Formalization of the economy is a complex and long term process that often requires to combine interventions on laws and regulations with those aiming to foster productivity and the ability to generate wealth. For part of the workforce, the reduction of decent work deficits is the first step toward a progressive formalization in the longer term. The significant reduction of informality in some countries illustrates that achieving results is largely possible.
International Labour Standard
R204 - Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy Recommendation
At its 104th Session (2015), the ILC adopted R204, based on strong tripartite consensus and near unanimous vote, following a two-year process of consultations.
Theory of change
Transition from the informal to the formal economy
This umbrella theory of change provides the main pathways for the transition to formality of workers and enterprises. It is a general framework that can inform the development of theories of change focused on a specific sector, occupational groups, forms of informality or policy areas.
5th Employment Policy Research Symposium, 11-12 May 2023
Employment policies for social justice
11 - 12 May 2023
4th UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights
The current state of the global labour market: Implications for achieving the Global Goals
ILO Working paper 89
What has been driving work-to-work transitions in the emerging world? – A comparative study of Indonesia and South Africa
23 March 2023
Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical update
07 March 2023
Statistics on informality
Diagnosis of informality
This methodological note presents the 10 steps of diagnoses of informality allowing for flexibility depending on national circumstances.
Browse through various indicators & countries (please use Chrome or Mozilla browsers).
Women and men in the informal economy: a statistical picture (3rd edition)
This publication provides for the 1st time comparable estimates on the size of the informal economy & a statistical profile of informality in all its diversity at the global and regional levels.
Courses and trainings
Policy resource package
Extending social security to workers in the informal economy: Lessons from international experience
How to develop viable policy options to address the multi-fold challenges of facilitating transitions to formality.
ILO-ITC courses on informal economy
Courses designed to increase capacity of constituents to effectively collect data & to design, implement, monitor, evaluate formalization policies and strategies.