Transitions out of informality and their implications for workers

Michael Danquah presents at OECD workshop

Transitions out of informality and their implications for workers – Michael Danquah presents at OECD workshop

On 6 December Michael Danquah joins the OECD’s virtual workshop on: Transitions out of informality and their implications for workers.

The workshop brings together the ongoing work of the OECD on the topic and invites experts in the field to learn about their most recent work on this topic. UNU-WIDER brings to the discussion a collection of research from the current Transforming informal work and livelihoods and forthcoming open access book, The Job Ladder, due for release in February 2023.


Alexandre KOLEV, OECD Development Centre
Alexandre Kolev is the head of the Social Cohesion Unit at the OECD Development Centre. He began his professional career as a Research Economist for UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy, and later joined the Young Professional Program of the World Bank as an  Economist. At the World Bank, he has held various positions in the Infrastructure Front Office, the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit for Europe and Central Asia, and the Social Protection group in the Middle East and North Africa Region. Before joining the OECD, Alexandre was heading the Employment and Skills Development Programme at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO, Turin). Alexandre has also worked for the Education and Vocational Training Division of the Agence Française de Développement. He holds a PhD in Labor Economics from the European University Institute, Florence.

Anders GERDIN, Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)
Anders Gerdin is a Programme Manager for globally sustainable economic development, at Sida Department for international organisations and policy support. In his previous roles, he served as Sida advisor, EU coordination, and a Swedish representative in EDF, DCI and DCI thematic committees; (2008-2013); as a National Expert at the EU Commission Policy Coordination Unit DG RELEX (2005-2007), and as a Research Officer at the Department for Research Cooperation- SAREC, Sida (2005-2007). He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Gothenburg University.

Herwig Immervoll is Senior Economist and Head of Employment-Oriented Social Policies at the OECD, where he heads work on tax/benefit policies, the future of social protection and on policy evaluation. Dr. Immervoll has held earlier staff positions at the World Bank and at the University of Cambridge and is a Research Fellow at the IZA in Bonn. He has led research projects and policy dialogue on inequality trends and redistribution, income and employment support for working-aged people and their families, population ageing, and on social policy responses to economic crises. His recent and ongoing work includes analyses of Basic Income proposals, adapting social protection to a "future of work" and a “green transition”, and working with countries to make income and employment support more people centred.

Mariya ALEKSYNSKA, OECD Development Centre
Mariya Aleksynska is an Economist at the OECD Development Centre, where she works on informality. Prior to joining the OECD, she was a lecturer at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and an independent consultant working on ILO, Eurofound and ETUI projects (2018-2020), a staff economist at the ILO (Geneva: 2012-2018), a researcher at CEPII (Paris-based research centre in International Economics: 2008-2012), and a research assistant at Cambridge and at Bocconi universities (2005-2008). Mariya holds a PhD in Economics from Bocconi University (Milan: 2008).

Justina LA, OECD Development Centre
Justina works as a Junior Economist in the Social Cohesion Unit of the OECD Development Centre since 2016. She is currently responsible for the OECD Key Indicators of Informality based on Individuals and their Households (KIIbIH) database. She holds a master’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po, Paris.

Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez is an econometrician and wage specialist at the Labour Market and Working Conditions branch of the ILO (INWORK/WORKQUALITY, ILO Geneva). She is responsible for the development and application of quantitative methods to provide technical advice to ILO constituents, institutions and governments on issues related to wage policies and wage and income inequality. She is coordinating and producing, together with the ILO wage team, the bi-annual ILO Global Wage Report. Rosalia holds a degree in mathematics and economics from the London School of Economics (United Kingdom), a master's degree in applied economics from the University College London (United Kingdom) and a PhD in econometrics from Tilburg University (The Netherlands).

Rahul is the head of the Reviews, Results, Evaluation and Development Innovation (RREDI) Division of the Development Co-operation Directorate of the OECD. Rahul was appointed to his current position in March 2018, having joined the OECD in October 2013 as senior policy analyst. Rahul provides leadership on OECD DAC peer reviews, evaluation network and results community of practice. Within the RREDI Division, he also oversees a newly established OECD DAC Community of Practice on poverty and inequalities. Previously Rahul spent 11 years working with the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Before joining DFID, he worked as a researcher at both the London School of Economics and the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex. Rahul has published extensively in relation to development co-operation narratives, effectiveness, innovation, and accountability.

Michael Danquah is a Research Fellow with UNU-WIDER. He currently coleads the projects “Transforming informal work and livelihoods”, “Subnational institutional performance across Ghana’s districts and regions – variation and causes”, and “Structural Transformation in African cities”. His research interest is in economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily focussing on issues such as informality, inclusive growth, climate change, and productivity growth among others. Michael is also a co-chair of the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Population, Inequality and Climate change and a visiting Research Fellow at the Transfer Project.

Ricardo NOGALES, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
Ricardo Nogales is a research associate at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford. He is also Assistant Professor of Economics at Universidad Privada Boliviana. Previously, he was a Research Officer at OPHI, a Researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), and a Researcher at University of Geneva’s Laboratory of Applied Economics. His research focuses primarily on the study of poverty, human development, and inequality. He holds a PhD in Econometrics from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. 

Christophe JALIL NORDMAN, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)
Christophe Jalil Nordman is a Senior Research Fellow at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD). He is currently the co-coordinator of the Observatory of Rural Dynamics and Inequalities in South India (ODRIIS) at IFP. Within the Institute for Sustainable Development, he is assigned to the mixed research unit DIAL (IRD, CNRS, Paris Sciences et Lettres University) and is affiliated to the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP, India) and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA, Bonn). He is the current President of the French Association of Development Economics. 

Florence BONNET, ILO
Florence Bonnet is a senior informal economy specialist at the ILO in Geneva. She is notably responsible for diagnostics of the informal economy in countries and lead author of publications such as "Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical picture". Since she joined the ILO in the mid-90s, improving working and living conditions of workers in the informal economy has been the main common objective of her work in various departments, linking quantitative and qualitative methods to policies. Since 2016, her work focuses on supporting the gradual and longterm process of transition to formality while reducing the vulnerabilities of workers in the informal economy. Earlier, she was working on related issues such as the extension of social protection or the multiple dimensions of socio-economic security/insecurity.

Ayumi YUASA, OECD Development Centre
Ayumi Yuasa is a Deputy Director of the OECD Development Centre. She oversees social cohesion and gender, among other subject areas. Prior to joining the Centre, as Director of Office for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), she led Japan’s effort for promoting gender equality in developing countries through women’s economic empowerment, capacity development of gender ministries, and anti-human trafficking of women and girls. She was previously the Deputy Division Director of Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office of Japan, where she formulated and implemented Japan’s national gender policy. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School.