Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia

The project aims to inform and create policy dialogue on the contributions of the social and solidarity economy to decent work and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific region

Social and solidarity economy (SSE) – consisting of cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, foundations, social enterprises, self-help groups and others – is a critical driver for job creation, and inclusive and sustainable development. They also play a critical role in crises response, transition from the informal, care, platform economies and just transition.

While the scope, nature and understanding of social and solidarity economy differ from country to country, the knowledge base is still in its initial stages in Asia and the Pacific region. In the absence of legal and policy frameworks, it can be difficult for policymakers to identify SSE entities and differentiate them from other businesses and support them adequately.

To overcome these gaps, the project aims to help policymakers, workers’ and employers’ organizations and practitioners better understand the SSE’s contribution to decent work and Sustainable Development Goals; inform and create policy dialogue in five countries - Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This initiative is part of the Strengthening Social and Solidarity Economy Knowledge Base in Asia project and is a continuation of first phase (2019-2021).

Project outcomes:

The Project works closely with regional and country level partners to:

Outcome 1: Improve understanding on the social and solidarity economy

The project will conduct mapping studies in five countries, that will include the national working definition on the SSE and policy recommendations

Outcome 2: Facilitate policy dialogue

The project will establish national advisory committees in five countries to inform and create policy dialogue on the SSE

Outcome 3: Create regional network

The project will strengthen the regional network on the SSE, building on the national and regional partnerships

Target beneficiaries:

  • Policymakers in the five countries to become acquainted with institutional and legal frameworks needed for the SSE to thrive in their countries;
  • Employers’ and workers’ organizations, cooperative and wider SSE institutions in the five countries to become better informed about the scope, nature, limitations, and opportunities around the SSE; and
  • Staff of relevant ILO departments and field offices who are working with ILO constituents in developing and strengthening SSE policies in Asia and beyond.