Technology and the Future of Work: Experiences of informal waste workers and street vendors in Dhaka, Lima, and Nairobi

The role and importance of technology in informal work opportunities and livelihoods is little understood or explored. Technology can be a great enabler, helping people to do more, better. But it can also threaten livelihoods and work opportunities and drive social inequality. Through a year-long project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Practical Action and WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) have explored the disruptive impact of technologies on informal workers, examining the technologies themselves and the influence of cities, work, and systems. At the heart of the research are the perspectives and experiences of poor urban workers in waste picking and street vending sectors in cities at different stages of development, providing a platform for their voices and issues to be integrated into global debates. This policy briefing presents evidence of the barriers to and opportunities for realizing Technology Justice for urban informal workers.

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