Evaluation of Informal Economy programme in Armenia

Informal Economy project national evaluation seminar took place in Tsaghkadsor Armenia on 4-6 June 2010. The project target sectors Trade Unions took part in the evaluation - the unions of commerce, of agriculture, of construction, of public services and HAMK leadership as well.

One of specific features of informal economy in Armenia – the existance of social nets, based on n the family or territorial grounds, which acts as self-aid system. This phenomenon existed in USSR times.

According to the survey done by State Statistic Department there are about 1 million employed in Armenia, out of them 501 thousand are employed in formal sector and 499 thousand in informal sector. Out of 499 thousand informal workers 297 thousand are in agriculture sector. Armenian specific is that 33 percent of employed in industry also work informally. This is biggest percentage in the region. In construction sector more than half of employed are in informal workers.

According to the age groups the rate is highest among the youth age group of 15-24 years old.

IE workers organizing is getting more difficult due to specifics of Armenian legislation - primary TU organization should be registered by the Ministry of Justice. TU has to be organized on branch level, however, the main barriers for successful organizing of IE workers lay within TU structures and statutes, which often overlook potential for individual membership or for setting up of territorial organizations.

Project gave positive influence for TU advertising and better image in the society, since the roundtables and the seminars involved not only to TU members, but aslo social partners and non-organized workers.

The project implementation in Armenia could be evaluated as successful. Big raising awareness work was done among TU activists and in many branches this work has become a priorit. Some Statutory revisions were made to ease membership of IE workers. Many campaigns were run for IE workers protection and organizing, e.g. in framework of the 7 October World Day for Decent Work and May Day in 2008 and 2009.

The project was coordinated with ILO Labour migration and anti-trafficking programmes which led to more effective use of resources. All Armenian administrative districts were involved, and the representatives of the territorial authorities were associated to the activities. Some of the activities involved employers’ representatives and government officials.

Special event was for women and youth was organised.

It was calculated that more than 400 IE workers were organized in Trade Unions, with 4 new local organizations established.

At the end of the seminar the participants prepared future activity plans.


Informal Economy in Armenia