Keywords: street vendors, re–location, community economic development, green economics, local authorities, Indonesia, local government, informal economy, empowerment, financial budgets, modernisation, traditional markets, infrastructure changes, cultural changes, culture
Relocation for a better livelihood: a case study of street vendors in local authorities in Indonesia
This paper examines practices and approaches taken by local governments in Indonesia as a response to the issue of street vendors as an example of the informal economic actor. The paper aims to unravel the conceptual understanding of the economic role of street vendors. Using case studies and actor perspective analysis, it will shed light on issues of street–vendor empowerment and structuring programmes. The principal finding is that street–vendor relocation with a high degree of participation does not necessarily lead to the betterment and sustainability of street–vendor livelihood. International development aid to build modern buildings to accommodate the relocated street vendors, does not properly serve its function since it is not compatible with the street–vendors' raison d'être. This leads to the inefficiency of local governments' financial budgets. The paper shows that modernisation of traditional markets must be supported, as well as with other infrastructure and cultural changes. Street–vendor empowerment and structuring programmes need to be regularly re–reviewed and revisited.