UNDP, GSEF, UNRISD, ILO, and the UNTFSSE held virtually a session on “Integrated territorial systems for Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE): building a framework for analysis and planning’’ on 1 June 2021.
The Vth World Forum on Local Economic Development (WFLED) was virtually held from May 26 to June 1, 2021 with the host of Córdoba, Argentina. The Vth WFLED aimed to address some of the most pressing issues related to local economic development (LED) and its potential to support the transition to a sustainable future.
The session on “Integrated territorial systems for SSE: building a framework for analysis and planning’’ (2.3.2) aimed at exploring the connection between SSE and the core drivers of local (economic) development systems, and ways to effectively assess and enhance it.
In his opening remarks, the moderator of the session, Mr. Andrea Agostinucci, Technical advisor in Local Economic Development with the ART Initiative of the UNDP, mentioned that “to leverage the full potential of SSE, it is essential to entrench and mainstream it in societal and governance processes. For doing so, conducive legal and policy frameworks at national level are crucial preconditions but arguably not sufficient ones. It is therefore crucial to explore conditions and promote strategies to further integrate it with local development systems.”
Mr. Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator of the Alternative Economies for Transformation Program at UNRISD, continued by presenting the methodological framework proposed in the Guidelines for Local Governments on Policies for Social and Solidarity Economy, main results of a research project funded by GSEF. Mr. Yi mentioned that specific conditions and mechanisms can be established at the local level through an integrated ‘eco-system’ approach that allows linking SSE – besides punctual regulatory provisions and support to individual units and clusters – to broader local development strategies and drivers. This includes policy making and planning processes; institutional and organizational settings; dedicated services and funding; information and data management; innovation and skills development; communication and marketing.
Mr. Roberto Di Meglio, Senior Specialist on Local Development and Social and Solidarity Economy at the ILO complemented the remarks by emphasizing the need of rethinking the private-public partnership and how the procurement processes are conceived by public administrators, in order to allow the SSE organizations to co-design services.
The opening remarks were followed by a round table of experts and practitioners who shared experiences from different territories in Canada, Senegal, Italy, Argentina and Tunisia.
Ms. Marguerite Mendell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the School of Community and Public Affairs and Director of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia University and Ms. Nancy Neamtan, Strategic Advisor to Chantier de l’Economie Sociale and Innovative Territories in the Social and Solidarity Economy (TIESS) introduced the case of Quebec. In particular they said that the SSE in the city of Montreal is rooted in social dialogue, co-construction and collaborative processes that have been key elements in the building of the Montréal SSE. A significant number of policy initiatives have responded to SSE collective action on the ground. Their presentation is available here.
Ms. Aminata Diop, General Director of the Municipal Development and Solidarity Fund (FODEM) of the City of Dakar, spoke about the case of Dakar in Senegal. She emphasized that since 2010 Dakar has changed its paradigm, by creating the Development and Solidary Municipal Fund, supporting the SSE policy and funding. Access to credit and promotion of creation of decent work have been the main objectives of this fund since then, with significant results in terms of creation of employment especially for youth and women, she noted. Her presentation is available here.
Ms. Liliana Montero, Co-President of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights and Undersecretary of planning and management for an Inclusive City of the Secretariat of social policies, inclusion and coexistence of the Municipality of Córdoba, presented the case of the city of Cordoba in Argentina. Ms. Montero spoke especially about the case of “paseos populares”, regulated with a municipal bylaw adopted by city of Cordoba and defined as “self-organized units, managed by individual, family or association, which aim at creating self-employment and production of goods and services”. She explained the relevant and positive impact of such initiatives in localizing many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and in particular, SDG n. 1, 5, 8, 12. Her presentation is available here.
Mr. Enrico Testi, Director of ARCO and Director of the Yunus Social Business Center of the University of Florence in Italy, addressed the topic of how to foster the creation of an enabling urban Ecosystem for Social Enterprises. He mentioned three pilot initiatives in Pistoia (2012), Barcelona (2015), Tayouan (2019), where it was possible to implement Social Business City Programs, with positive results in terms of creating an enabling environment for social economy (e.g support of SSE organizations through incubators, etc.). His presentation is available here.
Mr. Tarek Mahjoub, Regional Director for Vocational Training and Employment of the Ariana Governorate in Tunisia spoke about the case of his governorate and PAJESS project in Tunisia. Mr. Mahjoub mentioned that the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment (MFPE) decided, in partnership with the ILO and funded by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, to invest in a process of formulating and implementing local socio-economic development strategies in the governorate of Ariana. In this context, a regional SSE development platform has been initiated including representation from regional public structures of local authorities as well as representatives of municipalities and civil society. The PowerPoint presentation is available here. More information and updates on the PAJESS project are available here.
The session was concluded by a plenary discussion with the speakers and participants participated. They exchanged on the application of the policy guideline tool, addressing some key guidance questions and criteria included in each chapter of the tool with the objective of analysing respective settings in relation to some key dimensions of enabling local eco-systems for SSE and the co-creation process necessary for more inclusive public policies at local level.