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The political economy of development
This academic site promotes excellence in teaching and researching economics and development, and the advancing of describing, understanding, explaining and theorizing.
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Castellano - Français On Planning for Development: Informal Sector                           Editor: Róbinson Rojas Sandford
International Labour Organization:
Brief profile on Informal Economy
Employment for social justice and a fair globalization

Today a significant percentage of the global workforce – women and men – earn their livelihood in the “informal economy”. In developing countries particularly, the informal economy accounts for between 35 and 90 per cent of total employment, and is not confined to traditional rural and urban informal sectors. Various types of informal contracts, precarious employment and undeclared work have been gaining ground in formal establishments as well. Informal work therefore reflects very diverse realities of wage and self-employment worldwide.
On informal economy
ILO - 2002
Compendium of official statistics on employment in the informal sector

The present STAT Working Paper was prepared on the occasion of the general discussion on ‘Decent Work and the Informal Economy’ during the 90th Session of the International Labour Conference (Geneva, 4-20 June 2002). It is based on data obtained from a database on employment in the informal sector, which the ILO Bureau of Statistics established in 1998 to meet an increasing demand by users for statistics on the informal sector. The database was updated in 2001. It contains official national statistics and related methodological information on employment in the informal sector for countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, to the extent that data are available. Other countries were included only to the extent that the informal sector was considered to be of significant importance in these countries and official national statistics were collected on it.

Ralf Hussmanns -2004
WP No. 53
Measuring the informal economy: From employment in the informal sector to informal employment
The development of statistics on the informal economy helps to improve labour statistics and national accounts. The informal economy plays an important role for employment creation, income generation and poverty reduction in many countries, especially developing and transition countries. Statistics on the informal economy are needed as an evidence-based tool for research and policy-making. They enhance the visibility of the many workers in the informal economy and of their economic contribution.
The purpose of the present working paper is (i) to explain the international statistical definitions of employment in the informal sector and of informal employment, which were adopted by the Fifteenth and Seventeenth International Conferences of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in January 1993 and December 2003, and (ii) to illustrate the practical application in household surveys of these definitions in providing examples of their translation into survey questions.

International Labour Organization
The Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (ILO/Cinterfor)

Training and the informal sector

The importance of the informal economy is quite obvious since it is the main employment generator in Latin American countries, where more than 53 per cent of the economically active population of the region is part of this sector. Between 1990 and 2004, the contribution to the informal economy in terms of employment generation increased by 4.6 per cent. According to ILO's data, during the last decade, between 75 and 80 per cent of every 100 new job posts were created by this sector.
As indicated by ILO's Director General in the report prepared for the 16th American Regional Meeting (May 2006): In Latin America, there are 103 million people working in the informal sector -many times without labour rights or social security- which, added to the number of unemployed people, means that 126 million people are affected by formal employment deficit.

VTIs and the informal economy: thematic section that describes the actions taken by VTI in Latin America and the Caribbean with respect to training oriented to workers and enterprises of the informal economy.
Informal economy - Decent work - Poverty: on the one hand, it provides documents and analyses about the informal economy, decent work and poverty. On the other hand, it includes the links among different categories as well as the implemented plans and programmes of action to eradicate poverty, reduce decent work deficit and particularly those related to the informal economy.
Informal economy and gender: it presents a number of documents and experiences that offer a different perspective of the informal economy.
Informal economy and vulnerable groups: thematic section that contains documents on programmes oriented to the training of vulnerable groups: women, youth, people with disabilities, ethnic groups.
Informal economy by activity sector: this section offers documents about programmes focused on workers and informal economic units organised by sector. Therefore, the sub-site is divided into plans and programmes of:
a) agricultural sector;
b) industrial sector;
c) services sector.

Documents and publications: section oriented to the introduction of books, documents, reports and regular publications of interest according to the objectives of the site.
Events: Calendar of events related to the issues of the site.
Links: this section includes interesting links to ILO Web sites and other international and national organisations that deal with these issues.

From Informal Economy Database - ILO

Decent Work and Development Policies: Caribbean Tripartite Workshop
2004 - Virgilio Levaggi; Regions

Decent Work and Poverty Reduction Strategies: A reference manual for ILO staff and constituents
2005 - Cross Sectoral 

Decent Work and the Informal Economy - General Discussion: Plenary session: Adoption of the resolution and conclusions

Decent Work and the Informal Economy - Report VI presented for the General Discussion at the International Labour Conference 2002
2002 - Employment Sector

Decent Work and the Informal Economy: Abstracts
2002 - Employment Sector 

Decent Work and the Informal Economy: Report of the Commmittee - International Labour Conference 2002

Decent work and the informal economy: Report on 2002 ILO Conference - Tokyo

Decent Work and the Informal Economy: Resolution and Conclusions from the International Labour Conference General Discussion 2002.

Decent work for all: targeting full employment in Thailand
2000 - Regions 

Decent work for poverty reduction: an ILO contribution to the PRSP in Nepal
ILO; Employment Sector
     (from Poverty, Local Development and Decent Work Resources database)

Decent Work for Women Entrepreneurs: Training of trainers workshop
2004 - Cross Sectoral 

Decent Work in the Informal Sector: CEE/CIS Region.
2002 - B. Musiolek; Employment Sector 

Decent Work in the Informal Sector: Latin America.
2002 - J. Thomas; Employment Sector 

Decent Work Pilot Programme - Panama

Decent Work Pilot Programme - Philippines

Decent Work Pilot Programme in Ghana.
CATO Journal, vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring-Summer 1997).
E. Ghersi:
The informal economy in Latin America
We have often read about the underground activities of the informal economy. Conceptually we can offer a simple definition of this phenomenon: underground activities are those that have legal ends but employ illicit means. That is to say, they are activities that do not intrinsically have a criminal content, but must be carried out illicitly, even though they are licit and desirable activities for the country. Thus, from an economic point of view, the most important characteristic of informal activities is that those directly involved in them as well as society in general benefit more if the law is violated than if it is followed.
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing:
About the informal economy
Women in Informal Employment. Globalizing and Organizing
S. Benjamin:
Land, Productive Slums, and Urban Poverty, 1979, MIT

One fundamental issue is how we view the relationship between poor groups and economic development, and thus their claim to productive assets especially serviced land. Approaches to rural poverty, even from contrasting ideologies, generally recognise that access to land and its quality are critical for poor groups for survival and move to a more stable situation. In urban situations, land and its locational aspects has been recognised as an important issue. However, policy makers conventionally view this from the perspective of `social' needs, usually translated into housing1. The assumption is that economic growth will `trickle down' benefits to poor groups. In the mean while, poor groups will survive via the Informal Sector, or on the basis of social spending by the State. In a broad way, this assumption justifies access by rich groups to land in productive locations often serviced by State subsidised infrastructure2. The latter are seen to be the creators of economic growth and wealth, which will ultimately benefit the rest of society.
P. Dasgupta:
Poverty Reduction and Non-market Institutions, 1999, University of Cambridge
Economists in general and development economists in particular have for long been engaged in a debate over the relative strengths and weaknesses of markets and government. One of the most exciting developments in economics during the past twenty years or so has, however, been our increased understanding of non-market institutions (sometimes called "informal" institutions). Progress has been sufficiently great in this research that non-market institutions can be discussed today with a degree of rigour and precision which approaches what economists are used to in their discussions on the performance of markets. The Notes that follow offer a non-technical account of some aspects of what we now know and understand. I am preparing a more complete account in my forthcoming book, Economic Progress and the Idea of Social Capital.

C. Kutcha-Helbling:
The informal sector in emerging democracies
The recent trend towards democracy and market-based systems has improved the lives of millions across the globe. Many countries have increased political participation, achieved macroeconomic stabilization and restored growth. Despite these achievements, millions of people in emerging democracies remain excluded from the political and economic system and still live in poverty. A glaring symptom of this exclusion is the growing number of entrepreneurs who are engaged in low-income, low-growth business activities outside the formal economy. These citizens feel that democracy and marketbased economy have not brought them the expected benefits.1 As a result, an increasing number of citizens in emerging democracies and economies are disappointed and disillusioned.
Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector
University of Maryland
Working papers in ILO:
IFP/Skills - Informal Economy Series:
Training in the Informal Sector of Belarus
Yuri Vesselov, Geneva, ILO, 2002
This paper presents the major characteristics of the informal sector of Belarus, especially the involvement of the unemployed and socially unprotected population in informal entrepreneurial activities. Data are based on the System of Natio nal Accounts. Special emphasis is given to the small business subsector. The paper also profiles unemployment (including hidden unemployment) and self-employment and their relationship with the informal sector.
Skills Training for Decent Work in the Informal Sector of the North-West Region of Russia (St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region)
- Case study by Liudmila I. Velichko and Gortenzia M. Romanenkova, Geneva, ILO, 2002
This paper presents seven brief case studies related to the training of the unemployed and workers in the informal sector. A definition of the informal sector in the Russian Federation is provided whereby the informal sector covers all economic activities which are deliberately concealed from the authorities in order to minimize costs and avoid taxes. The paper estimates that 615,000 people are employed in the informal sector of St. Petersburg accounting for 26.3% of the employed workforce. Furthermore, over a million people in St. Petersburg and up to 500,000 people in the Leningrad region move between the formal and informal sectors. These include the unemployed, part-time workers and those on leave without pay, refugees and involuntary migrants, marginal population groups with incomes below subsistence level, people with extra jobs, teenagers and students. Out of these, the paper estimates that at least 114,000 persons need training.

Training and Skills Acquisition in the Informal Sector:A Literature Review
- Marjo-Riitta Liimatainen, ILO, Geneva, 2002
The structure of the paper is as follows: firstly, the concept of informal sector is discussed with reference to training. Secondly, the profile of informal sector workers and their educational levels is shortly summarised. Thirdly, the formal, informal and non-formal means of delivering and providing training are discussed, followed by an introduction of the trend to move towards more market-driven training. Fourthly, suggestions rising from the literature for macro and micro-level action are explained. Finally, the conclusions are an attempt to reflect the issues that should be taken into account in delivering skills and improving the knowledge levels of the growing number of informal sector workers.

Skills Training in the Informal Sector in China
- By the Research Group of the Department of Training and Employment Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Geneva, 2002
China is a developing country with abundant labour resources. For a long time, capital and material input were over-emphasized and the development of human capital was neglected. This has caused the problem of low-skill labour supply exceeding demand, and structural unemployment, which has become the biggest obstacle to sustainable social and economic development. With economic restructuring and the acceleration of globalization, fierce market competition, State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) have also started downsizing their labour force. This explains why in recent years SOEs have been unable to absorb new labour market entrants; instead SOEs have been laying off workers. On the other hand, the informal sector is gaining ground, and to some extent it has become a new force in creating jobs, releasing employment pressure in China's labour market.

Informal Economy Series:Informal Sector Training in Jamaica: an Assessment
by Andrea M. Miller-Stennett, 2002
This paper reviews current policies and programmes that concern skills training for informal sector workers in Jamaica, and draws from them lessons that may be pertinent for the design and implementation of future policies and programmes. While there is no consensus regarding the meaning of the term "informal sector", there is agreement that the sector consists of very small-scale producers and distributors of goods and services, and independent, self-employed persons in urban and rural areas of developing countries. Informal sector activities also include activities that are often carried out without formal approval from the authorities and are therefore "outside" the legal and regulatory frameworks.

Training for Work in the Informal Sector: New evidence from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
by Hans Christiaan Haan, 2002
More than a decade has passed since a stocktaking exercise was held at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin in relation to the situation of skills development of those working in “informal” micro and small enterprises (MSEs). The present paper essentially intends to provide an overview of some of the major developments that have taken place since then, both with regard to the needs and demand for training as well as the supply of relevant training services available to informal operators.


Training and Skill Formation for Decent Work in the Informal Sector: Case Studies from South India
by Amit Mitra, Geneva, 2002.
While various conceptualisations of the informal sector have been debated ever since it was formulated in the early 1970s (Bangasser, 2000; Hart, 1973), the fact remains that nearly 500 million people around the world are employed in the informal sector today (ILO, 1998). It is now being increasingly recognised that the phenomenon is here to stay and that government policies for economic and social development, including education and training policies, should target those who work in this sector. Despite the international attention on informal sector analyses over the past two decades, training, skill formation and education for workers in this sector have received much less attention than it deserves from researchers as well as policy makers.

Home work in selected Latin American countries: A comparative View
by Manuela Tomei; 2000.(Available also in Spanish)
Home work is an enduring, flexible mode of work which, according to various sources, is acquiring a new impetus as a result of the current processes relating to more flexible production and economic globalization. Traditionally, home work used to be associated with low-productivity activities engaging principally non-organized female labour, in situations of over-exploitation, precariousness and poverty. Today, however, it is emerging also in cutting-edge sectors and absorbing qualified manpower with substantial bargaining power. In the light of the new facets and characteristics acquired by this mode of work, the analytical concepts and categories traditionally used should be reviewed, and employment policy reformulated accordingly. The subject was discussed by the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1995 and 1996, and culminated with the adoption of Convention No. 177 and Recommendation No. 184, thus reflecting efforts, at the international level, to gain a clearer understanding of this phenomenon and of the most appropriate measures to deal with it.
Homeworkers in Paraguay
Maria Victorial Heikel; 2000. (Available also in Spanish)

Homeworkers in Peru
Francisco Verdera; 2000. (Available also in Spanish)
From Journal of World Systems Research, Vol 12 N. 1 2006
James C. Fraser
Globalization, Development and Ordinary Cities: A Review Essay Book Reviews
What are the underlying spatial assumptions about the world that renders some cities exemplars of modernity and innovation, while others are cast as being behind, and worse yet, forgotten places? This  is a key question that has emerged in geography and sociology, and is addressed in Jennifer Robinson’s book Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development. The purpose of this essay is two-fold in that it provides a review of Robinson’s book and it also uses her text as a vehicle to interrogate the geo-politics of urban theory development. In particular, scholars have voiced concern over the manner in which “world cities” and then “global cities” have the power/knowledge effect of reifying the idea that there is one “world system” that can be measured objectively.

Conference on African Migration in Comparative Perspective - June, 2003
M. Cerrutti and R. Bertoncello
Urbanization and Internal Migration Patterns in Latin America
A. Portes
Urbanization in Comparative Perspective

Graeme Hugo, GISCA, Australia
"Urbanization in Asia: An Overview"

C. Elisa Florez, CEDE, Colombia
"Migration and the Urban Informal Sector in Colombia"
Kinuthia Macharia, American University, USA
"Migration in Kenya and Its Impact on the Labor Market"
From "State of the World Population 2004", UNFPA
Migration and Urbanisation
In order to achieve a balanced spatial distribution of production employment and population, countries should adopt sustainable regional development strategies and strategies for the encouragement of urban consolidation, the growth of small or medium-sized urban centres and the sustainable development of rural areas, including the adoption of labour-intensive projects, training for non-farming jobs for youth and effective transport and communication systems. To create an enabling context for local development, including the provision of services, governments should consider decentralizing their administrative systems.
U.S. Census Bureau
Total Middyear Population of the World. 1950-2050
Historical Estimates of World Population (-10000-1950)
The World Bank Group:
Urban Development

The Urban Poor in Latin America
(2005) Along with the urbanization of Latin America's population has come an urbanization of its poor - today about half of the region's poor live in cities.
Analyzing Urban Poverty: A Summary of Methods and Approaches
(2004) This paper summarizes the main issues in conducting urban poverty analysis, with a focus on presenting a sample of case studies from urban areas that were implemented by a number of different agencies using a range of analytical approaches for studying urban poverty.
Urban Policy and Economic Development: an agenda for the 1990s
(1991) This paper analyzes the fiscal, financial and real sector linkages between urban economic activities and macroeconomic performance. It builds on this analysis to propose a policy framework and strategy that will redefine the urban challenge in developing countries. First, the developing countries, the international community, and the World Bank should move toward a broader view of urban issues, a view that moves beyond housing and residential infrastructure, and that emphasizes the productivity of the urban economy and the need to alleviate the constraints on productivity. Second, with urban poverty increasing, the productivity of the urban poor should be enhanced by increasing the demand for labor and improving access to basic infrastructure and social services. Third, more attention should be devoted to reversing the deterioration of the urban environment. Fourth, the serious gap in understanding urban issues must be closed. With the decline in urban research during the 1980s, few countries have a sound analytical basis for urban policy.
Global Urban and Local Government Strategy
Executive Summary
Full Report (PDF files)
Cities in Transition Executive Summary (PDF file)

(1999) Winds of change affecting urban areas and local governments underscore the importance of urban development to national goals
G. Tolly & V. S. Thomas (1987)
Economics of Urbanization and Urban Policies in Developing countries
"Urban problems in developing countries have become more acute in recent decades as people have flocked to cities, and the largest cities have been affected the most. In coming years, as population growth continues throughout the developing world, urban problems promise to become increasingly severe. The volume seeks to promote better understanding and evaluation of policies designed to cope with these issues. It draws together studies of the causes of observed urbanization patterns and builds on them to provide a better foundation for policy analysis."
M. Ravaillan
On the urbanization of poverty
"The poor urbanize faster than the population as a whole. But experience across countries suggests that a majority of the poor will still live in rural areas long after most people in the developing world live in urban areas. "
R. Rojas
Notes on urbanization in developing societies other macrostructural changes, urban growth in less developing societies is closely associated with capitalist penetration and expansion, ...dependent urbanization, as opposed to city growth in industrialized areas, must be understood as the expression of the colonial/neo colonial social dynamic of human settlements; ...because dependent capitalism is characterised by high levels of urban unemployment, 'marginality' and material inequalities, urban poverty will be a feature of urban growth in less developed societies

Related themes:
- Inequality/social exclusion
- Poverty
- Informal sector

- Microfinance
- Aid
Complete list of development themes
Urban Poverty and the Informal Sector
A Critical Assessment of Current Strategies

By S.V. Sethuraman
Development Policies Department
International Labour Office - Geneva
United Nations Development Programme - August 1997
With increasing urbanization the developing world is faced with a new challenge: how to arrest the decline in urban environment and living conditions? The situation is likely to get worse because of population growth and migration. The urban population in these countries is expected to reach about two billions by the year 2000, or three times the figure in 1970. Much effort has gone into building capacity within governments to cope with the problem.

It has however become increasingly clear that unless the level of urban poverty is significantly reduced there is little chance of reversing the current trends. Substantial urban poverty not only limits the scope for mobilizing the revenue of urban authorities; more importantly it limits the effective demand for housing and other basic urban services due to low incomes. Employment being the most effective instrument to reduce poverty on a sustainable basis it is imperative that the development policies in these countries place emphasis on higher productivity and incomes of workers.

I. Introduction
Diminishing access to housing and other basic services: Proximate causes
II. Improving the urban living conditions and environment
Capacity building
Urban poverty: A limiting factor
III. Urban poverty and employment
Trends in urban poverty
Alleviating urban poverty: Role of employment
Urban unemployment: Rising?
Creating jobs: Diminishing capacity of the formal sector
Informal sector: The emerging focus
Urban poverty and the informal sector
IV. The urban informal sector: Evidence and issues
Clarifying the concept
Opportunities and constraints
Poor access to resources and markets
Basic infrastructure: Missing?
Regulations: A major constraint
Policy environment: Hostile?
Opportunities in growing and stagnant economies vary
Formal- informal sector linkages in the market
Policy bias
Development policy and the informal sector
V. Response from the governments and the international donor community
Current efforts to assist the urban informal sector
Easing access to credit
Easing access to training and technology
Access to land and infrastructure
Regulatory framework
Policy framework
Building capacity among self-help organizations
Have these interventions been effective in raising the incomes?
Training and other forms of assistance
Land and infrastructure
Lessons learnt
VI. Development of the urban informal sector: Towards an effective strategy
Current strategies to assist the informal sector: A critique
Missing link between micro and macro levels
Dichotomy: Formal and informal support systems
Role of land and infrastructure neglected
Towards a new strategy
Role of informal sector organizations
Design of direct interventions: Looking into the future
VII. Conclusion
Architects for Peace
Forum for architects and related professions seeking urban development based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace.
Environmental Education
Creating an environment to educate about the environment
Urban Environmental Management
Glossaries, definitions and indicators
Global Built Environment Review
A journal for architecture, planning, development and the environment GBER is being launched as a refereed quarterly electronic journal with a yearly printed edition. It aims to have a wide international readership comprising of architects, planners, developmentalists, environmentalists and students from both the western and the developing world. Although the main focus of GBER is the 'Built Environment' it also intends to include debates from the perspectives of the related macro socio economic, political and developmental issues. Its editorial policy particularly welcomes the views expressed through the socio culltural determinants of the present day 'multi cultural' society which influences the contemporary 'Global Built Environment'. The journal is genuinely interested in debates on the built environment of both the developing and the developed world. The idea is to foster an effective north south solidarity and provide a forum to encourage a better understanding and communication on a wide variety of built environment issues including the emerging 'globalisation and its impact on both Eastern and Western multicultural built environment'.
United Nations University
World Institute for Development Economic Research:

DP2005/04 Anne Trebilcock:
Decent Work and the Informal Economy (PDF 196KB)
The ILO was founded for social justice, a mandate expressed today in terms of decent work as a global goal, for all who work, whether in formal or informal contexts. In June 2002, the delegates to the International Labour Conference from governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations adopted a resolution incorporating conclusions on decent work and the informal economy. The four components of decent work – opportunities for employment and income, respect for rights at work, social protection and stronger social dialogue – form the backbone of the ILO’s approach to the informal economy. These elements can also be seen through a development lens, and necessarily feature a strong gender dimension. To make the action foreseen by the ILC conclusions more easily operational in a cross-disciplinary way, the issues they address can be cast in terms of macro policy, governance, enhancement of productivity, markets and employment, social protection/addressing vulnerabilities, and representation and voice. All play key roles in poverty reduction. Moreover, recognizing the importance of measuring progress towards decent work, developments in relation to indicators are briefly described. This paper includes annexes reproducing the ILC conclusions along with two relevant resolutions adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians and a list of ILO websites that address various aspects of decent work and the informal economy.

DP2005/02 Reema Nanavaty: From Local to Global and Informal to Formal: Entering Mainstream Markets (PDF 71KB)

RP2005/18 Ralitza Dimova, Ira N. Gang and John Landon-Lane: The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition (PFD 120KB)

RP2005/17 Eduardo Sojo and Roberto Villarreal: Public Policies to Promote Productive Occupation and Increase Formality among the Moderately Poor: The Mexican Agenda (PFD 238KB)

RP2005/16 Sally Roever: Enforcement and Compliance in Lima’s Street Markets: The Origins and Consequences of Policy Incoherence toward Informal Traders (PFD 137KB)

RP2005/19 Jeffrey B. Nugent and Shailender Swaminathan: Voluntary Contributions to Informal Activities Producing Public Goods: Can these be Induced by Government and other Formal Sector Agents? Some Evidence from Indonesian Posyandus (PFD 145KB)

RP2005/12 Sugata Marjit and Dibyendu S. Maiti:
Globalization, Reform and the Informal Sector (PFD 217KB)
The objective of the paper is to understand the transforming relationship between the formal and informal sector in a liberalizing open developing economy. There are various facets in this relationship, and we focus on three essential aspects. First, we look at the impact of deregulatory policies in the informal sector on informal wages, the earning index of the substantial majority of the workforce in a developing economy. Theoretical discussions are followed by empirical evidence on informal manufacturing in India. Implications of introducing labour laws are also discussed. Then, we highlight the vertical relationship between the formal and the informal sectors and the consequence of reformatory policies, in particular, the impact on the relative size of these segments within an erstwhile protected sector. Empirical evidence from Brazil and Colombia seems to match our theoretical conjectures. We conclude with a discussion of a fieldbased survey on the changing relationship between formal and informal entrepreneurs in a range of rural industries in India, as these industries gear up for expanded markets and export. This is done to provide further insight into the transformation process.

RP2005/11 Keith Hart:
Formal Bureaucracy and the Emergent Forms of the Informal Economy (PFD 114KB)
The following essay has three parts. The first is a story about fluctuations in the balance of the relationship between impersonal and personal principles of social organization. This draws heavily on Max Weber’s interpretation of western history. The second part reviews the concept of an ‘informal economy/sector’ from its origin in discussions of the Third World urban poor to its present status as a universal feature of economy. The third part asks how we might conceive of combining the formal/informal pair with a view to promoting development. In conclusion I suggest how partnerships between bureaucracy and the people might be made more equal.

RP2005/10 Martha Alter Chen:
Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment (PFD 148KB)
This paper explores the relationship of the informal economy to the formal economy and to the formal regulatory environment. It begins with a comparison of the earlier concept of the ‘informal sector’ with the new expanded concept of the ‘informal economy’ which includes microentrepreneurs, own account operators, informal wage workers, and industrial outworkers. The central arguments of the paper are that (a) most informal enterprises and workers are intrinsically linked to formal firms; (b) different segments of the informal economy are overregulated, de-regulated, or under-regulated; and (c) there are benefits and costs to both formality and informality. The paper concludes that the appropriate role for government is (i) to ensure that the formal regulatory environment is not biased in favour of formal firms and workers over informal enterprises and workers (or vice versa) and (ii) to regulate the commercial and employment relationships between formal firms, informal enterprises, and informal wage workers.

RP2005/14 aqui Michael Grimm and Isabel Günther: Inter- and Intra-household Linkages Between the Informal and Formal Sector: A Case Study for Urban Burkina Faso (PFD 252KB)

RP2005/13 Peter Little: Unofficial Trade When States are Weak: The Case of Cross-Border Commerce in the Horn of Africa (PFD 227KB)

Shanghai Urban Environment Project
Haiphong, Vietnam, Urban Development Project
Wages and productivity in Mexican manufacturing Vol. 1 (2003)
The World Bank economic review 11(3) Vol. 1 (English)(1997)
Development Gateway:
Urban Development
Metropolitan Governance --- Urban Poverty and Environment --- Urban Waste Management --- Urban Mobility Management --- Metropolitan Performance Measurement --- Water Management
Strategic Planning
Water and Sewerage
Municipal Finance
New Technologies
Social Policy
Economic Development
Urban Poverty

Data and Statistics --- Documents and Reports --- Events and Discussion Forums --- Get Involved --- How to / Tools --- Organizations, Networks, People --- Programs and Projects --- Publications and Multimedia
ELDIS: Urban development
ELDIS: Population and reproductive health
Population and Development/United Nations
ELDIS: Health
World Resources 1996-97
(A joint publication by The World Resource Institute, The United Nations Environment Programme, The United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank) (Data edited by Dr. Róbinson Rojas)

Part I: The Urban Environment
Chapter 1: Cities and the Environment

           Urban Growth Patterns
           What Fuels Urban Growth?
           Urban Poverty
           Urban Environmental Problems
           Economic Costs of Urban Environmental Degradation
           Confronting the Urban Environmental Challenge

•Abidjan: A Portrait of the African Urban Experience
•The Challenge of Environmental Deterioration in Jakarta
•What is an Urban Area?
•Sharing Responsibility for Inner-City Problems
•Detroit Battles Long-Term Effects of Suburban Flight
•Pollution and Health in the Transition Economies
Designing Sustainable Solutions for Cities

Chapter 2: Urban Environment and Human Health

           Health Profiles of Urban Dwellers
           The Urban Physical Environment and Health
           The Urban Social Environment and Health
           Multisectoral Strategies for Improving the Health of
               Urban Dwellers

•Can We Improve Neighborhood Quality in Neglected U.S. Cities?
•ASHA Works to Improve Health in Delhi
•The Black Death Revisited: India's 1994 Plague Epidemic
•Household Environmental Problems, Wealth, and City Size
•Community Perceptions of Urban Health Risks

Chapter 3: Urban Impacts on Natural Resources

           Land Conversion
           Extraction and Depletion of Natural Resources
           Urban Wastes
           Integrated Approaches to Protect the Resource Base

•Water: The Challenge for Mexico City
•Los Angeles Copes with Air Pollution

Chapter 4: Urban Transportation

           Urban Transportation Trends
           Impacts of Urban Transportation Trends
           Moving Forward: Key Strategies and Tools
           Improving the Transportation Supply

•The Indian Transportation Paradigm
•Setting Limits Pays Off in Portland, Oregon
•Nonmotorized Transportation: What's To Become of Bicycles
                              and Pedestrians

Chapter 5: Urban Priorities for Action

           Priorities for Action: Water and Sanitation
           Promoting Water Conservation
           Priorities for Action: Solid Waste Management
           Priorities for Action: Air Pollution
           Priorities for Action: Land Use

Ranking Bangkok's Urban Environmental Problems
Forging a Combined Approach to Urban Pollution Control
Costs and Benefits of Water and Air Pollution Controls in Santiago
•Integrated Transportation and Land Use Planning Channel
Curitiba's Growth

Chapter 6: City and Community: Toward Environmental Sustainability

           Strengthening Local Governments in Developing Countries
           A Community-level Approach to Environmental Management
           Setting Priorities
           Cities and Sustainable Development

Cities Take Action: Local Environmental Initiatives
The Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi, Pakistan
Housing Program for Cali's Poor Encourages Self-Help
Citizen Participation Leads to Better Plan for the Bronx, New York
Nigeria's Community Banks: A Capital Idea
International Urban Environment Programs
Interamerican Development Bank

Urban Development:
Urban Heritage Conservation
Urban Poverty
Urbanization has made it easier to satisfy some of the basic needs of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, yet it has not reduced the overall problem of urban poverty. Although public services are more abundant in urban areas, the higher cost of living and lower and unstable incomes push most of the population into poverty, limiting their access to the goods and services offered in the cities. During the last three decades, the number of poor urban residents has increased significantly, from 44 million in 1970 to 125 million in 2000, whereas the number of rural inhabitants living in poverty has remained stable at approximately 78 million. Urban poverty is increasing as a result of the rise in informal urban employment (which, in turn, results from the inability of the region's economies to generate sufficient formal employment). In certain cases, the informal sector, which concentrates mainly in service activities, represents up to 73 percent of the urban labor market. The main challenge facing Latin American and Caribbean cities is how to incorporate this informal workforce into the formal economy, where wages, social protection and productivity are higher, or, alternatively, how to improve the productivity, income and level of protection of informal employment.
Urban poverty is characterized by significant and multiple deficiencies whose main dimensions include:
- Insufficient or unstable income, which leads to inadequate consumption;
- Risks caused by deficient access to basic goods and services;
- Low-quality housing that leaves residents more vulnerable to critical sanitary problems, contamination, crime and natural disasters; and
- Discrimination and limited access to the formal labor market, in particular for women and ethnic groups.
Solutions to these problems require multi-sector interventions coordinated in the impoverished neighborhoods. Acting in coordination with the Poverty Unit and other teams in the Sustainable Development Department, the Social Programs Division works to understand the multiple dimensions and characteristics of urban poverty, principally those that affect the inhabitants of central areas, and to identify effective policies that address the most urgent concerns. Technical studies and best practice analysis on these issues support Bank loans to rehabilitate central areas and upgrade neighborhoods.

Urban Rehabilitation
The rapid growth of Latin American and Caribbean cities has prompted a surge in the economies of the region, but has also created new problems. One major concern is the abandonment of central areas of cities, the result of a complex combination of consumer preferences and deficient public policies that encourage urban sprawl. The most dynamic economic activities, high-income households and the services that supply them, have moved to the periphery, demanding new infrastructure and generating new urban facilities (such as shopping malls, gated communities and country clubs). This process causes the economic and social decay of central areas and the deterioration of real estate assets and infrastructure.
Several local and state governments have implemented programs to rehabilitate and develop these abandoned central areas. The IDB supports these programs through loans and technical assistance. They include a variety of interrelated interventions including changes in zoning, infrastructure rehabilitation, improvement of public spaces, the promotion of new economic activities, the preservation of heritage or symbolic buildings and the recovery, recycling or redevelopment of private buildings. Execution of these programs requires significant financial and institutional resources, as well as the establishment of strong alliances between all interested parties, in order to sustain the interventions in the long term.
The Sustainable Development Department collaborates with the Regional Operations Departments in the identification, design and execution of urban rehabilitation programs through good practice studies and operational guidelines. The study of international urban rehabilitation programs indicates that successful projects require well-coordinated interventions, executed in a suitable sequence and with sufficient scale to counteract the negative trends in real estate markets. The proper execution of these programs requires efficient institutions capable of working in cooperation with the private sector. For this reason, the Bank emphasizes the development and strengthening of the institutional capacity of the executing agencies in all urban rehabilitation projects.

Municipal and Regional Development
Neighborhood Upgrading

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...and dev4000.htm

Puro Chile la memoria del pueblo
Proyecto para el Primer Siglo Popular

Sector Informal

Sector Informal:
C. Ball: La economía informal
Habilidades y competencias para el sector informal en América Latina: Una revisión de la literatura sobre programas y metodologías de formación, María Antonia Gallart, 2002 (ILO)
Programa IFP/SKILLS (Economía informal ) Capacitación laboral para el sector informal en Colombia - Jaime Ramírez Guerrero, Ginebra, OIT, 2003
Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo

Desarrollo Urbano:

Puro Chile la mémoire du peuple
Projet pour le Premier Siècle Populaire

Secteur Informel

Le secteur informel dans l'economie de Saint-Louis et du delta du fleuve Senegal
Par B. Warr, 1998
Le secteur informel s'est definitivement mis en place suite a la crise de l'emploi et a la grande secheresse des annees 70, et est apparu comme une reponse des populations a l'effondrement de leur revenu et a la baisse continue de leur pouvoir d'achat. Ce document etudie l'etendue du secteur informel dans la region de Saint-Louis et du delta du fleuve Senegal.
Formation professionnelle des jeunes dans le secteur informel de l'économie en Afrique
Développer les connaissances sur les relations entre le développement des compétences, l'emploi, l'égalité entre hommes et femmes et le travail décent dans le secteur informel
La croissance phénoménale de l'économie informelle au cours des trois dernières décennies pose un défi majeur au programme de l'OIT sur le travail décent. Le développement des compétences et des connaissances constitue indéniablement un instrument crucial pour promouvoir un travail décent dans l'économie informelle.
Le secteur informel. Les formes atypiques du travail
"Un groupe d'action intersectoriel sur le travail décent dans l'économie informelle garantira que les recherches, politiques et programmes axés sur l'économie informelle offrent une approche cohérente tenant compte de tous les objectifs stratégiques de l'OIT."
OIT, Cadre stratégique pour la période 2000-2005

Secteur informel, emploi informel, économie non observée: méthodes de mesure et d'estimation appliquées aux économies en transition. L'exemple de la Moldavie.. Par Jacques Charmes
Centre d’Economie et d’Ethique pour l’Environnement et le Développement
Université de Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
Deux concepts de population active sont venus compléter, dans la période récente, la panoplie des concepts classiques forgés de longue date par la Conférence Internationale des Statisticiens du travail (CIST). Les concepts d’emploi, de chômage et de sous emploi ont été élaborés sur la base des réalités de sociétés à dominante salariale et ce n’est que progressivement qu’ils se sont adaptés à des réalités différentes, marquées par une prédominance de l’emploi non salarié dans les pays en développement. Les deux concepts récemment adoptés ou débattus sont ceux de « secteur informel » et d’ « emploi informel ».

Afrique : le secteur informel
La décennie 80 marque le début de la crise économique et la mise du continent africain (en proie à des difficultés sans équivalents) sous administration du F.M.I. et de la Banque Mondiale.
Implicite dans les années 70, le secteur informel a pris de l'ampleur au point de concurrencer le secteur formel. Déjà à l'époque coloniale, les agents économiques arrivaient à soustraire leur production de l'impôt dit "impôt de capitation", dénoncé par les leaders des mouvements de résistance.
Que de temps perdu aujourd'hui à élaborer des plans de sauvetage, à réduire des dettes, alors qu'entre temps les populations doivent vivre ou plutôt survivre : d'où la floraison et l'ampleur des activités du secteur informel.
Quelles sont les causes de cette émergence ? Est-ce un frein ou un facteur de développement ? Définition : Le secteur informel est l'ensemble des activités :économiques qui se réalisent en marge de législation pénale, sociale et fiscale ou qui échappent a la Comptabilité Nationale.
Exclusion sociale, secteur informel et l’économie social
Par Patrick Develtere - Le Courier ACP-UE, No. 178, Dec. 1999 - Jan. 2000, pp.68-70
Le secteur informel au Bénin
Source de vitalité et de diversité dans l'économie pour certains, mais stratégie précaire et marginale pour d'autres, le secteur informel nourrit d'innombrables polémiques. Au Bénin, la décennie 80 a été caractérisée par une forte croissance de ce secteur. Implicite dans les années 70, il a pris énormément d'ampleur au point de concurrencer, à son avantage, le secteur formel. Ce foisonnement du secteur informel principalement dû à l'incapacité de l'Etat à répondre aux besoins fondamentaux de la population dans les domaines de l'emploi, de la santé, du logement et de l'éducation, apporte un certain nombre de questions:
  • Faut-il promouvoir l'emploi dans le secteur informel ou dans les micro-entreprises ?
  • En soutenant le secteur informel, favorise t-on la création de formes d'emploi non protégées ?
  • Comment protéger les travailleurs de ce secteur?
Il convient donc de procéder à une analyse de ce secteur dans le but de déterminer si le secteur informel constitue un frein ou un facteur de développement au sein de l'économie béninoise et d'étudier dans quelle mesure il est possible d'apporter des solutions aux problèmes que rencontrent les activités informelles et éventuellement de formaliser ce secteur.

Inde: intégrer le secteur informel à l’économie mondiale
English Español
Par Mary Treacy,
CCI - Forum du commerce international - No. 4/2003
Avoir accès aux marchés internationaux est essentiel à la sécurité économique d’innombrables pauvres travaillant dans le secteur informel. Selon la SEWA, en Inde, ce secteur comprend des travailleurs à domicile, des vendeurs, des travailleurs manuels et des prestataires de services. Il s’élève à 70% du PIB et à plus de 40% des exportations. De la main-d’œuvre totale, les 93% travaillent dans le secteur informel, dont 60% de femmes. Œuvrant dans le secteur informel, l’Association des travailleuses indépendantes (SEWA: Self-Employed Women’s Association) aide des milliers de femmes indiennes à subvenir à leurs besoins. Son succès national l’a encouragée à mettre sur pied le Centre de facilitation commerciale (STFC: SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre) pour aider les femmes à se lancer dans l’exportation. Cela a énormément stimulé les exportations et apporté sécurité et prospérité à la population rurale pauvre du pays.