Local Solutions for a Global Economy


Shop at Amazon Smile and contribute to GFI at the same time!


Amazon Smile is an exciting new program where Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase to a charitable organization of your choice. You can use this new feature to support the Global Fairness Initiative when you shop at Amazon (http://smile.amazon.com)!

Your generous support will be directly invested in our work to create broad and inclusive economic empowerment programs for working poor communities around the globe. As a small non-profit organization focused on doing far more with less, we promise you that every dollar of your support will be more than doubled by our effort and commitment.

Like all of our work, many hands play a part in creating solutions to the disease of poverty. With this contribution our supporters have joined an intimate cycle that begins with a thoughtful contribution and ends with the hope and opportunity created for an impoverished worker engaged in our programs.

We would like to thank everyone of our supporters who have used this feature to support GFI.

Read Karen Tramontano's piece on Informality for CFR

GFI Founder and President, Karen Tramontano, writes an incredible article on Informality as a part of the Council on Foreign Relations' Development Channel series on global justice and development.

Formalizing Economies to Fight Poverty

"Sixty percent of the labor force in most developing countries works in the informal economy. Even though the informal economy is vibrant and provides essential services and goods to many communities, most governments disregard it. If governments instead sought to bring informal economies into the fold, they could enjoy substantial economic benefits. Even more important, granting economic and legal rights to these overlooked workers and producers could lift thousands out of poverty—simply because social security is one of the most effective poverty-fighting tools that a government can utilize."

"The Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), a non-profit organization I founded, works to expand livelihood opportunities for the poor through market-based interventions. In 2008, we launched a project in Guatemala to prove that formalizing workers and enterprises is feasible and can directly reduce poverty. Because the Guatemalan government had almost no data on the informal sector prior to the project, GFI first surveyed informal workers and small enterprises to understand the dimensions and economic value of the sector. The results shed light on both the strengths and challenges of the informal economy. Community discussions, interviews, and surveys that GFI conducted revealed that workers were eager to escape the shadows of the informal economy, voice their opinions, and be taken into account by the government and its leaders. We found that many workers and producers were completely excluded from their country’s economic and legal framework: they lacked access to legal protections, fair wages, safe working conditions, and social safety nets and services. As a result, these men and women often worked harder and longer hours than their formalized counterparts and were among the most exploited and the least protected from harsh labor conditions.".....

To Read more, please visit the link at the top of the page.

Former President of Slovenia, Danilo Türk to Chair GFI Board


Dr. Danilo Türk to take leadership of the Global Fairness Initiative Board of Directors assuming role from José Maria Figuerez, Former President of Costa Rica steps down

Washington, DC – The Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), a leading NGO dedicated to improving livelihoods for the working poor, announced today that Former President of Slovenia, Dr. Danilo Türk will head the GFI Board of Directors replacing outgoing Chair José Maria Figuerez.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Board of the Global Fairness Initiative and to join my fellow Board members in a collective spirit to develop the work of GFI in the future,” said Dr. Turk. “I would also like to emphasize my deep respect and gratitude for the work done by President Jose Maria Figueres who has governed this organization with great distinction and his vision will continue to inspire us.”

Dr. Türk served as President of the Republic of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012 and was the first the Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At the UN he was a non-permanent member of the Security Council as well as a member of UN Human Rights Committee. Later he was appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs before returning to Slovenia where in 2007 he was elected as the third President of Republic of Slovenia where he served until 2012. A former professor and director of the Institute for International Law of the University of Ljubljana, Dr. Türk served on the Constitutional Commission of the Slovenian National Assembly co-wrote the human rights chapter of the 1991 Slovenian Constitution.

“Dr. Türk will lead an exceptional Board rich with grassroots and grass tops leaders and luminaries,” said José Maria Figuerez, former President of Costa Rica and outgoing GFI Board Chair. “I am pleased to transition a role I inherited from Former President Clinton to such an able leader as Danilo, and I am honored to have been part of this organization for these past 10 years.”

The Global Fairness Initiative is an international NGO that works towards a more equitable, sustainable approach to economic development through innovative programs to reduce poverty, enfranchise informal communities, and advance human rights and livelihoods. Founded in a decade ago by Karen Tramontano, GFI has implemented programs that strengthen rights and livelihoods, and generate opportunity for the working poor in Africa, Asia and Central America.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Türk has agreed to Chair the GFI Board. His intellect, leadership and sheer depth of experience will bring enormous value to GFI as we enter a new decade of work to advance the rights, livelihoods and enfranchisement of the working poor,” said Karen Tramontano, Founder of GFI.


10 Years of GFI

2011-2013 GFI Newsletters Now Online

The Global Fairness Initiative's DC-office staff have now digitally archived all of the existing GFI newsletters on our website. Previous newsletters are now located here, and can be accessed by year of publication. The current newsletter is located here, and will be updated on a monthly basis. Enjoy catching up on all of the great work GFI has accomplished over the past 10 years.