In January 2009 there was consensus among Inclusive Cities partners that a rapid assessment of the impact of the crisis on the informal economy was an immediate research priority. At the time little was known about the impact of the recession on those working informally. During May, June and July 2009 individual and focus group interviews were conducted with informal workers in 10 developing cities. Interviews were arranged and in most cases conducted by Inclusive Cities' partners.
The first round of the research outlined specific impacts on three worker groups home based workers, street traders and waste collectors. The research found that informal workers were being forced to overwork, take on additional risks, cut back on expenditure (including food and health care), and still to see their incomes decline. Drawing on suggestions from workers themselves, the report makes a series of policy recommendations. The first round of research results was collated into a detailed report, a summary report and a fact sheet.
In the second round of the research interviewers went back to the same participants and asked them about what changes they have experienced. In this round of the study more attention was paid to identifying and prioritising policy and organisational interventions. The first round of research results was collated into a detailed report, a summary report and a fact sheet.
In early June those involved in conducting the study and research experts met for the first time. All agreed that this study should continue and be developed into an annual assessment of 'the state of the informal economy'.