Areas of Expertise

Informal Economy

Informal Economy
© ILO/M. Crozet

The informal economy represents 30–90 per cent of employment in developing countries and as much as 10 per cent in certain developed economies. Informality persists in counties even in the presence of steady growth.

Promoting decent jobs and enterprises within the informal economy has become a major development challenge, nationally, across regions and as a global development goal. It contributes to SDGs 8 “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”

To achieve this objective, decision makers need evidence-based knowledge about “what works” and “what does not” in facilitating the transition to formal economy and decent work.

The Employment Policy and Analysis Programme offers capacity-building activities on informal economy to disseminate knowledge of the patterns and effectiveness of policy packages for formalization worldwide. The courses are designed to increase the capacity of constituents to effectively collect data on informality, and to design, implement, monitor and evaluate formalization policies and strategies.

The portfolio of activities on informal economy  of the Centre draws on the wealth of experience and knowledge accumulated over the years by the ILO on the informal economy and formalization and build on the guidelines of R204 concerning the transition from informal economy to  formal economy  adopted by member states  in June 2015.

R204 calls for member states to undertake a proper assessment and diagnostic of factors, characteristics, causes and circumstances of informality and to design and implement coherent and integrated strategies to facilitate the transition to the formal economy. 

Upcoming courses

Global Knowledge-Sharing Forum: Transition to Formal Economy - 3rd edition

Global Knowledge-Sharing Forum: Transition to Formal Economy - 3rd edition

The Global Knowledge-Sharing Forum is the world platform for sharing knowledge on what has worked in the quest for decent work through formalization of the economy at the national, regional and global levels. Read More

25 November 2019 - 29 November 2019

English - French

Turin Centre


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Enrolment deadline: 11 October 2019

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The ITCILO is holding the Academy on the Transition to the Formal Economy on campus for the third time

The ITCILO is holding the Academy on the Transition to the Formal Economy on campus for the third time

This third edition of the Academy was inaugurated on Monday 12 November. Presented in English, French and Spanish, it is attended by over 100 national and local policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, social partners and experts from Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Arab states. Read More



Employment Policy and Analysis Programme (EPAP)

As part of the strategic objective of the ILO to promote full and productive employment, the Employment Policy and Analysis Programme endeavours to support the capacity of governments, social partners and other stakeholders to design, implement and analyse employment and skills development policies and programmes.

International Training Centre of the ILO

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