Local Solutions for a Global Economy

Addressing Informality and Decent Work

<pSustainable economic development with a genuine and large scale impact requires the engagement of a well-trained and productive workforce. Organized labor and engaged workforce communities have always been a cornerstone of civil society and leaders in social equity and human rights movements. By engaging unions and other organized formal and informal worker groups, GFI seeks to expand the reach of our economic development initiatives and broaden the impact of social services in the countries where we work.

Promoting labor rights and peaceful labor relations is important for attracting investments that create growth and improve livelihoods. Growing trends such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the importance of brand reputation means that multi-national companies now view decent working conditions and protection of local community rights as fundamental to the longer term sustainability of their operations. In Guatemala and El Salvador, GFI brought fair labor standards to the forefront of national agendas by leveraging bilateral trade agreement labor obligations and CSR interests. In bringing together such diverse actors as labor unions, international textile and apparel brands, and local private sector and government representatives, GFI helped pave the way for an unprecedented set of agreements that have created the basis for improved conditions and competitiveness in the textile and apparel industries.

Learn More About Informality

Active Informality Projects:

The Tunisia Inclusive Labor Initiative

The Tunisia Inclusive Labor Initiative (TILI) is a partnership between GFI, Partners for Democratic Change and the Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS), a local Tunisian civil society organization. The goal of the TILI program is to catalyze opportunities and policies to create greater inclusion of Tunisia’s informal sector into the formal economy. The TILI program is working with government and civil society to increase Tunisia’s capacity to create policies that promote formalization, and to educate informal workers on core livelihood benefits accompanying formal participation in the economy. The program supports public institutions in better measuring and engaging the informal sector, it helps develop the capacity of informal workers to register and participate in government and provides support for the establishment of mechanisms that facilitate the extension of social protections.

Completed Informality Projects:

"Thanks to GFI, today we see the opportunity to be part of a political discussion, especially for street vendors and those who did not have the opportunity to have a formal education."

- Jorge Peralta, Street Vendor - Guatemala City

GFI’s experiences have demonstrated the importance of workforce development for achieving tangible results such as improved working conditions, fair wages, empowered women, and increased market access. Whether in post-conflict Guatemala, the challenging political environment of Nicaragua, or post-revolution Tunisia, GFI creates the common linkages that bring Government, Private Sector and Workforce communities together to solve economic challenges and broadly impact poverty reduction goals.

Read about all of GFI efforts to build inclusive and formalized economies for the world's working poor below:

The Central American Labor Rights Project

Promoting Informal Labor Rights

The Decent Work Agenda

Verapaz Community Empowerment Program

2011 Eradicating Forced Labor Seminar