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2.4 Approaches to enhance livelihoods, equity and inclusion

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Alessio Lupi11 May 2018

In addition: what are the new strategies adopted by people relying on informal economy activities themselves?

Principal Research Question details: What (innovative) approaches do national and international entities use to enhance livelihoods, equity and inclusion of people dependent on the informal economy? What are the new strategies adopted by people relying on informal economy activities themselves?


Summary of Recommendations on Approaches to enhance livelihoods, equity and inclusion

1. Promote and facilitate social dialogue and participation between key stakeholders in the design, planning and dissemination of results on IE related programming. Facilitate formation of associations and other groups of people dependent on the IE. Ensure that well-functioning networks of key stakeholders are created at national, local and community level to strengthen the socio-economic position of people dependent on the IE. Support programming to facilitate awareness raising of people dependent on the IE about their democratic rights in elections and organising.  Give marginalised persons a voice in governance and investment decision on issues related to socio-economic development. Design and implement long term methods to continuously share progress, good practices and lessons learned on IE issues using mass media, digital social media, and traditional means.

2. Ensure that the design and implementation of social protection programming specifically includes attention to people dependent on the IE. This should include the design of relevant types of social protection, including access to micro-insurance support specifically oriented to people dependent on the IE. Verify alignment of IE related project activities with available government social protection services. Ensure the input of people from the IE into design and implementation processes of social protection programming and adjust content in line with their evolving needs. Take into consideration that needs of people dependent on the IE may change during their life cycle and that their socio-economic context may also change. As a result, ensure flexibility in social protection programming. Adjust available social protection services over time and for different categories of people dependent on the IE using good practices and lessons learned from experienced IE support groups. Provide support to facilitate access of people dependent on the IE to relevant social protection services while ensuring that service providers have the needed capacities.

3. Include attention to food security issues—such as nutrition education and access to quality food—in programming with people dependent on the IE who have special food security vulnerabilities.

4. Address power imbalances that perpetuate the dependence of vulnerable groups on IE employment. Ensure that planning not only focuses on inclusion of adequate quotas of women/men and other groups in project activities but also pays attention to righting imbalances regarding access to resources to develop economic activities and a voice in decision making. This may include training and mentoring on social and economic empowerment of women as well as people from various vulnerable groups. Include men in awareness raising on women’s roles and rights in the IE.

5. Carry out gender analysis and/or other analysis of other vulnerable groups dependent on the IE with regard to their roles and responsibilities in the household and the community and other relevant issues. Include analysis of differences in access to and control over resources and decision-making, factors that constrain or facilitate equal participation of women and men in community development processes and the different capacities, needs and priorities of women and men. Draw on the existing knowledge and capacities of women, men, boys and girls. Make use of existing tools on gender analysis (see body of the report). Use the acquired information to design and implement programming to support vulnerable groups who are dependent on the IE.

6. Ensure that gender issues are well articulated in programme design and implementation taking the different needs of women and men dependent on the IE into account. Where other groups such as youth, people with disabilities, living with or affected by HIV, the elderly, refugees and others are included in IE programming, ensure that their needs are equally considered. Take into account that the needs of these different groups within a single project may differ from each other. Encourage cross-linkages between projects on the IE and other development initiatives oriented to such vulnerable groups.

7. Consider the logistics ability of women and girls, youth, people with disabilities, living with HIV, refugees and the elderly to access support training and other activities organised with people dependent on the IE. Adapt training materials and other means of support so that various groups can access, understand and fully use them in their work in the informal economy and/or for formalising their activities. Support the development of labour saving devices to lighten household and IE related workload of vulnerable groups.

8. Use holistic approaches to address the needs of youth dependent on the IE to reach their full potential through provision of support for access and development of their:

  • General education
  • Technical work as well as behavioural skills such as team work and time management
  • Self-reliance
  • Knowledge of their rights and responsibilities

9. In the case of actions to eliminate hazardous child labour, aside from provision of SBCC, ensure that programming emphasis is placed on:

  • Development of sustainable decent work options for household members
  • Links to and capacity strengthening of available government/non state actors to provide economic empowerment support to families of child labourers.
  • Supportive legal and policy frameworks
  • Provision of access to available social protection services

10. Support economic empowerment of refugees as well as the communities in which they are situated whenever relevant. Study the contexts in both sending and receiving locations to ensure that appropriate economic empowerment programming is developed. Provide re-entry livelihoods support if and when refugees can return home. Support economic empowerment as well as activities against trafficking and exploitation in post-disaster 

SOURCE: RNSF research - Volume 4.2.



2.4.1 Social dialogue and IE

2.4.2 Social inclusion promotion (awareness raising on social inclusion in IE)

2.4.3 Social protection

2.4.4 Improving food security through enhancing livelihoods of people dependent on the informal economy

2.4.5 Strengthening IE with attention to gender issues

2.4.6 Strengthening IE with attention to youth and children

2.4.7 Strengthening IE with attention to people affected by HIV

2.4.8 Strengthening IE with attention to people with disabilities

2.4.9 Strengthening IE with attention to the elderly

2.4.10 Strengthening IE with attention to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons

2.4.11 Strengthening IE with attention to other vulnerable people


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