Found 5 article(s) for author 'Martha Chen'

The IMF, Gender Equality and Labour

The IMF, Gender Equality and Labour. Martha Chen, October 2017, Book, “Recent research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognizes that macroeconomic policies can help to redress gender inequalities by creating more fiscal space for key public investments in infrastructure, education and health. Such investments reduce the time women spend on domestic chores and caring for their families, giving them more opportunities to engage in paid work. For women home-based workers, who produce goods and services from their own homes, basic infrastructure services make their homes more productive workplaces.” Link

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Home-Based Workers and Cities

Home-Based Workers and Cities. Martha Chen, 2016, Paper. “This paper explores the impact of local government policies and urban plans on home-based workers. It presents recent national data on the size and composition of home-based work in developing countries as well as findings from two recent field studies of urban home-based workers in several Asian cities/countries. The research findings highlight that homes often double as workplaces, especially for women workers, and that slums are domains of significant economic activities. Reflecting these twin facts, as well as the demands of home-based workers, the paper makes the case that city governments and urban planners need to integrate home-based workers and their livelihood activities into local economic development plans. It also argues that city governments need to extend basic infrastructure to the homes-cum-workplaces of home-based workers, as well as transport services to the settlements where they live and work. The paper provides some promising examples of where and how this has been done, largely in response to effective advocacy by organizations of home-based workers.Link

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Technology, informal workers and cities: insights from Ahmedabad (India), Durban (South Africa) and Lima (Peru)

Technology, informal workers and cities: insights from Ahmedabad (India), Durban (South Africa) and Lima (Peru). Martha Chen, 2016, Paper. “Technology is a key driver of change, not least in the world of work. Yet little is known about what technologies are used by – or impact on – the working poor in the informal economy, and in what ways. This paper presents findings from a 2015 study by the WIEGO network and local partners in three cities: Ahmedabad, India; Durban, South Africa; and Lima, Peru. The findings reveal that informal workers in the study cities are using diverse tools, from manual devices to electrical equipment and internet platforms, to strengthen their livelihoods. Overall, the tools used tend to be basic. Often they are being adapted in ingenious ways in order to adapt to resource and other constraints. Take-up of improved tools is limited by low incomes and concerns about theft and confiscation. It is also affected by city-level, context-specific systems of energy, transport and waste. This paper summarizes which types of technologies are most useful to different sectors of informal workers. It argues that the policy and regulatory environment, and city-wide technological systems, should be more responsive to the technological and other needs of the urban informal workforce.Link

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The Informal Economy: Recent Trends, Future Directions

The Informal Economy: Recent Trends, Future Directions. Martha Chen, June 1, 2016, Paper. “Informal employment represents more than half of nonagricultural employment in most developing regions, contributes to the overall economy, and provides pathways to reduction of poverty and inequality. Support to the informal economy should include the expansion of occupational health and safety to include informal workers, based on an analysis of their work places and work risks. The paper presents main schools of thought and argues for a holistic understanding of the different segments of the informal work force and for policies and interventions tailored to the needs and constraints of these different segments. The paper recommends a policy approach which seeks to extend social protection, including occupational health and safety services, to informal workers, and to increase the productivity of informal enterprises and informal workers through an enabling environment and support services.Link

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Informal Employment and Development: Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion

Informal Employment and Development: Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion, Martha Chen, September 2014, Paper, At present, there is renewed interest in the informal economy worldwide. This renewed interest has rekindled some of the old debates about the phenomenon. This article will address two of the core debates: first, whether or not the informal economy is linked to the formal economy and modern capitalist development; and, second, whether or not the informal economy is outside the reach of government regulation. In so doing, it will raise a third dimension largely overlooked in the debates: the exclusion of the informal economy in economic development planning, especially at the local level.. Link

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