Social dialogue on informal economy and decent work

Despite Indonesian unemployment and poverty rate is being declining, the share of informal economy in total employment has increased as a consequence of the recent financial and economic crisis.


Despite Indonesian unemployment and poverty rate is being declining, the share of informal economy in total employment has increased as a consequence of the recent financial and economic crisis. It is estimated that the number of informal economy workers increased by 2 million between August 2008 and February 2009. Indonesian statistics suggest also, that 68 percent of Indonesians are today working in the informal economy (2009), i.e. with low pay, hazardous work, no secure employment contracts, social protection or workers' representation.

A recent ILO study indicates that Government’s recent social and economic measures have not been specifically targeted towards informal economy workers. The study also suggests the need of redefining the informal economy based on a set of data that can help capturing the different aspects of the multi faceted nature of the informal economy in Indonesia. The study also suggests the urgent need of extending social protection coverage to informal economy workers and their families through flexible and targeted schemes. Such social protection schemes have to focus on priority social protection needs of informal economy workers: access to health care and accidents. They should also coordinate with other programmes of Cluster 1 focusing on Social Assistance and Social Protection and Cluster 2 focusing on Community empowerment of the current poverty alleviation program (Presidential Regulation 13/2009)

In order to formulate policies that effectively address poverty reduction through progressive formalization of the informal economy we need to understand:

  • What is informal economy? Is it a permanent or a transitory phenomenon? What are the driving factors of informal economy in Indonesia?
  • Who are informal economy workers? How to define informality? What kind of specific issues do they face?
  • What role can social protection play (together with other strategies and measures) to increase formalization and reduce the decent work deficit?

For this purpose, the ILO Jakarta and EMP/Policy Department ILO Geneva in collaboration with the Republic of Indonesia Ministry of Planning and Manpower & Transmigration and PT. Jamsostek will organize a two-days Social Dialogue on “Informal Economy and Decent Work” in order to examine multi facets of the informal economy from the perspective of Decent Work Agenda and to share ideas on concrete measures to reduce the decent work deficit among informal economy workers in Indonesia through e.g., adapted social protection schemes or integrated strategies including skills development, working conditions, enterprise creation and workers’ protection.

Immediate Objective(s):

  • To facilitate dissemination of information, such as the results of recent ILO study on informal economy policy and social security, and to share knowledge on the main issues faced by informal economy workers (lack of skills, lack of social protection, working conditions, lack of representation …);
  • To come up with a shared diagnostic on the current decent work deficit for informal economy workers in Indonesia;
  • To provide recommendations for public policy formulation translating Indonesian mid-term development plan and its implementation in national and local level as well as the ILO’s technical cooperation project development in addressing the issue of in the informal economy and achieving the country’s Decent Work Agenda.

Place/ Date:

The dialogue will be taken place at Le-Meridien Hotel, Jalan Jend. Sudirman, Jakarta on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 September 2010 from 8.30 am to 5.30pm.


100 (hundred) participants from government, employers’ and workers’ representatives and relevant stakeholders of NGOs, university and research institution representatives and practitioners as well as mass media are expected to attend this social dialogue. The ILO encourages the women participations for this dialogue.

For further information, please contact:

Tauvik Muhamad
Programme Officer, ILO CO-Jakarta
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext.103