Rapid needs assessment of informal, migrant and unorganised workers during Covid-19.

Understanding immediate and long-term needs of workers in Gujarat-Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

In response to the consequences on labourers in the unorganised / informal sector and slum dwellers under Covid-19 and a Government imposed lockdown in March 2020, relief work was begun by several organisations including INHAF, Mashal and CLRA (Centre for  Labour Research and Action) in their respective cities. As the situation on the ground worsened and travel to facilitate workers back to their villages remained restricted, INHAF initiated a phone survey to quickly assess the conditions of labourers stuck at their places of work and to determine their immediate need – whether they wanted to stay in the city or return to their hometowns and villages. This rapid assessment is a joint effort by CLRA, Mashal, INHAF and the Department of Sociology at the Savitribai Phule Pune University.

PDPL is an exploratory study initiated by INHAF in Pune to involve the urban poor in defining the poverty line themselves. Pune has several dynamic unions and organizations of the urban poor who are sensitive to the impact that the poverty line has on their entitlements, benefits and development. With these member-based unions and organizations of the poor as partners, INHAF piloted the Poor Defining Poverty Line Initiative in xxxx, inspired by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights that conducted a similar study in 6 Asian countries between 2013 and 2014.

This work is seen as a special contribution to the poverty debate as also a rethink on the strategies, plans and projects for poverty reduction. It is possibly one of the first such efforts in the country’s urban sector and is meant to:

a) highlight the need for and the virtue of the bottom-up way of defining and measuring poverty, a subject of national concern and development planning and action (the poor who live poverty are well equipped to define it )
b) develop and demonstrate a participatory, consultative and community engaging methodology in doing so
c) contribute to demystification of the poverty line, at the top and the bottom, at the government and the city level
d) highlight the known deficiencies and inadequacies of the existing definition and the measuring method—the uni-dimensional, nutrition-based poverty line—to ascertain that poverty is a multifaceted and multidimensional phenomenon. 


Phone survey carried out with 591 respondents in Gujarat (199), Rajasthan (51) and Maharashtra (341) between 23rd April and 1st May 2020.
Data Analysis and Summary Report of Findings and Recommendations produced.
Press release note prepared for outreach in several local language and English newspapers.