Original Research

What work should be and bring: Representations of decent work in Togo

Pazambadi Kazimna, Yawo A. Holu, Akila Alfa, Masamaésso Tchonda, Paboussoum Pari, Jonas Masdonati
African Journal of Career Development | Vol 2, No 1 | a8 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajcd.v2i1.8 | © 2020 Pazambadi Kazimna, Yawo A. Holu, Akila Alfa, Masamaésso Tchonda, Paboussoum Pari, Jonas Masdonati | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 December 2019 | Published: 11 March 2020

About the author(s)

Pazambadi Kazimna, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Yawo A. Holu, Department of Career Counselling, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Akila Alfa, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Masamaésso Tchonda, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Paboussoum Pari, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Jonas Masdonati, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


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Abstract

Background: Little is known about workers’ and students’ perceptions and views of decent work in the African context.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the perceived characteristics of decent work and the needs that work is expected to satisfy in Togo, a country in which a significant number of workers experience job insecurity.

Method: Twenty-nine semi-structured interviews were carried out with workers in the formal and informal sectors, and college and university students. A thematic consensual qualitative analysis was applied to the interview transcriptions.

Results: The representation of decent work covered four key components: to be considered decent, work should entail some basic conditions, enable one to develop professionalism, and make one feel productive and be a source of pleasure. Moreover, participants mentioned five types of needs that work should meet: vital, psychological, social, busyness and statutory needs. These results indicate the existence of both universal and culture-specific features of decent work.

Conclusion: The study results suggest that career counsellors should take into account counselees’ specific representation of work and the needs work is expected to satisfy. Vocational and career practices should then place greater emphasis on the adequacy between the occupations to which people are oriented and the social and personal representations of decent work.


Keywords

Togo; decent work; representations; need satisfaction; formal sector; informal sector; career counselling.

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