Perceptions of ‘Good Work’ in the Informal Urban Economy: Evidence from Burkina Faso, Uganda and Sri Lanka

William Monteith, Lena Giesbert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The quality of people’s work is widely regarded to be fundamental to personal autonomy, self-respect, and social participation. These factors – influenced by local understandings of the value of different forms of work – are of high relevance to social mobility and ultimately, well-being. In many developing countries the majority of the workforce is employed in the so-called informal sector. However, despite the growing literature on quality of work, and the commitment of the ILO’s ‘decent work’ initiative to non-formal forms of employment, scholars continue to focus on ‘procedural’ characteristics of work - such as income and tenure - commonly associated with formal employment. Few attempts have been made to investigate the subjective experiences and perceptions of informal employees and entrepreneurs.

Drawing upon the findings of 13 focus group discussions, this paper examines perceptions of ‘good work’ - and experiences of work in general - in the urban informal economies of Burkina Faso, Uganda and Sri Lanka. Adopting Sen’s Capability Approach, we show how people’s perceptions of work are connected with their family obligations, social relations and socio-economic context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventEADI 14th General Conference: Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes - , United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jun 2014 → …

Conference

ConferenceEADI 14th General Conference: Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period23/06/14 → …

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