REPORT OF THE TENTH MEETING OF THE EXPERT GROUP ON INFORMAL SECTOR STATISTICS (DELHI GROUP)
- Organization of the Meeting
1.1 The Tenth Meeting of the Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (Delhi Group) was organized and hosted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva during 8-10 October, 2007.
2.2 The meeting was attended by 26 representatives from the countries of Brazil, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Mexico, Namibia, Tanzania and Turkey, the international organistions of International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), ‘Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR), Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), France and Mrs. Carol Carson, (SNA update, Project manager). The list of participants is at Annex-I.
3.1 The agenda adopted for the meeting consisted of an inaugural session and discussions on the following items:
- Inaugural Session
- Manual on Surveys of Informal Employment and Informal Sector : Progress Report
- Discussions on draft Chapters 1 to 5 and 10 of Manual on Surveys of Informal Employment and Informal Sector
- Chapter 1 : Introduction
- Chapter 2 : Concepts, Definitions And Sub-Classification
- Chapter 3: Measurement Objectives and data collection Strategies
- Chapter 4 : Household Surveys on informal Sector Employment and other types of Informal Employment
- Chapter 5 : Informal Sector Establishment Surveys
- Chapter 10 : Use of Data for the preparation of National Accounts: Labour Input matrices and the Production Approach
- Draft Chapter 24 of SNA Rev.1 on The Informal Sector
- Alternate aggregation for informal sector in ISIC Rev.4
- Summary of the deliberations and recommendations
4.1 There were extensive deliberations on the draft Chapters 1 to 5 and 10 of the Manual on Surveys of Informal Employment and Informal Sector, which is one of the deliverable outputs of the Delhi Group in association with the ILO. The preliminary draft Chapter 24 of the 1993 SNA Rev.1 on The Informal Sector along with the background note from the UNSD and the Project Manager of SNA Rev.1 was also discussed at length. Besides these agenda papers, a paper prepared on “Alternate Aggregation for the Informal Sector in ISIC Rev.4” was also presented. The purpose of this paper was to suggest an alternative aggregation of ISIC levels to suit the specialised needs and characteristics of economic activities carried out in informal sector.
4.2 The participants, while approving the broad outlines of the draft Chapters and other agenda papers, suggested some changes in terms of their content and structure. The recommendations of the Delhi Group on these deliberations are given below as the recommendations of 10th Delhi Group meeting.
4.3 The team of contributors who are drafting the Manual on Surveys of Informal Employment and Informal Sector will suitably revise the draft chapters considered in the 10th meeting of the Delhi Group by March, 2008. The other 4 Chapters of the Manual, namely, Chapters 6 to 9 will be drafted by June, 2008, and the complete Manual will be placed before the 11th meeting of the Delhi Group, scheduled to be held thereafter in Kolkata.
4.4 The Delhi Group will submit a report to the UN Statistical Commission, about the recent developments and on the progress of preparation of the activities of Manual on Surveys of Informal Employment and Informal Sector.
- Recommendations of the 10th Meeting of the Delhi Group
5.1 The following recommendations were made on the various agenda items:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Revisions should include:
- A careful review and correction of concepts to ensure accuracy and consistency across the chapters;
- Statements concerning the role of the manual in producing data on production of the informal sector (in addition to the role of the manual in producing data on employment);
- Strengthen the discussion of the role of data on informal sector/ informal employment in national statistical systems.
Chapter 2 : Concepts, Definitions and Sub-Classification
- The revisions should include:
- Combining Sections 2.1 and 3.1
- Changing the title of the Chapter
- Incorporating Section 7 and the Annexes in the body of the Chapter
- Indicating the relationship between the concepts of informal employment and “(non-) decent work”
- A number of editorial changes in the text
- The meeting suggested that concepts and definitions other than those defined by the ICLS should be addressed in Chapters 3 and 9;
- The meeting agreed that Sections 2.2.3, 5 and 6 should be maintained.
Chapter 3: Measurement Objectives and data collection Strategies
- Along with the measurement objectives, items of data needed to meet those objectives should be listed;
- Keeping in view the space requirements in the Chapter, material on FIRST methodology on establishment surveys may be shortened;
- Stressing on the most important advantages, limitations and complementarities of different data collection strategies, guidance in the selection of strategies should be provided in a non-prescriptive manner at the end of the Chapter;
- Section headings may be reformulated to indicate clearly that there are three broad approaches to data collection, namely, household surveys, establishment surveys and mixed household and enterprise surveys;
- Tables 1 and 2 to be updated with additional available information.
Chapter 4 : Household Surveys on informal Sector Employment and other types of Informal Employment
- Additional text may be included highlighting the complementary nature between the household surveys and establishments and mixed surveys;
- To be explicit on what information / indicators on informal sector employment / informal employment to be collected by means of a labour force survey. Reinforce texts on their relevance for policy making;
- With regard to table on pages 7-8, comparisons in terms of what is measured, should be specified;
- Illustrate by means of data examples, the differences in estimated employed persons between LFS and mixed surveys;
- To add more on survey and reference periods and their implications;
- to transfer to the body and elaborate the text in respect of LSMS surveys;
- To balance the chapter laying less stress on national experience and reformulating it in terms of the information pertinent to the objectives of the chapter;
- To explore other national experiences that infer the nature of the economic units by specific questions addressed to employees.
Chapter 5 : Informal Sector Establishment Surveys
- Structure of chapter 4 may be adopted while revising chapter 5, to the extent possible;
- Examples of countries other than India should figure more in the chapter, although India has been recognized as a good example. Material in this context may be collected and used;
- Indian experience in evolution of survey design of household enterprises and unorganized sector enterprises, stressing on improvements may be briefly traced;
- Empirical analysis of differences in estimates on informal sector and informal employment obtained from 55th round (1999-2000) and 56th and 57th rounds on unorganised sector surveys may be included;
- Listing experiences in economic censuses and surveys in India may be traced with improvements brought-in over time, may be described;
- The paras on existing international recommendations on establishment censuses and surveys may be revised taking into account latest developments, even if they exist in draft form. UNSD is requested to supply the relevant material.
Chapter 6 : Alternate aggregation for informal sector in ISIC Rev.4
- The Group noted that the alternate ISIC aggregation is not to define the informal sector. Keeping in view the objective and purpose of alternate aggregation, it is recommended that the title may be revised as “Alternate ISIC 4 aggregations for analysis and reporting of Informal Sector Statistics”;
- The proposed alternate aggregation as proposed by UNSD is well appreciated by the Group and is recommended with following modifications:
- In category IVa, in the Title “(other than via mail order houses and Internet)” may be deleted;
- ISIC division 94 may be shifted from Category VIII to XI;
- One additional sub-classification may be included under category VII for ISIC classes 5610 and 5621.
Draft Chapter of SNA Rev.1 on informal sector
The Delhi Group:
- Expressed general support for the draft of the Chapter;
- Advised that the Chapter should specify the data items needed to provide coverage of informal sector enterprises in a national accounts framework. Further, advised that these data items should be the items in the production and generation of income accounts;
- Indicated that the description of informal employment in the Chapter is adequate. Furthermore, recommended that the Chapter advise its presentation in a satellite framework as suggested by the Delhi Group in its 9th meeting;
- Noted that the present section on the informal sector’s scope and characteristics should be developed to indicate what national accounts seek to capture and how that is linked to ICLS concepts of informal sector;
- Proposed that the text on terminology be extended to first present the commonalities between the 15th ICLS on employment in the informal sector and the SNA in terms of their scope and characteristics;
- Advised that in the description of three measurement approaches, a reference be made to the ILO Manual On Informal Sector and Informal Employment. Further, indicated that the complementarities and benefits of the related data sets for national accounts compilation should be presented and that a description of the labour input matrix for calibration and validation purpose should be added;
- Suggested that section E 3 may be redrafted in a positive tone and expanded, highlighting the contribution of the data set on the informal sector for national accounts compilation.
Chapter 10 : Use of Data for the preparation of National Accounts:
Labour Input matrices and the Production Approach
The Chapter should clearly outline the objectives in the beginning regarding:
- Achievement of exhaustiveness of GDP in the national accounts, in particular for the informal sector;
- Create production and income generation accounts for informal sector and possibly in a satellite framework on informal employment;
- The use of the labour input matrices should be complemented by examples (India, Mexico, and Tunisia) showing how value added per worker has been compiled for and assigned to various components of employment, to obtain a more exhaustive measure of GDP;
- Complementary use of sources for balancing and reconciliation of supply and use tables should be elaborated;
- Pros and cons of building LI matrices from one source (LFS) or from various sources may be elaborated.