Amid the Pandemic and Beyond: Status of Informal Workers in Nepal


The informal economy has increasingly become one of the crucial components of Nepal’s overall national economic sphere. It provides forms of relatively easy access to income generating activities for people who fail to meet prerequisites of formal sector jobs. Workers in the informal sector are often stigmatized as “shady” or illegal since they frequently avoid government set standards, but most of them are simply trying to earn an honest living.

Today, the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected close to 80% of the workforce worldwide. Workers in the informal sector are hit the hardest. The urgency brought upon by lurking threats of the COVID virus, devastating impacts of full/ partial lockdowns and increased need for their health and income security demands for a better understanding of their current conditions and calls for an immediate plan of action.

Pursuing this vital issue, Centre for Social Change (CSC) is pleased to share this preliminary study report, “Amid the Pandemic and Beyond: Status of Informal Workers in Nepal”. The report is based on initial analyses of secondary data and is further guided by the outcomes from the CSC organized policy dialogue discussion titled- “Impact of COVID-19 on the Status of Informal Sector Workers of Nepal”. Outcomes yielded from the dialogue program include valuable insight of the current context of conditions and challenges of informal workers provided by government and trade union representatives, experts, and other relevant stakeholders.

CSC would like to take this opportunity to thank Open Society Foundation for their support and the entire CSC team for their diligent and timely contribution in research, design, and publishing of this report. We are also equally grateful for the many consultations and suggestions received from experts along the way.

It is our hope that the result of this report, as well as other pursuits by CSC on the agenda, will help initiate much-needed discussions on issues faced by informal workers, support labor governance institutions and assist policymakers, practitioners, and other relevant stakeholders to protect the rights and wellbeing of informal workers of Nepal.

Read the Report/Download the Report