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Our Funder

European Research Council

This project has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 805425).

Our Partners

University of Bath

The University of Bath’s world-leading research is improving lives and changing the world. Its enterprise and innovation deliver scientific and economic impact benefiting communities locally, nationally and internationally. They engage with the public, policymakers, charities and businesses to inform new research directions. The ERC-funded WorkFREE project aims to explore the extent to which an unconditional basic income, alongside community organising, can contribute towards eradicating indecent work. As such, the project hopes to contribute towards the university’s aim of improving lives and changing the world through their research.

The India Network for Basic Income (INBI) Foundation

The India Network for Basic Income (INBI) Foundation is a nationwide community of researchers, activists, artists, journalists, and concerned citizens who are keen to understand, research and advocate the idea of basic income in the Indian context. It was established in 2015 by a small group of researchers who co-led the Madhya Pradesh Basic Income Pilot Study from 2011 to 2013. The results of this study were positive and demonstrated that basic income, if designed and implemented well, could have a strong transformative and emancipatory effect on the lives of the poor. As part of its interest in the impact of an unconditional basic income, INBI Foundation is collaborating with the University of Bath and Urban Waste Collectors in Hyderabad to explore the impact of a Basic Income to the fight for ‘decent work’.

The Montfort Social Institute (MSI)

The Montfort Social Institute (MSI), addresses three most important issues of our times – protection of human rights, sustainable development, and governance. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Earth Charter and the Social Teachings form the basic framework of the task of MSI. The institute uses these instruments to create a culture of respect and dignity of all persons, and of the earth. MSI’s focus on sustainable development ties into WorkFREE’s focus on how unconditional basic income, and non-violent community mobilisation, can enable the development of ‘decent work’, as defined by workers themselves. In the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 8 promotes “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work”. MSI is interested in how UBI and non-violent community mobilisation can contribute to human rights, sustainable economic development and ‘decent work’ for all.


Global evidence shows that women make a significant contribution to the economy, yet they continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Economic empowerment of women is fundamental to achieving gender equality and inclusive growth. The Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) was set up to address this challenge.

IWWAGE aims to build on existing research and generate new evidence to inform and facilitate the agenda of women’s economic empowerment. IWWAGE is an initiative of LEAD, an action-oriented research centre of the IFMR Society (a not for profit society registered under the Societies Act). LEAD has strategic oversight and brand support from Krea University (sponsored by IFMR Society) to enable synergies between academia and the research centre. IWWAGE is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

IWWAGE attempts to shift the evidence base from ‘how’ to ‘what works’ to improve women’s participation in economic activities by addressing barriers to women’s work, facilitating women’s access to decent work and economic resources, and enhancing women’s agency by leveraging the transformative potential of women’s empowerment collectives. Accordingly, IWWAGE focuses on three thematic areas: barriers to work, quality of work, and women’s agency.

Through its collaboration with the WorkFREE project, IWWAGE is interested in exploring how unconditional cash transfers promote social and economic empowerment, ‘decent work’ and gender equality for women in the informal economy in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

Mustardseed Trust

Mustardseed Trust is a small charity with a big vision: A world in which all beings live in partnership with the web of life for all to thrive. We work towards a world where ecosystems are restored, money systems serve the well-being and human relation systems cultivate partnerships rather than domination.

Our mission is to enable organisations and individuals to create economic systems based on partnerships that nurture the web of life.

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openDemocracy is an independent global media organisation based in London that seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. Its Beyond Trafficking and Slavery section has partnered with WorkFREE to jointly promote discussion of socioeconomic inequality, labour exploitation, and potential policy solutions to both within the public sphere.


In particular, this partnership seeks to openly explore the ways unconditional cash transfers and non-violent community mobilisation can empower those currently in ‘unfree’ or exploitative work. More broadly, the Beyond Slavery section is dedicated to helping those trying to understand forced labour, trafficking and slavery by combining the rigour of academic scholarship with the clarity of journalism. In addition, openDemocracy and WorkFREE have begun working on developing ‘UBI Curious’, a rigorous information resource aimed at those who are sceptical, yet curious about Universal Basic Income.

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