1st Edition

Social Protection and Informal Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa Lived Realities and Associational Experiences from Tanzania and Kenya

Edited By Lone Riisgaard, Winnie V. Mitullah, Nina Torm Copyright 2022
    274 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The promotion of social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa happens in a context where informal labour markets constitute the norm, and where most workers live uncertain livelihoods with very limited access to official social protection. The dominant social protection agenda and the associated literature come with an almost exclusive focus on donor and state programmes even if their coverage is limited to small parts of the populations – and in no way stands measure to the needs. In these circumstances, people depend on other means of protection and cushioning against risks and vulnerabilities including different forms of collective self-organizing providing alternative forms of social protection. These informal, bottom-up forms of social protection are at a nascent stage of social protection discussions and little is known about the extent or models of these informal mechanisms.

    This book seeks to fill this gap by focusing on three important sectors of informal work, namely: transport, construction, and micro-trade in Kenya and Tanzania. It explores how the global social protection agenda interacts with informal contexts and how it fits with the actual realities of the informal workers. Consequently, the authors examine and compare the social protection models conceptualized and implemented ‘from above’ by the public authorities in Tanzania and Kenya with social protection mechanisms ‘from below’ by the informal workers own collective associations.

    The book will be of interest to academics in International Development Studies, Political Economy, and African Studies, as well as development practitioners and policy communities.


    Chapter 1. Introduction
    Lone Riisgaard, Nina Torm, and Winnie Mitullah

    Chapter 2. Formal social protection and informal workers in Kenya and Tanzania: From residual towards universal models?
    Nina Torm, Godbertha Kinyondo, Winnie Mitullah, and Lone Riisgaard

    Chapter 3. The relationship between association membership and access to formal social protection: A cross-sector analysis of informal workers in Kenya and Tanzania
    Nina Torm

    Chapter 4. Self-regulating informal transport workers and the quest for social protection in Tanzania
    Godbertha Kinyondo

    Chapter 5. Informal transport worker organizations and social protection provision in Kenya
    Anne W. Kamau

    Chapter 6. Informal trader associations in Tanzania – providing limited but much needed informal social protection
    Lone Riisgaard

    Chapter 7. Access to social protection: The role of micro-traders’ associations
    Raphael Indimuli

    Chapter 8. Social protection and informal construction worker organizations in Tanzania: How informal worker organizations strive to provide social insurance to their members
    Aloyce Gervas

    Chapter 9. Construction workers in Kenya: Straddling with formal and informal social protection models
    Winnie Mitullah

    Chapter 10. Convergence and divergence of workers’ environment, associations, and access to social protection: Sectoral and country comparisons
    Winnie Mitullah, Lone Riisgaard, Nina Torm, Aloyce Gervas, Raphael Indimuli, Anne W. Kamau, and Godbertha Kinyondo

    Chapter 11. Concluding reflections
    Lone Riisgaard, Winnie Mitullah, and Nina Torm


    Lone Riisgaard, PhD, is an associate professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark.

    Winnie Mitullah is a research professor at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi with a background in political science and public administration.

    Nina Torm, PhD, is postdoc at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark.