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Research Associate & Director: Social Protection Programme (WIEGO)

Laura Alfers

Dr Laura Alfers

BA, MA (Rhodes), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (UKZN)

Laura completed her PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research focused on the politics of inclusion into health policy in Ghana and India, including an analysis the policies of the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization. Laura held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) in 2016 and 2017. She is a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology, Rhodes University and a NALSU Associate. Laura holds the position of Director of the Social Protection Programme of the global research-action-advocacy network, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), and her main research interests relate to social policy and employment (with a specific focus on the informal economy). A secondary interest is the relationship between urban policies, social policies and informal employment which takes place in urban public spaces. For the last seven years she has been involved in action-research projects in Brazil, Ghana, India, and South Africa aimed at improving the access of informal workers to health services. She has also more recently been involved in work that seeks to better understand the linkages between child care provision and women’s economic empowerment. 

Recent Publications

Alfers, L, Chen, M, & Plagerson, S. (eds).2022. Social Contracts and Informal Workers in the Global South. London: Elgar.

Alfers, L & Moussié, R. 2022. Towards a more inclusive social protection: informal workers and the struggle for a new social contract” in L.Alfers, M.Chen and S.Plagerson (Eds)., Social Contracts and Informal Workers in the Global South. London: Elgar.

Alfers, L. 2022. “Informal Workers Co-Producing Social Services in the Global South: Shifting of Responsibility or Political Strategy Towards a New Social Contract?” in K. Hujo and M. Carter (Eds.), Between Front Lines and Fault Lines: Shifting Power in an Unequal World. London: Bloomsbury.

Gavrilovic, M et al. 2022. Gender-responsive social protection post–COVID-19. Science, 375 (6585).

Moussié, R & Alfers, L. 2022. Pandemic, informality and women’s work: Redefining social protection priorities at WIEGO. Global Social Policy

Davy, J, Todd, A, Dobson, R, Quazi, T, Ndlovu, P & Alfers, L. 2021. "Reflections on experiences working alongside informal traders in Warwick Junction in Durban: A human factors and ergonomics perspective," in J. Bezerra, C. Paterson & S. Paphitis (eds.), Challenging the Apartheids of Knowledge in Higher Education through Social Innovation. Johannesburg: African Sun Media.

Chen, M, Grapsa, E, Ismail, G, Rogan, M, Valdivia, M, Alfers, L, Harvey, J, Ogando, A.C, Reed, S.O & Roever, S. 2021. Covid-19 and informal work: Evidence from 11 cities. International Labour Review

Alfers, L. 2020. “Social Protection and Informal Workers:  Rethinking the Terms of Inclusion” in M. Chen & F. Carré (eds.), The Informal Economy Revisited: Examining the Past, Envisioning the Future. London: Routledge.

Bhan, G, Surie, A, Horwood, C, Dobson, R, Alfers, L, Portela, A & Rollins, N. 2020. “Informal work and maternal and child health: a blind spot for public health and research,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 98 (3).

Alfers, L & Moussié, R. 2020. “The World Social Protection Report 2017-2019: An Assessment.” Development and Change, 51 (2).

Midgley, J, Surender, R and Alfers, L (eds). 2019. The Handbook of Social Policy & Development. London: Elgar.

Last Modified: Thu, 01 Sep 2022 11:18:20 SAST