The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations (UN) global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build better lives. UNDP has a presence in nearly 170 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As countries develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results.
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development demands a UN development system that is agile, cohesive and responsive to a country’s priorities and people’s needs. It requires rights-based programming for the 2030 Agenda that is underpinned by robust national analyses, a renewed push for collective action and partnerships, and a laser-like focus on helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by leaving no one behind (LNOB). In line with this, UNDP programming focuses on the vulnerable and marginalized populations, especially those in the informal sector.
COVID-19 has exposed and intensified economic and social divides worldwide and Namibia is no different. When the lock down measures from level 1 (March 2020) were implemented, it resulted in economic consequences for informal sector actors, in the form of revenue lost/foregone. The informal sector is often left out of structural government support even though it contributes substantially to job creation, poverty alleviation and income generation. The informal sector in Sub Saharan African countries contributes about 55% of GDP and employs more than 50% of the labour force. In Namibia it is estimated that the informal sector (+/-300 000 informal economy operators) accounts for approximately 12% of the GDP.[i] The actors in this sector are at a great risk of losing incomes/employment and have little to no savings to rely on or no social protection mechanisms to assist them. The result is therefore not only a significant reduction in economic activity, but also a great reduction in household incomes and many more households pushed into poverty. For this reason, there is need to strengthen the sector’s ecosystem as it can assist in achieving aggregated enhanced human well-being. The UNDP Namibia proposes to carry out a diagnostic study of the informal sector in Namibia to help inform policy and programmatic design aimed at further supporting the sector.
This assignment further requires the design of a people centered and gender responsive approach, informed by international best practices in this area, to contribute towards the achievement of Outcome 1.1 of the 2019-2023 UNPAF in Namibia: The desired outcome is :“By 2023, institutions implement policies for inclusive development and poverty reduction for vulnerable groups.”