The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by all United Nations member states in 2015, provides a framework for tracking progress of specific development goals, and of more holistic and integrated patterns of development. The emphasis within the 2030 Agenda on national goals and targets, however, leaves open the question of how the SDGs will be implemented at the local level and grounded in local realities. In this context, policy makers are paying increasing attention to social and solidarity economy (SSE) as a means of regenerating and developing local areas. While there is a growing body of research and knowledge on SSE, and in particular on local experiences related to specific organizations or grassroots initiatives, there has been little attempt to systematically analyse the contribution of SSE to the SDGs, with accounts remaining dispersed and anecdotal. Research which lacks robust methodologies and indicators to measure the impact of SSE on sustainable development can also be prone to romanticizing the role of SSE in achieving the SDGs. Critical analysis of the challenges and opportunities for SSE, and the development of adequate methodologies and indicators to measure the contribution of SSE to achieving the SDGs, are needed to inform policy making and advocacy on inclusive and sustainable development now more than ever.
On 25-26 June 2019, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) convened a conference in Geneva on Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?
The main objectives of the conference were to understand SSE development in different regions and territories, examine the role of SSE as a means of implementation for the SDGs in diverse local contexts, and identify robust methodologies and innovative solutions for measuring SSE and its impacts.