WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) is an international research and advocacy organisation that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. It does so by highlighting the size, composition, characteristics, and contribution of the informal economy through improved statistics and research; by helping to strengthen member-based organizations of informal workers; and by promoting policy dialogues and processes that include representatives of informal worker organizations.
Francie Lund is international director of WIEGO’s Social Protection Programme. Few informal workers - whether waged or self-employed - have access to social benefits such as health insurance, maternity 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.
In developing international regional work, Francie Lund led the setting up of research collaborations in the Latin American region, with researchers and agencies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru and Mexico. Regional work in Asia followed this, and the Asia Social Protection Dialogue (ASPD) was held in 1994 with multiple stakeholder groups from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The publication of a series of action brochures, Tools for Advocacy: Social Protection for Informal Workers is translated into several Asian languages, intended to be used by the organisations for informal workers who participated in the ASPD.
A Health Policy Dialogue was held in 2012 in Bangkok, in association with the annual Prince Mahidol Award Conference on Public Health. WIEGO commissioned three case studies of health policy reforms in Ghana, India and Thailand that were expressly designed to include informal workers. The case studies assessed the effectiveness of the reforms in promoting inclusion, and identified remaining barriers of exclusion. The barriers are being taken forward, through informal workers organizations and others, to national-level policy dialogues.
Chen, M., Vanek. J., Lund, F. and Heintz, J. with Jhabvala, R. and Bonner, C. (2005) Progress of the World’s Women: Women, Work and Poverty. New York: UNIFEM.
Vaux T and Lund F (2003) Working women and security: Self Employed Women’s Associations’ response to crisis. Journal of Human Development, 4(2), p263-285. More
Lund, F. and Nicholson, J.(eds)(2003). Chains of production, ladders of protection: social protection for workers in the informal economy. Durban: School of Development Studies. 120pp.More
Chen, M. Jhabvala, R. and Lund, F.: Supporting workers in the informal economy: a policy framework. Geneva: International Labour Office. (Working paper on the informal economy, 2).More
Lund, F. and Skinner, C. (1999) Promoting the Interests of Women in the Informal Economy: An Analysis of Street Trader Organisations in South Africa. Research Report No. 19.More
Lund, F, J. (1998) Women Street Traders in Urban South Africa: A Synthesis of Selected Research Findings. Research Report No. 15.More
Professor Francie Lund