Informal businesses

Strengthening informal businesses in India through Activity-Based Learning - Lessons from cases in Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia

The ILO organized an online workshop on “Delivering Impactful Support for Informal Businesses” for Indian ministries, sectoral associations and development organizations which support development of informal businesses. The workshop presented findings from research on training and skills needs for the informal sector in India, as well as case studies from Lao People's Democratic Republic Cambodia on delivery of the ILO’s Activity-Based Learning programmes.

News | 13 December 2021
NEW DELHI, India (ILO News) – Raising low productivity levels and boosting income for informal enterprises has been critical for India’s further development of its economy and society.

Mr Rajveer Singh, a specialist in informality and SME development in South Asia, mentioned in his presentation that India needs to overcome various challenges in order to accelerate formalization of businesses and employment, stressing the need of more learning opportunities for informal business owners and workers to close economic gaps. Regarding the types of trainings in practice, the ILO’s quick diagnosis with Indian industry association, private sector, NGOs and government bodies had found that most organizations often prefer on-the-job trainings, while perceiving classroom learning or online training as being less effective.

As a potential solution to improve access to education for those informal business owners and workers, the ILO introduced its range of Activity-Based Learning tools, while presenting successful cases from Laos and Cambodia. Mr Emmanuel Santoyo Rio, a specialist in development of informal economies, had presented his findings from an impact assessment of the Activity-Based Learning (ABL) programmes in Laos and Cambodia. He highlighted that the ILO’s ABL approach offers a unique training methodology, one that is participatory, doesn’t require expert trainers, is scalable, customizable and low cost. As a result, it is particularly well suited to supporting informal enterprises and workers, and organizations which support them.

The ILO provides “open source” training tools using the Activity-Based Learning approach for any organizations interested in supporting vulnerable and hard to reach communities. For more information and to download the tools, please visit the ILO Peer Learning Hub website.