12 November 2018 - 23 November 2018

Academy on the transition to the formal economy

12 November 2018 - 23 November 2018

Academy on the transition to the formal economy

Academy on the transition to the formal economy

Course Information

12 November 2018 - 23 November 2018

English - French - Spanish

Turin Centre

Code: A9011257

English French

Enrolment deadline: 09 November 2018

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The academy aims to enhance the capacity to formulate, implement and/or evaluate formalization policies through effective diagnostic analysis, better understanding of concepts and approaches for measuring informality, and its drivers and impacts on the world of work.

Target audience

Target audience

The course is aimed at policy makers and advisors from ministries of labour and economy; and representatives of workers' and employers' organizations.



The Academy offers a learning platform to review promising practices on the transition from the informal to the formal economy as well as to engage in constructive dialogue and debate on the future of informality. The event is an opportunity to LEARN about the most advanced thinking around concepts and methodologies for reducing informality, to EXCHANGE on existing practices, and to ADAPT lessons learnt to specific country contexts.

Participants to the Academy will:

  1. Clarify the key international concepts, terminology, guiding principles, global trends related to informality and transitioning to formality; and compare to their country context  
  2. Review existing formalization strategies that have been successfully put in place by countries; and assess adaptability or replicability in their context
  3. Meet with their peer around the world and share experiences, good practices, challenges and lessons learnt from effective policies on formalisation of  enterprises and employment in various contexts;
  4. Take part in the state of the art  debate  on informality  and the transition to formal economy by top experts
  5. And integrate the worldwide active network on informality and Decent Work 

    Structure and Contents

    Structure and Contents

    The Academy combines interactive plenary sessions with personalized learning paths through micro courses (electives) 

    PLENARY sessions

    Plenary sessions target all participants and will run each morning from 09-10:30.  Those sessions are dedicated to experts presenting and exchanging with the participants on the most important issues, critical thinking (and controversies) related to informality. The subjects to be discussed could be :


    1.      Trends of informality in the world:  Is informality only a concern for developing and emerging countries, the self-employed? The working poor?

    2.      Diagnostic of the informal economy: how informal employment is defined and measured? What are the characteristics, causes, drivers and circumstances of informality in a national and international context?  Is informality only the result of bad governance?  Are particular sectors or groups more affected than others? What are the key elements/ building blocks/ principles of a diagnostic of the informal economy? How can a diagnostic help identify answers to these questions?


    3.      Mapping International Labour standards and SGDs  that promote formalisation as a mean to achieve decent work -  among which   :

    ·        R198 and the employment relationship in the context of informality,

    ·        C142 and the importance of skills development in discussing the transition to formal employment

    ·        R205 - transition to formality in the context of fragile states in situations of fragility, conflict and disaster, and in post-conflict situations). 

    ·        C.159 on workers with disabilities,

    ·        C.189 on domestic workers, and others.

    ·        R202 - Social Protection Floors Recommendation.


    4.      The gender dimension of informality: Are women and gender non-conforming workers most at risk of being in the informal economy?


    5.      Leave no one behind: should specific groups be targeted with special measures or mainstreamed in integrated policies

    6.  ll informality be a prevalent characteristic in the future of work? How do you address informality in changing future of work

    7. Is the digital economy creating new forms of informality?  New forms of formality?

    8. Are global supply chains vectors of formalization?

    9. How to address informality in situations of fragility, conflict and disaster? Is informality an acceptable temporary solution for refugee-owned businesses?  For refugees confined to camps, is informality the only solution? Given the legal and regulatory constraints in host countries, what can be done to ensure that governments facilitate and accept the transition to formality for refugee-owned businesses?

    10. What could be the impact of the economic context on informality and the role of macroeconomic policies?

    11.  Transition to formal economy: what is the cost benefits analysis of formalisation from a worker, enterprise, and government point of view? Is the integrated approach to formalisation a utopia in practice? What are the key steps to formulate and implement an integrated approach to formalisation?  What are the strategic and practical advantages of an integrated approach?


    12.  Organising workers and employers in the informal economy, what role of social partners?  Do informal economy associations ì need to be members of the traditional organizations (trade unions, employers organizations) to be recognized? 

    13.  What are the organizing models appropriate for specific types of workers in the informal economy?   What type of organizations and mechanisms have better results when representing informal workers and economic units? Uses of cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises and organizations by informal workers and enterprises: What works?


    14.  What forms of social dialogue mechanism can be effective for the transition to formal economy? Is the classical form sufficient?

    15.   Campaigning for formalisation : joining forces with international and regional stakeholders 


    The first week [1]

    A.    Diagnostic of informality: methodologies to assess the drivers and profiles of informality at national level — setting priorities and indicators for action

    a.      Measuring the informal economy: from international to operational definitions

    b.      Study of relevant indicators and their link to policy: getting a better understanding of informality  and work deficits to define priorities, support and monitor progress towards formalization


    B.     Formalisation of informal enterprises:


    a.      Identify barriers, suitable policies and strategies to facilitate the formalisation of small enterprises and their employees


    b.      Discuss promising practices and lessons learned to promote small enterprise development and enterprise formalisation, such as streamlining procedures, packaging incentives, strengthening associations and facilitating access to public and private markets.

    c.      Why do some enterprises stay informal? What incentives and disincentives may change that? What effects do informal enterprises have on the productivity and growth of formal enterprises?



    C.     Formalization of informal employment

    a.      legal definitions of employment relationship;

    b.      determining existence of employment relationship in informal or ambiguous work relations;

    c.      Country cases in using indicators of employment relationship and strategies for protecting specific groups of workers with ambiguous employment relationship, including in supply chains (e.g. ‘dependent own account’ workers in Spain, home-based garment workers in Australia, construction workers in Finland)



    D.    Extending social protection to the informal economy:  

    a.      Complementary between R202 and R204

    b.      Towards a social protection system that covers the informal economy as well,

    c.      Developing an integrated national strategy for extension of coverage

    d.      Presentations of examples and lessons learnt.



    The second week [2]


    E.     Formalisation policies and coordination strategies : Comparing innovations in drafting and implementing policies,  including the involvement of the social partners in the policy process through social dialogue

    a.      Comparing selected integrated and specific approaches to formalisation and identifying innovations (Brazil, Costa Rica, India, South Africa, Greece, Turkey

    b.      Discussing the best coordination mechanisms and how to get there

    c.      Adopting and adapting by participating countries


    F.      Formalising domestic work

    a.      Background understanding of the sector: convention 189, definitions, trends, informality patterns.

    b.      Formalization approaches,


    G.    Formalizing employment in rural settings:

    a.      Measuring methods, trends and problematic

    b.      Formalization the agricultural sector. Evidence and practises

    c.      How  public works programme can support in formalising enterprises and employment in rural areas

    d.      The role of technology



    H.    Skills Development in, for, and out of the informal economy:

    a.      Informal apprenticeships – their prevalence, decent work deficits and upgrading potential as part of skills system reforms

    b.      Certification of competences –labour certification

    c.      Recognition of prior learning – creating pathways to formal employment


    I.       The role of labour inspectorates in the informal economy

    a.      The Informal Economy E and labour administration  - Regulating the informal  economy

    b.      Labour inspection: diversity of approaches

    c.      Relation between compliance and formalization

    d.      The participatory method and programme of labour inspection in the informal economy

    e.      Labour inspection in informal economy in your country

    [1] Participants will chose two electives among the ones proposed.

    [2] Participants will chose two electives among the ones proposed.


    Language requirements

    Language requirements

    The academy is offered in English with interpretation into French ( and Spanish if the quorum is achieved)  

    How to apply

    How to apply

    What are the application requirements?

     To apply for the Academy, please fill in the on-line registration form (containing CV, personal and professional details and motivation as mandatory fields) 

    Applicants should complete the online nomination form no later than 15 October 2018.

    Candidates must also provide the following supporting mandatory documents:

    • Official nomination letter from the appointing institution and signed by the candidate’s supervisor (the letter should state the institutional motivation in taking this training opportunity, potential use of knowledge in the professional setting and confirm name and position of the selected delegate);
    • Scanned copy of valid national passport;
    • VISA for Italy, if applicable

    Please note that it is the responsibility of the participants to apply for their visas in time to be able to attend the Academy. If a Schengen visa for Italy is needed, the time required is on average at least three weeks.

    For further information please contact 

    As an organization dedicated to fundamental human rights and social justice, the ILO is taking a leading role in international efforts to promote and realize gender equality. In line with this ILO focus, women candidates are especially welcome.




    The deadline for application is the 15 of October 2018
    For further information please contact the team at  informaleconomy@itcilo.org

    Tel.: + 39.011.693 6317/ 6340

    Tuition cost: 2320

    Subsistence cost: 1360

    Total cost: 3680


    International Training Centre of the ILO

    Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10
    10127 Turin - Italy

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