This week, international experts came together in Amman to discuss the platform economy and future of work under the Fairwork project. The event was held from the 4th until the 7th of June, organised by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford and hosted by the Jordanian organisation Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies.
Notably, the conference was concluded by a public event on the 7th of June at Geneva Hotel Amman. Expert panelists included:
- Mr. Ahmad Awad, Founder and Director of the Phenix Center, Jordan
- His excellency, Mr. Mothanna Gharaibeh, Former Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, Jordan
- Batoul Al Mehdar, Senior Researcher at Access to Knowledge for Development, Egypt
- Dr Janaki Srinavasan, Assistant Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, India
- Dr Funda Ustek-Spilda, Researcher and Project Manager at the Oxford Internet Institute, UK
Bringing together participants from 38 countries spanning five continents, the four-day Fairwork Summit brought together a diverse array of voices and perspectives on the platform economy. The conference opened interesting opportunities and strategies to advocate for platform workers rights globally.
From food delivery to cleaning services, more and more people around the world are finding work via smart applications. In Jordan, the platform economy is also booming with platforms like Uber, Careem, Jeeny, and Talabat offering job opportunities to many. However, these platform workers often face precarious working conditions, as they are considered independent contractors or freelancers. While digital labour platforms offer numerous opportunities, particularly in regions with high unemployment rates, it is crucial to prioritise regulatory measures and social protection mechanisms to keep pace with the evolving labour landscape.
The Fairwork project emerged four years ago as a research initiative to shed light on the conditions of platform workers by rating the working conditions of platform companies. Now the project has evaluated more than 150 platforms around the world and collaborated with them to make more than 160 positive changes to their labour policies. Fairwork also collaborates closely with policymakers, unions, and international labour organisations to inform efforts to regulate the sector at the local, national and regional levels.
Building on the success of the project so far, this year’s Fairwork Summit specifically focused on the future of work in the digital economy and the pressing need to implement adequate social protections for workers. During the summit, participants shared strategies to further involve policymakers, investors and consumers in the efforts to ensure fair working conditions. They also discussed alternative business models emerging in the sector, such as platform cooperatives, and how these could offer an alternative to multinational companies that currently dominate the industry.
During the public event, Fairwork researchers from Egypt, India, Jordan, and the United Kingdom had an engaging conversation with former Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, his excellency Mr Mothanna Gharaibeh, about the potential of regulation to provide minimum standards to workers in the platform economy. While the context is different between these countries, there was a general consensus on the need for informed government intervention to prevent workers from the many risks they currently face.
“We need to make sure the value created in this industry is shared by the people who take the risk” said Mr Mothanna Gharaibeh.
The panel highlighted the importance of research projects like Fairwork is providing independent evidence about this rapidly-changing industry. The goal should be to ensure the platform economy provides fair and inclusive job opportunities without hindering economic growth.
For more information please call Mr Ahmad Awad +962795516593 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for Editors
Fairwork is an action-research project coordinated by the Oxford Internet Institute and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Through a global network of researchers, Fairwork evaluates the working conditions on digital platforms and ranks them based on five principles of fair work. The five Principles of Fairwork were developed through an extensive literature review of published research on job quality, stakeholder meetings in Geneva (involving platform operators, policymakers, trade unions, and academics), and in-country meetings with local stakeholders. Globally, Fairwork collaborates closely with workers, platforms, advocates, and policymakers to envision and build a fairer future of work. See here for more information:
About Phenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies
The Phenix Center for Economics & Informatics Studies is a non-governmental organization dedicated to independent policy research and measuring public opinions on impactful current and emerging issues in areas of economics, society, and its legislative environment in Jordan. The Center was founded in Amman, Jordan in 2003. The Center works to spearhead a development model in Jordan that embraces democracy and human rights principles. Their priority is to reform labor policies, eliminate barriers to trade union organizations, bolster social protection policies, and establish databases for sustainable development. See here for more information: