The Fairwork initiative aims to generate evidence to promote a fairer platform economy. The research project consists on evaluating labour platforms’ working conditions based on five principles (payment, working conditions, contracts, management, and representation).
Platforms are assessed from these principles to show the current working conditions in the platform economy and what aspects they can improve. To ensure that these global principles applied to the Argentine case, they were reviewed and refined with workers, platform managers and academics.
This initiative, whose implementation is led by CIPPEC in partnership with the Oxford University Internet Institute, seeks to generate evidence on working conditions in the platform economy. This project is part of the Future of Work in the Global South (FOWiGS) project and in turn is part of the line of work on platform economy that CIPPEC has been carrying out since 2017. In this line of work there have been publications linked in the thematic, within which the work carried out by Madariaga, Molina, Buenadicha and Ernst (2019), financed by IDB-Lab, stands out.
The project’s main product will be a report, built based on research that studies the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, the urban center with the largest population, commercial transactions, and the presence of the platforms. The research process was organized in three phases:
1.Documentary survey and case construction: documentary analysis to determine which are the main platforms currently operating in Argentina and in which sectors. In addition, CIPPEC has relevant quantitative information from the “Survey of Platform Workers 2021” (ETP 2021, funded by IDB-Lab), which was conducted in April 2021 to 792 workers of the platforms covered in this report.
2.Interviews and preliminary systematization:
– Interviews with workers for each platform to identify the main characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the quality of work in each platform.
– Interviews with platform managers, addressing the five Fairwork principles and requesting
supporting empirical evidence on each one of them.
3. Data systematization and triangulation: In a third moment, the final systematization of the interviews and documents provided by the platforms is carried out, and the data is triangulated. The points are only awarded if there is reliable and verifiable evidence for each level. Points are awarded in the first instance by the Argentina team and then subject to a review led by the central Oxford team and two external reviewers. In this way, the objectivity and consistency of the evaluation process are guaranteed.
Currently, the Argentina team is in the final stage of drafting the report, along with the analysis of the main findings. This report, which is to be published by April 2022, is expected to identify the problems where these new forms of employment reproduce inequalities. This constitutes a milestone to establish a first dialogue with the platforms and mark future progress lines. It is also intended to be a key input for future debate on the regulation of platform work.
IDRC has launched FOWIGS—a research program that will help understand how these changes are affecting the lives of the most vulnerable and suggest pathways for an inclusive digital future. The challenges are large and the questions are complex. But we need to face them now more than ever. Stay connected. Learn how.