the past two years, the world has been facing one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime, with the Covid-19 crisis. In this last episode of the year, we invited again Laura Alfers, the Social Protection programme coordinator at WIEGO, and Rachel Moussié, deputy coordinator of the Social Protection programme and head of the Child Care initiative, also here at WIEGO, to discuss the way in which the pandemic has exposed blind spots in social protection systems and reinforced women informal workers’ exclusion. In this talk, they explained the impact of the pandemic in their work and in the field of social protection globally. They also highlighted how WIEGO and workers’ organizations in the informal economy are engaging with social protection and developing and deepening alliances with labour movements.

    *Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

    References:
    Wiego Page on COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study: https://www.wiego.org/covid-19-crisis-and-informal-economy-study-0

    Blog: Are unfounded assumptions about the informal economy undermining universal social protection?, by Florian Juergens https://www.wiego.org/blog/are-unfounded-assumptions-about-informal-economy-undermining-universal-social-protection

    For Informal Workers: COVID-19 Crisis Resources https://www.wiego.org/informal-workers-covid-19-crisis-resources

    Statement: Workers take fight for social protection to ILC, by Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, HomeNet International, IDWF, StreetNet International, WIEGO and SEWA https://www.wiego.org/publications/workers-take-fight-social-protection-ilc

    • 30 min
    #23b Cuidado Infantil para Trabajadoras Informales

    #23b Cuidado Infantil para Trabajadoras Informales

    La pandemia ha puesto de manifiesto la importancia crucial de la prestación de servicios de cuidado infantil. En este episodio, nos fijamos en cómo la Unión de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular (UTEP), una central sindical de trabajadores informales de Argentina, ha apoyado a las cooperativas de cuidado infantil para que presten estos servicios a los hijos de los trabajadores informales.

    Para entender cómo funcionan estos servicios comunitarios de cuidado de niños en Argentina, cómo se han visto afectados por la pandemia y los retos futuros, invitamos a Paola Caviedes. Paola es una recicladora del Movimiento de los Trabajadores Excluidos, movimiento afiliado a UTEP, y es una de las coordinadoras de la iniciativa de cooperativas de guarderías de la UTEP.

    REFERENCIAS

    Women Informal Traders and Child Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from Accra, Durban and Nakuru https://www.wiego.org/publications/women-informal-traders-and-child-care-during-covid-19-pandemic-findings-accra-durban

    Three ways to contain COVID-19’s impact on informal women workers https://www.wiego.org/publications/three-ways-contain-covid-19s-impact-informal-women-workers


    *Nuestro tema musical es Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

zebra525 ,

Informative and engaging podcast

Well-done podcast on informal workers and social protection. As someone working in this space, I admire the perspectives presented here. Appreciate learning about different views around the globe from a variety of experts on what works in this space. Well moderated.