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2.1.8 Organising informal economy groups

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Alessio Lupi16 May 2018

2.1.8 Organising informal economy groups

Indicators: GP and LL on organising informal economy groups.

Data Analysis Methods: Analysis of GP and LL to determine adaptability and scalability. Identification of challenges identified during institution and capacity strengthening and determine if/how these were overcome.

Recommendations:

1. Promote the organising of people dependent on the IE into business associations or cooperatives to enable them to formalise and access possible government or other support. Include capacity strengthening focus on:

  • working together,
  • increase in sharing, exchanging and lending between community members of material goods, sharing of ideas and skills.

ReferenceZegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face).

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2. Note that it is necessary to strengthen the organisational capacities of cooperatives and informal enterprise groups as only forming such groups is not sufficient for them to be effective and self-sustaining.

ReferenceBangui, Cécile, 2014, Mid-term Evaluation of the Integrated Food Security Project in Kassala: Sudan (IFSP-Kassala) – GCP /SUD/069/CAN, Midterm or interim evaluation, FAO, Rome.

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3. Be flexible in the determination of types of informal groups that will be strengthened and/or established. Recognise that there may be different needs and do not promote a single approach throughout all projects/activities. Consider that there may be groups with strong forms of full partnership among the group members or simpler options such as cooperating on a single aspect such as marketing or transportation.

References:

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4. Integrate and study the results of cooperative approaches in small enterprise development. Organising cooperatives as an alternative to small enterprise associations may be useful in the context of formalising the informal economy. The extent to which this is beneficial needs further analysis.

References:

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5. Promote inter-producer IE group learning as opposed to only training from formal entities.

Reference: i-TEC, 2011, Uganda Livelihoods And Enterprises For Agricultural Development (LEAD), Mid Term Evaluation, Midterm or interim evaluation, USAID, Washington DC.

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6. Consider when starting groups—including for women and other people dependent on the informal economy—that a focus on building trust between group members is important. Use team building exercise methodologies to build trust. Even in communities where people may know each other there can be a need for such team building activities.

ReferenceSummers, Guy, 2013, Palestinian Women’s Economic Empowerment Project - Final evaluation.

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7. While organising IE workers into groups such as savings and credit cooperatives that can be beneficial to addressing decent work deficits, note that the heterogeneous nature of the informal economy may results in challenges. In project design, consider differences between IE operators and workers and the eventual potential challenges to scaling up activities after project end. Such consideration may take the form of good analysis of the functioning of types of IE activities and possible contextual challenges. Subsequently, envisage, test and measure results to learn lessons. Integrate lessons learned back into new programming.

ReferenceILO, 2014, Decent work results of ILO employment promotion interventions: lessons learned from evaluations, 2003-2013

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8. Promote the creation of Common Interest Groups (CIGs) as a first step towards the creation of cooperatives to enable efficient and effective economic and practical support.

ReferenceDenecke, Harry W., 2013, Support to household food security and livelihood of vulnerable and food insecure farming families.

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9. Consider promoting different types of group models depending on the context, the needs and purpose of the groups instead of using the same model throughout.  Test alternatives in parallel rather than in sequence.

ReferenceIEG Public Sector Evaluation, 2015, Project Performance Assessment Report India Ten Million Women and Counting.

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10. Foster more participation of vulnerable groups’ in informal groups by adapting the criteria to obtain membership and to stay a member.

ReferenceTurrall, Susanne, 2013, A Study of Evidence in Mainstreaming Social Inclusion into Programmes Promoting Agricultural.

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11. Keep supporting groups even after a project ceases to operate. Try to sustain technical support for their activities for (at least) another production period and/or better to guide their transformation process in cooperatives. Gradual phasing out of support is preferable to immediate end of technical support at project closure.

ReferenceDenecke, Harry W., 2013, Support to household food security and livelihood of vulnerable and food insecure farming families.

 

SOURCE: RNSF research - Volume 4.2

 

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