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High rates of growth and growing openness in South Asia have raised expectations of better livelihoods and employment conditions. However, economic growth has not brought about a marked improvement in employment conditions, for a very large proportion of the work force which remains in poor-quality, low productivity employment in the informal part of the economy.

A large majority of workers face insecurity of livelihood and vulnerability to contingencies, which reflects both the poor quality of the jobs they have and the absence of any institutionalized social security system.

research issues

In order to find ways to improve the nature of growth, the project will take up two key research questions:

• What policies are needed to modify the growth paths in South Asia so as to increase formalization and the proportion of decent jobs?

• How can social protection policies be designed so that they contribute to the objectives of increasing both formalization and the proportion of decent jobs?

Activities & Collaboration


Besides research, the network would focus on enhancing research capacity, turning research results into policy, as well as dissemination and outreach. There will be regional and national conferences and workshops. + Read More


The network aims to bring together researchers and institutions working on issues of employment quality, informal economy, the contribution of social protection, and related topics in improving the quality of employment in South Asia.
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