International study for Durban headed by UKZN Professor

aboriginalconspiracyUrban and Civil

Nov 16, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)



International study for Durban headed by UKZN Professor

An international study of the informal economy is being undertaken over the period 2012
14 in
10 cities around the world

Ahmedabad, Pune, Lahore, Bangkok, Bogota, Lima, Belo
Durban, Accra and Nakuru. It is the first ever panel study of work in the informal economy. A
research and methodology training workshop is scheduled to take place in Durban to train the
teams from 11
20 April.

This study will provide an in
h assessment on a longitudinal basis of the state of the urban
informal workforce and how it is affected by economic trends, urban policies and practices,
value chain dynamics, and climate change. This assessment will be used to raise the profile of
the in
formal economy in local, national, and international policy debates.

This study was the brainchild of the international research network Women in Informal
Employment: Globalising and Organising, WIEGO (see,
), led by Professor Marty
Chen of Harvard University. UKZN’s Professor Imraan Valodia is Research Director of the overall
international study, and also leading the quantitative component of the research. UKZN’s
Professor Francie Lund is a member of t
he Technical Advisory Committee. Professor Caroline
Moser of the University of Manchester is leading the qualitative dimensions of the research. A
number of other leading international researchers are associated with the project. Valodia,
highlighted tha
t this study will provide reliable indicators of the state of the urban informal

‘The information and findings of this study will be disseminated in each of the 10 cities to
planning authorities, institutions that impact on economic employment pro
grammes and
academic institutions. We hope to influence policy makers and in turn improve the lives of urban
informal workers,’ he said. A set of research papers will also be published in various academic
publications and journals.

The project will be und
ertaken in two rounds over three years, in the ten cities, with full research
rounds taking place in 2012 and 2014. Piloting of the revised and expanded project methods is
being undertaken during the April 2012 workshop in Durban with research expected to

commence in May 2012 after the workshop training.

According to Valodia, this study will combine qualitative and quantitative research methods to
provide an in
depth understanding of how three groups of urban informal workers

based workers, street
vendors, and waste pickers

are affected by and respond to economic
trends, urban policies and practices, value chain dynamics, and other driving forces; what
intermediary factors help or constrain urban informal workers to respond effectively to these
iving forces; and the impact over time of these dynamics on urban informal workers, their
households, and the membership
based organizations to which they belong.

Five Durban
based researchers, that include both past and current UKZN students, will attend

his 8
day workshop that will focus on training the members of the research team in the specific
research methods developed for the study, particularly the participatory research techniques.
In total, approximately, 70 researchers from all parts of the
world will be attending the workshop
in Durban.

‘There will be an initial five day PRA training session for the qualitative team members, followed
by a four day quantitative methods training workshop, with overlap on day 5 of the meeting.


Professor Imraan Valodia

Development Studies

School of the Built Environment and Development Studies

University of KwaZulu

Howard College Campus

Durban, 4041

South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)31 2601357

Cell: +27 (0)836335069

Fax: +27 (
0)31 2602359