This project seeks to:
1) understand the conditions and contexts that enable social and solidarity economy (SSE) to expand; and
2) assess the implications of such processes and interactions with external actors and institutions for realizing the potential of SSE as a distinctive approach to development.
What sort of enabling environment is needed for SSE realize its potential and sustain itself over the long term? As organizations and networks expand, does SSE conform or deviate from core principles and objectives? How can constraints and contradictions be addressed?
From a policy perspective, the inquiry aims to give more visibility to SSE in United Nations policy debates and bring to the attention of policy makers key findings and recommendations from researchers around the world on the potential and limits of SSE, its role in addressing contemporary development challenges, and its place in a post-2015 development agenda.
The UNRISD inquiry will be undertaken in close collaboration with a number of other United Nations organizations.
Project Activities and Related Outputs
- The research project on Feminist Analysis of Social and Solidarity Economy Practices: Views from Latin America and India.
- Workshop on Social and Solidarity Finance: Tensions, Opportunities and Transformative Potential, 11-12 May 2015.
- Social and Solidarity Economy: Beyond the Fringe, edited by Peter Utting, Zed Books, 2015. To view the introductory chapter, please click here.
- UNRISD Occasional Paper Series of selected and peer-reviewed conference contributions, including a synthesis paper drawing together a combined analysis from the conference contributions.
- A series of think pieces, selected from submissions to the Call for Papers and exploring different facets of Social Solidarity Economy, is being published on the UNRISD website and promoted via UNRISD's global communications channels.
- Peter Utting's think piece Social and Solidarity Economy: A Pathway to Socially Sustainable Development? frames the issue historically and in relation to UN development thinking.
- Guest blog piece What is Social and Solidarity Economy and Why Does it Matter? originally published in "From Poverty to Power", a conversational blog written and edited by Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB.
- Call for Papers (English, Spanish) - 1 October-15 November 2012.
UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy
An SSE Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy was set up in September 2013, bringing together UN agencies and other inter-governmental organizations with a direct interest in SSE as well as umbrella associations of international social and solidarity economy networks.
The Task Force has published a position paper in response to concerns that so far insufficient attention to the role of SSE has been paid in the process of crafting a post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. This paper illustrates the potential of SSE to address the economic, social and environmental objectives and integrated approaches inherent in the concept of sustainable development.
International Conference: 6-8 May 2013
A key project activity was the international conference
on the Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy held in Geneva on 6-8 May 2013. Some 300 participants from 35 countries representing academia, the UN development community, SSE practitioners as well as NGOs and civil society attended. The conference was organized in collaboration with the International Labour Organization and UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.