The UNTFSSE organized a session as part of the 8th EMES conference on statistics

The UNTFSSE session discussed opportunities and challenges around statistics concerning the SSE.

The United Nations Task Force on Social, Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE)’s session on statistics concerning the SSE took place virtually within the framework of the 8th EMES conference.

The conference was organized by the EMES International Research Network, in partnership with the Empower-SE COST Action, the University of Zaragoza’s GESES-Zaragoza University Research Group (Grupo de Estudios Sociales y Económicos del Tercer Sector), the Social Economy Laboratory LAB_ES and CEPES Aragon. Under the theme “Social enterprise, cooperative and voluntary action: Bringing principles and values to renew action“, the Conference was held on October 4-7, 2021, at the University of Zaragoza, Teruel Campus (Teruel, Spain) using a hybrid format.

The UNTFSSE session tackled the issues around generating reliable, comparable and harmonized statistics concerning the SSE. Policymakers increasingly pay attention to SSE units, in particular, their potentials to address social, economic and environmental problems. However, the lack of statistical information about the weight, size and scope of the SSE often prevents them from making informed decisions around sustainable and inclusive policies that integrate SSE units.

In his opening remarks, Vic Van Vuuren, Chair of the UNTFSSE and the Director of the Enterprises Department at the ILO, mentioned that the UNTFSSE began a research initiative, “Opportunities and challenges of statistics on SSE” in order to address these problems. The initiative was funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea (represented by Statistics Korea) in 2019 and coordinated by UNRISD, as the implementing agency of the UNTFSSE Knowledge Hub for the SDGs and with the support of CIRIEC International and its network of experts. He noted that the project aimed to contribute to knowledge diffusion and transfer about robust methodologies and high-quality approaches for data collection, analysis and interpretation of SSE statistics.

The session, moderated by Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator at UNRISD, continued with the first speaker, Marie J. Bouchard. Ms. Bouchard, introduced the main findings of the paper on “Producing Statistics on Social and Solidarity Economy: The State of the Art” co-authored with Mr. Gabriel Salathé-Beaulieu. She provided an overview of the existing conceptual frameworks and international standards related to building statistics concerning the SSE. She assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and provided recommendations for future work. Her presentation is available here.

The second speaker, Jérôme Schoenmaeckers introduced the results of the paper “Mapping International SSE Mapping Exercises”, co-authored with Coline Compère and Barbara Sak. He emphasized the diversity of concepts and scopes for defining statistical definition of SSE, including or excluding organizations and entities, while mentioning and analysing two main frameworks, namely “social economy approach” and “NPO approach”. He added that there are different types of literature contributing to creating, presenting and developing statistics concerning the SSE. He concluded with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of this first mapping exercise, as well as with recommendations for future work. His presentation is available here.

The third speaker, Rafael Chaves Ávila discussed that “Producing Statistics on Social and Solidarity Economy: Policy Recommendations and Directions for Future Research”. Mr. Chaves Ávila explained the reasons why the production of statistics concerning the SSE is so important. In addition he spoke about the main types of statistics to be produced and the different kinds of producers of statistics. He also noted some obstacles in the production of SSE statistics and concluded with some recommendations for policy makers interested in the development of statistics concerning the SSE. His presentation is available here.

The session concluded with a Q&A session.

The full program of the conference can be accessed here.

The playlist of the main sessions of the conference is available here.

The recording of the UNTFSSE session is accessible here.