The Rise
& Economics of
the Gig Economy

Understanding the regulatory potentials and risks for digital labour platforms.

Start date: Individually
Total time commitment: 1-8h
(adjustable to your needs)
Location: online
Costs: free of charge

About the Programme

To grasp the gig economy and its potential you need to understand the challenges and opportunities lying ahead. 

The gig economy refers to a labour market comprised of short term jobs, so called ‘gigs’. These ‘gigs’ are usually completed by workers contracted on a non-permanent basis and are mediated via digital labour platforms. Flexibility, variety and freedom are key terms many associate with the gig economy. No wonder, at least 40 million people in low- and middle-income countries earn part or their entire income in the gig economy today, and the figure is rising. Digital platforms stimulate employment and income generation through the increased availability and access to digitally mediated jobs. Alongside the growth and potential are the challenges arising from the new modus of work. Digital labour platforms often trade off increased flexibility for lower employment security. Gig workers may face unfair working conditions such as poor pay, intransparent dismissal or little to no appeal procedures. At the same time, there is a lack of smart policy responses tackling these issues.

The GIZ online course addressing the regulatory challenges arising from the platformisation of work and its impact on the labour market. The course is designed for policy makers, representatives from trade unions and other civil societyorganisations, business leaders, academics and other professionals across multiple functions looking to understand the workings, possibilities, and challenges associated with the emergence of digital labour platforms. This course offers a unique opportunity to acquire an informed opinion about the practical impact of the gig economy on labour markets and the associated regulatory challenges with a focus on of low- and middle-income countries.

This course is developed by the Gig Economy initiative, which promotes fair work on digital labour platforms. As part of the Global Program on Digital Transformation, GIZ implements the initiative on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The course draws on expertise from across the globe, long-standing relationships and experience in capacity development in a variety of low and middle-income countries to provide a comprehensive exploration of the gig economy in the global South.

Delivered in collaboration with the Smart Africa Digital Academy as our distinguished advisory committee, you will encounter a community of renowned experts and dedicated professionals in the field.

Upon completion of this online course, you will be equipped with:​

  • The ability to develop smart and agile policy responses in the era of the platform economy
  • A conceptional understanding and in-depth knowledge of best practices to maximise the
    benefits of the gig economy
  • A robust framework to critically examine how your country or business can
    benefit from adequate regulation in the gig economy
  • Access to GIZ´s unique ecosystem of stakeholders and experts
  • Guidance from leading experts in the field

Programme Curriculum

Understand what enabled the rise of digital labour platforms and what types of digital labour platforms exist. Capture key platform concepts and business models as well as major benefits and risks surrounding digital labour platforms.


Agile regulation of the gig economy

Understand the main reasons for the regulatory interest in digital labour platforms around the world.

Gain knowledge on current policy struggles and explore future options for regulators to address regulatory gaps.


What’s different about platform work?

Grasp the general concept of the future of work and the changing employer-employee relationship. Learn about the main characteristics of new forms of work as well as the legal status of platform workers.


Fair and decent work for gig workers

Understand what constitutes decent and fair work and what minimum standards in the gig economy are. Learn how digital labour platforms impact fair and equal access to social protection and social security. 



Data, algorithms and gig work

Explore how data contributes to the value of platforms and why data protection, portability and ownership is contested. Understand how data and algorithms affect working conditions and the experience of workers in collective organisation, bargaining, and appeal procedures.


Competition in the age of digital platforms

Explore the tools and limits of competition law to regulate digital labour platforms. Discuss the limits and potential of competition law in protecting and improving the working conditions of gig workers.


Taxation of platforms and workers

Gain an overview of the challenges arising as part of the taxation of platforms and  their workers and examine solutions to address them. Examine why the current tax framework is outdated and what challenges the emergence of digital platforms introduce with regard to the long-standing taxation principle. 


Women in the gig economy

Learn about the position of women on digital labour platforms and their specific needs, challenges and opportunities. Explore reasons for the hurdles women face in accessing the gig economy and analyse the real potential it illustrates for many women around the world. 


Meet the advisory committee​​

The online course is developed by GIZ in cooperation with the Smart Africa Digital Alliance and our advisory committee, which brings together renowned experts in the gig economy field:


Anna Banczyk

Deputy Head of Unit “Future of Work, Youth Employment” in the European Commission’s DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion


Tania Begazo​

Senior Economist at the World Bank’s Digital Development Global Practice


Mark Graham​

Professor of Internet Geography at the Oxford Internet Institute Director of the Fairwork Project


Paulien Osse​

Director at the WageIndicator


Uma Rani

Senior Economist at the
International Labour Organisation

Jasmin Gegenwart

Jasmin Gegenwart

Policy Officer, Seconded National Expert to European Commission

Dr. Funda Ustek Spilda

Dr. Funda Ustek Spilda

Post-doctoral Researcher and Project Manager, Fairwork, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


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