Revitalizing Community Partnership for Sustainable Development

Concept Note on the RIPESS Asia/ASEC SSE Course

Benjamin, JR Quinones, March 2016

In addressing the ‘5Ps’ Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 adopted by the UN on 25 September 2015 (i.e. people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, the Third meeting of the World Forum on Local Economic Development (LED) held in Turin, Italy on 13-16 October 2015 emphasized the importance of partnership among the government, private companies, and civil society organizations (CSOs) in achieving the social development goals (SDGs). Innovative and successful initiatives shared by Municipal Mayors and top executives of local territories at the World LED Forum testify to the immense potential of achieving the SDGs effectively through partnerships among the local government, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and CSOs, and enabling local communities to pool resources and undertake collective action beneficial to the community at large.

Being an initiative of organized groups of people in local territories, social solidarity economy (SSE) is suited to play a vital role in realizing the SDGs by revitalizing the spirit of community solidarity and partnership among the various stakeholders, and focusing on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. SSE is a chain of economic activities undertaken by organized groups of ordinary people to fight “conditions of poverty” and in a purposeful transition to sustainable territories and communities. The chain of economic activities includes primary production, processing/ manufacturing, assembly and transport of products, marketing, financing, and consumption. Organized groups of ordinary people include cooperatives, associations, clubs, workers unions, and non-formal self-help groups. They operate and manage solidarity-based community enterprises (SBCEs) as a vehicle for mobilizing resources and collective action to deal with their problems and achieve their goals.

SSE creates a space for a ‘bottom-up’ economic development model to develop and grow. In this space, the way out of poverty consists of two inter-related paths: the short-term course of enabling people to have access to resources that are needed for overcoming poverty, and the longer-term course of developing an economy that is inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.

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