Francie Lund is Principal Investigator in a four-year WIEGO project on occupational health and safety (OHS) for informal workers. The conventional discipline of OHS does not cover informal workers. It focuses on formal workplaces, which are not those occupied by the majority of the world’s workers – which are the streets, in their own homes, in informal factories, on garbage dumps and landfills, for example. Conventional OHS defines health problems very narrowly, and does not see the worker in the context of family, living and working in very poor conditions. The WIEGO project is exploring the possibilities of conceptualizing, developing and implementing a more inclusive OHS that can better meet the needs of informal workers.
The project is being undertaken in Accra, Ghana; in various places in Tanzania; in Lima, Peru; in Salvador, Brazil, and in Pune and Ahmedabad in India. In each country, we work through informal workers' organizations and affiliates.
We work with in-country researchers, and where possible establish Country Reference Groups. Participatory research with informal workers and their organizations helps to establish the risks and needs in different occupational groups; an institutional mapping of OHS identifies who defines, regulates and controls OHS in the country. Through the organizations, we arrange dialogues between the worker organizations and those in government and in the industries in which informal workers work. The last phase of the project will be be development of materials for workers and for those regulating OHS, for advocacy around OHS issues. The project will also identify points of entry for policy change at local, national and international national levels.
Link to WIEGO Microsite on Occupational Health and Safety in the Informal Economy. (Scroll down there for Newsletter reporting recent activities).
Project leader is Francie Lund, Senior Research Associate in the School, and Director of WIEGO’s Social Protection Programme, assisted by researcher Laura Alfers who has been awarded a Ford Foundation doctoral fellowship within the School.
Additional Participant: Laura Alfers
The purpose of this research project is to produce a labour market analysis of the PRIDE Africa countries (South Africa, Kenya and Ghana) which delivers the country contexts of Impact Sourcing (a sub-sector within Business Process Outsourcing) and the worker profiles who are affiliated in this area of employment. This will be accomplished by producing synthesis and country reports on the African labour market environment with specific relation to Business Process Outsourcing in the three countries and concentrating research on the worker’s data on labour participation, employment, education and wage issues.
See story in UKZNOnline for an update. Publications:
Although restrictions on the movement and settlement of Africans in South Africa were lifted in the late 1980s, data from nationally representative household surveys from 1993 to 2002 suggest that temporary patterns of migration have persisted in the first post-apartheid decade. The first part of this project updated earlier work on trends in labour migration by analysing data collected in the 2008 National Income Dynamics Study.
The second part of the project explored the interaction between urban informal land markets and migration processes in South Africa. In particular, the study interrogated the ‘temporary’ nature of migration by investigating the return intentions of labour migrants. The research, which was funded both through a grant by Urban LandMark and through funds attached to the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), is based on data collected on 500 households in two informal settlement areas around the city of Durban.
The third part of the project investigated informal settlements in South Africa in the context of two important spatial shifts: first, in households (particularly towards smaller but more numerous households) and second, in the urban labour market (from permanent to casual work, and from formal to informal work). The project included the analysis of both national micro-data and qualitative data on informal settlement dwellers.
Additional Participant: Colin Marx (Kingston University, UK)
M. and Posel, D. (2012) Here to work: The socio-economic
characteristics of informal dwellers in post-apartheid South Africa.
Environment and Urbanization 24(1): 285 - 304.