Informal Commons - Informal Workers
A significant portion of the work force in most countries falls under the informal sector, in India,
estimates vary from 60% to around 90% depending on the source quoted.
From the government's perspective, this is seen as unskilled work and efforts are oriented
towards formalizing their skills and bringing them under the "organized" sector making them
"resources" in the market economy.
From the perspective of industry and private enterprise - resource optimization and maximizing ROI
are the main motivations. Technology platforms and processes are generally shaped by one or the
The ownership of the data/information in these systems is effectively in the control of government or the private sector.
Interestingly, it it is often the informal nature of the work - whether for the local shop owner
employing a handful of people, the garment exporter having a much larger work force, or even private or state owned factories -
that sustains profitability margins in a competitive market place.
Also interestingly, many of these jobs involve a high degree of knowledge and skill that may be
outside the purview of formal diplomas and certificates.
The current research engages with informal workers to understand their perspective towards creating a technology platform in which
they are owners and partners.