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7th Regulating for Decent Work Conference

COVID-19 and the world of work: Towards a human-centred recovery

From 6 to 9 July 2021, the 7th Regulating for Decent Work (RDW) Conference will examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work and discuss policy and regulatory measures to mitigate such impacts and facilitate a robust and inclusive recovery for all. Each day of the Conference will focus on a specific theme:

Tuesday 6 July: 14h to 21h30 CET
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work in 2020–21

Wednesday 7 July: 9h30 to 17h45
Labour and social protection policies in the crisis response

Thursday 8 July: 10h to 17h45
Governance, regulation, and collective bargaining

Friday 9 July: 10h15 to 18h45
The post COVID-19 world of work: In search of a human-centred recovery

Main Events

Day 1, Tuesday July 6th

14h30 to 15h30 CET - Keynote Address: How can we “build back better”? In search of new ideas, policies and politics

Diego Sánchez-Ancochea is Head of Department at the Oxford Department of International Development and Professor of the Political Economy of Development at the University of Oxford. His research aims to identify the best ways to reduce income inequality through the use of social and productive policies, with a focus on the Latin American experience.

He recently published The Costs of Inequality: Lessons and Warnings for the Rest of the World, Bloomsbury, 2020, selected as one of the best books in Economics of 2020 by the Financial Times. Together with Juliana Martínez Franzoni, he is the author of The Quest for Universal Social Policy in the South: Actors, Ideas and Architectures, Cambridge University Press, 2016; and Good Jobs and Social Services: How Costa Rica Achieved the Elusive Double Incorporation, Palgrave McMillan, 2013.

In his Keynote speech, Prof. Sánchez-Anchochea will focus on whether the COVID-19 crisis constitutes an opportunity to build back better by ensuring more equitable development. He will argue that the answer to this question depends on the ability to change narratives about what is desirable and possible, while simultaneously creating more constructive state-society relations. He points out that, so far, advances in the former area have been more significant than in the latter. While we are witnessing a redefinition of the role of the state in policymaking, there are still many obstacles, at both the international and national levels, to changing current development models. This talk calls for more attention to be paid to political economy and to the links between policies and politics if we are going to secure a more equitable future with decent jobs for all.

20h30 to 21h30 CET - Latin America Panel Discussion: COVID-19 pandemic and Informality

Panel Speakers
Moderator: Fabio Bertranou, Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for the Southern Cone

Laura Ripani is Chief of the Labour Markets and Social Security Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. She specializes in the area of labour markets, with a particular interest in improving labour market opportunities for all. Prior to joining the IDB, she worked at the World Bank on projects related to the link between poverty and labour markets in Latin America.

Andreas Repetto holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Senior Fellow at the School of Government, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile. Her research focuses on applied public finance, with an emphasis on social and tax policies, and on the interaction between economics and psychology. She has been a member of several presidential advisory commissions, including the Presidential Advisory Council for Pension Reform. She chaired the Fiscal Advisory Council and the Unemployment Insurance Commission.

Luis Beccaria is Argentinian Economist and Professor at the University of General Sarmiento (Argentina) and Professor of postgraduate course at the University of Buenos Aires and FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences). His research interests include labour economics, income distribution, poverty and poverty measurement.

Day 2, Wednesday July 7th

11h to 12h CET - Asia Panel Discussion: How has COVID-19 pandemic changed the conversation in regulating for decent work in the Asia and the Pacific?

Panel Speakers
Moderator: Praveen Jha, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Ravi Srivastava is Director, Centre for Employment Studies, Institute for Human Development, Delhi. He was earlier Professor of Economics, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and full-time Member of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) during 2006-2009. He specializes in issues related to labour and employment, social protection, rural development and rural poverty, among other related issues and has published quite widely.

Pun Ngai is Chair Professor in Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She was honoured as the winner of the C. Wright Mills Award for her first book Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace (2005), which has been translated into French and Chinese. Her co-authored book, Dying for iPhone: Foxconn and the Lives of Chinese Workers (2020), has been translated in a number of languages.

Paul Vandenberg is Senior Economist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. His research interests include industrialization, the middle-income trap, employment, small and medium enterprises, tech startups, and skills training. He received a PhD in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Day 3, Thursday July 8th, 10h to 17h45 CET

Governance, regulation, and collective bargaining

Day 4, Friday July 9th

11h30 to 13h CET - Africa Panel Discussion: Informality and social protection in Africa

Panel Speakers
Moderator: Peter van Rooij
, Deputy Regional Director, Africa

Monnet B. Patrick GBAKOU is an Associate Professor in Economics at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Cocody-Abidjan since June 2010. He previously held several research positions in several universities and research centers in Europe (Geary Institute of Dublin, Brunel University in England and Food Security Center in Germany). His research focuses on the intra-household decisions and resources sharing and the impact of shocks of price of food commodities. More recently, he has focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of the Central African Republic and youth employment in Côte d’Ivoire.

Hania Sholkamy is an Egyptian anthropologist and associate research professor at the Social Research Centre of the AUC. Her research focuses on gender, health and social protection in Egypt. She is a proponent of feminist social protection and has lobbied for the right of women to receive welfare and pensions in their own right and not as dependents. She is currently a member of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Committee (2019-2022)

Simon Barussaud holds a PhD in Socioeconomics from University of Geneva, and his research focuses on informal economy, MSME and value chains development and developing labour policies in West Africa. He has recently conducted diagnostic studies in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19 on informal workers and entrepreneurs. 

Godfrey Kanyenze is Director, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ). He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil.) in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Godfrey was a Sub-editor of the Country Human Development Report (Zimbabwe) on Gender and Development, Poverty Reduction Forum, which was coordinated by UNDP & Ministry of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare in 2005 and 2007. Godfrey was a member of a Consultancy Team working on ‘Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe Programme’ coordinated by UNDP. He is currently a member on the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute and the Tripartite Wages and Salaries Advisory Board.

17h to 18h15 CET - Closing Plenary Session: Role of the State in a post COVID-19 world of work

Panel Speakers
Moderator: Richard Samans, Director of Research, ILO, Geneva

Jayati Ghosh is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. Her research focuses on international trade and finance, employment patterns, macroeconomic policy and issues related to gender and development. She has published quite extensively and her latest books include The making of a catastrophe: COVID-19 and the Indian economy, Aleph Books forthcoming 2021; and Women workers in the informal economy, Routledge 2021. Prof. Ghosh has received the Adisheshaiah Award in 2015 for distinguished contributions to the social sciences in India; the Decent Work Research Prize from the International Labour Organisation in 2011; and the Nord-Sud Prize for Research in Social Sciences in 2010, Italy. She is also associated with a number of International Boards and Commissions, including the recently created WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All.

Carlos Lopes is Honorary Professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town. He is also Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris, and Associate Fellow at Chatham House, London. His research focuses on development issues and structural transformation in Africa. Prof. Lopes has occupied prominent positions at the United Nations and has been associated with a number of high-level boards including the Global Commission for Economy and Climate, the Global Commission for the Future of Work, the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy, Transformation, and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Prof. Schor’s research focuses on work, consumption, and climate change. In 2020 she published After the Gig: how the sharing economy got hijacked and how to win it back, University of California Press 2020, which won the Porchlight Management and Workplace Culture Book of the Year. Her previous books include the national best-seller The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, Basic Books 1991; The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need, Basic Books, 1998 and BI Penguin Press 2011. Prof. Schor received the Herman Daly Award from the US Society for Ecological Economics in 2011 and the Leontief Prize from the Global Development and Economics Institute at Tufts University for expanding the frontiers of economic thought in 2006.