On March 30th and 31st, Data2X hosted a first technical working group meeting with the ILO, World Bank, FAO, and UN Women for the ‘Women’s Work and Employment’ partnership.

The partnership brings together main international actors who collect data documenting people’s economic activities to collaborate in implementing new definitions of work and employment adopted by the International Conference of Labor Statisticians (2013). The partnership’s specific emphasis is the effect of the new definitions in recording work in subsistence agriculture, a sector where women are disproportionately represented. The meeting was the first opportunity for technical experts from each agency to come together to better understand the new definitions and their potential policy implications with a particular focus on women, discuss individual plans for piloting, and tentatively agree on a shared work agenda to harmonize and pilot test these definitions.

The new standards introduce a comprehensive framework to measure work and employment, recognizing all productive activities, paid and unpaid, as work, and restricting employment to activities performed for pay or profit. In this framework, activities in subsistence agriculture are counted as work rather than employment.

Partners identified several areas for collaboration, including sharing methodologies and findings from pilot studies in the near term, and the possibility of testing methodologies in a common country as a next phase. Data2X will host periodic video and in-person meetings as work plans progress, and create a tool and information-sharing portal on its website. In addition, partners will collaborate on a communications strategy to disseminate the results of the pilots and increase understanding of the gender and policy implications of the new definitions.