This project, which was funded by SHLC’s Capacity Development Acceleration Fund, aims to set up a participatory policy engagement process to facilitate political and economic inclusion for informal workers in Cali, Colombia, that could be replicated in other cities in the Global South to promote more inclusive urban governance.

The informal economy plays a central role in economic and social life in cities in the Global South. According to the International Labour Organization over half of all global non-agricultural employment can be classified as informal. As rapid urban population growth outpaces formal employment creation, the informal economy, for many, offers the only viable means of livelihood support. This is particularly true for groups that face widespread exclusion from the labour market, including women, youths, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, refugees and ex-combatants. Lacking enforceable rights and protections, their informal status often compounds their marginalization.

Streetside plantain vendor, Colombia. Credit: Flickr Adam Cohn
Streetside plantain vendor, Colombia. Credit: Flickr Adam Cohn

The main objectives of the projects are:

  1. To allow street vendors, government officials, civil society groups to participate in an inclusive governance process that is sustainable beyond the initial funding period.
  2. To mobilize the extensive knowledge of the applicants on the governance of urban informality to have a practical policy impact.
  3. To aid in capacity building for participants.
  4. To consider how similar processes can be replicated in cities in the Global South.

Project Outputs

The project was led by Lina Martinez from Universidad Icesi, Cali and Graeme Young, University of Glasgow.

This research project ‘Promoting Inclusive Governance for Informal Workers in Cali, Colombia’ was funded by the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC)’s Capacity Development Acceleration Fund. SHLC is funded via UK Research and Innovation as part of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.