Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal
E and U Oct 2016 cover detail

Current issue: Urban Livelihoods

The network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) guest edited this issue, drawing on its experience of working since 1997 to improve the situation of the working poor in the informal economy. The themed papers in this issue therefore focus on informal employment in particular sectors and contexts, providing both comprehensive surveys of the related literature and grounded accounts of the working lives of specific groups. The occupational groups span street vendors, waste pickers, fisherwomen, and home-based workers.

Geographically, the papers examine India (Ahmedabad and Udupi), South Africa (Durban), Tanzania (Arusha) and Peru (Lima). And in terms of theme, the papers explore the ways gender, youth, class and caste intersect with employment that is often precarious or under-valued, as well as the resourceful solutions that the urban informal workforce is drawing upon to improve health, safety, and earnings. All this leads to concrete policy suggestions for ways to strengthen urban livelihoods. A strong gendered component runs through the papers on urban livelihoods, as WIEGO particularly works to mobilize female workers.

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Book notes

This book’s title is deliberately provocative. The author, a journalist and University of New Mexico faculty member who has covered water issues for decades, sets out to disprove the idea that in the Colorado River Basin of the western US, “water is for fighting over”. Instead, Fleck asserts, water is for sharing, conserving, and collaborating over. He rejects doomsday scenarios about running out of water, and proposes means to avoid that scenario.

This document is part of the “Better Evidence in Action” toolkit.

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E&U's sister journal  Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion focusses on Latin America

E & U Latin America