Read the summary of this event, and see the speakers’ presentations here

As the world grapples with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable workers in the informal sector in the global south have been hit hard. As vendors working in close quarters and or as frontline care-workers in households, many are particularly vulnerable to contracting the virus. A lack of institutionalised sick leave means that for many informal employees, there is an explicit trade-off between their health and their financial survival. While necessary phases of lockdown are threatening livelihoods in the informal economy, government relief efforts are frequently only reaching formal workers and businesses.

This virtual roundtable aims to bring together scholars on informality working across the globe to compare experiences and discuss both how we can better understand the crisis’ effects on informal economies and which relief efforts are or should be made.

The roundtable will include brief interventions from all the speakers, followed by an open discussion. All are welcome. You can register on Eventbrite to receive a Zoom invite link. Alternatively, this seminar will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel.


  • Kate Meagher (Associate Professor in Development Studies, Department of International Development, LSE)
  • Umair Javed (Assistant Professor. Department Of Humanities & Social Sciences, LUMS)
  • Gerard McCarthy (Postdoctoral Fellow at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore)
  • Rachel Moussie (Deputy Director of Social Protection Programme, WIEGO)
  • Vanessa van den Boogaard (Research Fellow, IDS)
  • Max Gallien (Research Fellow, IDS)

+ additional speakers to be confirmed

Time zones

This virtual roundtable will take place at 14:00-16:00, London time. For other time zones:

  • 9:00-11:00 for Washington, D.C.
  • 13:00-15:00 for Accra
  • 15:00-17:00 for Cape Town
  • 16:00-18:00 for Nairobi & Addis Ababa
  • 18:00-20:00 for Lahore
  • 18:30-20:30 for New Delhi
  • 21:00-23:00 for Singapore

We are also currently calling for research proposals on informality, tax, and the state. See the details and information on how to submit here


Event Details
Past Event
16 April 2020
14:00 - 16:00
University of Sussex, Library Road, Falmer, Brighton, UK