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As one of the critical dimensions of sustainable development, social development requires a more holistic, coherent and collaborative approach in designing and implementing national and local policies to make progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

CIFAL Jeju/JITC provides a variety of training programs to enhance capacity for national and local communities in the Asia-Pacific region to benefit from holistic and multi-disciplinary approaches available in such diverse areas as human trafficking, migration and refugees, urban poor, resilience and disaster risk reduction, making peaceful and inclusive societies, and so on.

[2021 March 18 ~ 25] Social Protection Series I: Spotlight on Informal Workers 기사를 twitter로 보내기 기사를 facebook으로 보내기 2021.09.24


Social Protection Series I

- Spotlight on Informal Workers -

18 - 25 March 2021 (Three online sessions)





In the wake of fighting back the spread of COVID-19 infectious disease, countering measures like lockdowns and social distancing have affected informal workers disproportionately with higher risk of falling into extreme poverty as their economic activities were severely disrupted by those measures. The WIEGO-led COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study in 2020 indicates that informal workers have displayed three common patterns since the onset of the pandemic: sudden and massive drop in earnings, limited and disproportionate reach of relief measures, and lastly, heavy reliance on coping strategies that erode any assets accumulated.[1] 


Informal workers usually work in poor occupational safety and health surroundings with poor access to social protection services. They are easily exposed to the risk of illness and injury. Even before the pandemic, access to healthcare was almost out of reach for these workers because the cost of such services was far too high for their earning.


As shown in the WIEGO study, informal workers experienced significant disruption to their earnings regardless of variations in lockdown measures with 69.8 per cent of all respondents reporting zero earnings during the lockdown period.[2] The study clearly demonstrates that Informal workers are more vulnerable to socio-economic disruptions caused by sudden shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of social protection can worsen the realities facing those in informal sectors. For instance, drastic revenue cuts and lack of social protection in place during the pandemic have pushed the workers to depend on other alternatives such as digging into savings, borrowing money, and selling off their assets.[3] This will lead to the rapid increase in their household debt, thus making it more difficult for them to recover financially from the crisis since most of them earn on a daily basis.


In this challenging context, it would be critical to develop appropriate mechanisms to extend social protection to informal workers, which can be conducive to protecting their economic and social rights, reducing their vulnerability and minimising negative impacts on local communities and societies.[4]


Many countries have come a long way in developing and enhancing their social protection systems, and the COVID-19 crisis prompted governments to consider implementing relief measures. According to the WIEGO-led study which was conducted for 12 cities around the world, the relief measures, even though being implemented, were limited in most cases and uneven. Across these cities, about 40 per cent of workers reported getting food or cash from the government.[5] This urges both national and local governments along with the international community to effectively respond to the the specific needs of vulnerable popuations for better devising and implementing social protection policies.


In this regard, CIFAL Jeju organizes an online event entitled as Social Protection Series: Spotlight on Informal Workers. This virtual event will discuss various approaches to social protection with a focus on informal workers in the pandemic situation, and explore how social protection can be applied in different contexts. Participants will be given an opportunity to share their own case studies and get engaged in designing action plans for better implementation of social protection strategies in line with their own national and local context.




ž  To provide a platform for good practices and lessons learned

ž  To share and discuss how various social protection strategies and policies by country have been implemented for informal workers

ž  To practice designing an action plan to be implemented in participants’ home countries for resilient livelihoods of informal workers



Expected Outcomes

ž  Better understanding of the realities facing informal workers in the pandemic context

ž  Sharing policy strategies to minimize the economic and social impact of the pandemic on informal workers

ž  Viable action plan designed to better implement the social protection schemes for informal workers



Target Audience

This program is open to government officials and practitioners from CSOs who have been working in the social development area.



* Please see the final page for the program details.




Session 1

Thursday, 18 March

- Orientation

Session 2

Tuesday, 23 March

- Lectures

- Case Study Presentation

Session 3

Thursday, 25 March

- Action Plan Presentation

- Wrap-up Discussion & Closing

*All online sessions will begin at 15:00 (Seoul Time, GMT+9).

*Kindly note that Zoom and Microsoft Teams platform will be used for online sessions and communications.




Selected participants are required to:

ž  submit necessary documents on time, e.g., case studies, action plan etc.

ž  actively participate in the training program and submit assignments

ž  be fluent in written and spoken English



Application and deadline

Send the following two documents to by 12 March 2021 (Friday)

1.       Application form

2.       One page case study description

Download from or

*Kindly note that only selected applicants will be notified individually.




UNITAR CIFAL Jeju/Jeju International Training Center




Once selected participants have completed the course along with assignments, UNITAR and UNITAR CIFAL Jeju will jointly issue a certificate upon completion of the training.

* Successful participants will receive a hard copy of the certificate along with CIFAL Jeju resource materials by mail.



Program Details

- All three online sessions will begin at 15:00 (Seoul Time, GMT+9).





Session 1

18 March


30 mins


1 hour

Analyzing Case Study

1 hour

Tips for Designing Action Plan

Session 2

23 March


5 mins

Welcome Remarks

20 mins

Module 1

The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on informal workers: what does lack of social protection mean to them?

20 mins

Module 2

How can social protection be defined and applied in different contexts?

20 mins

Module 3

Evidence-informed policy making for better implementation of social protection schemes

25 mins

Plenary Session including Q&A

1 hour

Case Study Presentation & Feedback

Session 3

25 March


1.5 hours

Action Plan Presentation & Feedback

30 mins

Wrap-up Discussion & Closing

*The above program is subject to change.

[1] WIEGO 2020, available at


[3] Ibid.

[4] OECD Development Matters, available at

[5] WIEGO 2020, available at



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