Researchers recommend inclusive policies to improve informal sector

Researchers recommend inclusive policies to improve informal sector

A new study has recommended enforcement of policies and regulations that take into account needs of an ever growing informal sector.

The recommendations were result of a research conducted by the Mzumbe University (MU) in collaboration with the Nairobi University and University of Roskilde in Denmark from 2017-2020 in Tanzania and Kenya.

It was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

The research “Informal Sector and Social Protection” investigated the extent to which informal sector workers in construction, transportation and micro entrepreneurship access, through their associations, social protection schemes.

Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Nairobi and Kisumu cities were used as a case study.

“There is a need to extend the legal framework to cover transport sector informal workforce,” said a senior researcher and Project Leader from Mzumbe University, Dr Godbetha Kinyondo during the dissemination workshop of the research findings to different stakeholders in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

She said the government should develop capacity building programs, and encourage participation of informal transport workers, and their associations in policy making process.

Also recommended was a review of various social protection programs so as to accommodate specific needs of the informal transport sector, so as to secure members economic and social rights.

The researcher said to improve overall enrolment rated into formal social protection schemes, the government must ensure appropriate benefit packages, create comprehensible information and establish convenient enrolment for informal transport workers.

Another researcher, Mr Aloyce Gervas, also from Mzumbe University, noted that the ongoing growth of informal workers in construction sector should go hand in hand with the availability of health insurance covers, pension schemes, increased health and safety at work places among other benefits.

“There is a need to review a national construction sector policy to recognize informal construction workers,” said Mr Gervas, adding that the Health and Safety Policy should also be reviewed to address issues of concerns afflicting informer workers working in formal work settings such as construction workers.

Prof. Winnie Mitullah, a senior researcher from the University of Nairobi said the quest to improve informal sector need a multisectoral approach and collaboration among countries to bear intended results.

She said researchers, government officials, development partners and micro entrepreneurs must work together and eventually institutionalize recommendations to attain sustainable development.

Madam Anne Kamau, a researcher from the University of Nairobi, Institute of DevelopmentStudies said social protection coverage among informal transport workers in Kenya is low.

Mr. Gaston Kikuwi, a Chair of VIBINDO Society, argued: “We need a strong political will in implementing the study recommendations for the benefit of members in informal sectors in our countries.”

Earlier, opening the workshop on behalf of Mzumbe University Vice Chancellor, Prof Lughano Kusiluka, Dr Mary Rutenge hailed the researchers for accomplishing the study that aims at improving the wellbeing of citizens in the two countries and urged appropriate authorities to work on the research recommendations.


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