September 21, 2020

DCU partner in recently awarded MSCA RISE “LABOUR” project

Dublin City University is partner in a recently awarded H2020 MSCA RISE Grant for the project “LABOUR: Tacking informal employment in Asia: building post-COVID-19 solutions to precariousness through case-study based evidence on Bhutan, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam”. The project has been granted €1.5 million euro. 

According to the last World Employment and Social Outlook of the International Labour Organisation, there are over 1.4bn workers in vulnerable jobs worldwide, with numbers expected to rise in 2020 due to COVID-19. In Asia, for example, informal employment is estimated to account for 68.2% of the active population.

Currently several efforts are being made, both at domestic and international levels, to address these concerns. Among these, one can highlight the development of a specific statistical indicator to measure informal employment or the formulation of decent work and sustainable industrialisations – all being part of the Sustainable Development Goals process. However, in spite of the fact that the great majority of states have formally committed to addressing the SDGs, including those related to insecure employment, there is little evidence to indicate that developing regions currently have the capacity to systematically study the problems of informal employment and vulnerability in ways that facilitate the development and implementation of concrete viable solutions. 

LABOUR has identified that this is due to two main challenges. First, although a number of approaches have been used inside the EU, there has been little, if any, attempt to adapt the existing framework elsewhere. Second, no systematic review of anti-precariousness policy has been attempted beyond the EU region. 

This research and training project gathers a team of 14 participants, including academic and non-academic partners, with the aim of addressing the above-mentioned shortfalls of research and development approaches by giving attention to a region where this is particularly worrying. For the 2021-2024 period, this project will not only produce specialists on the topic and on the region but will also propose concrete mitigation measures that can be taken into account by decision-makers and development organisations.

Research Project: ‘LABOUR: Tacking informal employment in Asia: building post-COV19 solutions to precariousness through case-study based evidence on Bhutan, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam’

From/To: 2021-2024

Funding Source: H2020 MSCA RISE      

Funding: €1,500,000

Participating Universities: Tallinn University, Institute of Social Studies, Estonia, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland, University of Latvia, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, Portugal, University of Stockholm, Sweden, Marmara University, Turkey, Moldova State University,

Participating Institutions Chithuen Phendhey Association, Bhutan, Center for Sustainable Development Studies, Vietnam,  Participatory Development Training Center, Laos, PAKISAMA, the Philippines, Charity Oriented Myanmar, Myanmar, Chulalongkorn University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Thailand, Maldives National University, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality, Maldives

PI: Dr Abel Polese (

Person in charge of project at DCU: Dr Donnacha Ó Beacháin (

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