Joint COOP/SSE/Social Finance research initiative on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation in Africa

The ILO’s Cooperatives Unit (COOP) and Social Finance Programme (Social Finance) recently launched a research project on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation in Africa funded by the French Government.

News | 25 January 2021
As part of the partnership between France and the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the period 2015-2019, the Social Finance Programme and the Cooperatives Unit of the ILO's Enterprises Department carried out research on “The role of the Social and Solidarity Economy and social finance in sustainable development and the future of work”. This research shed light on relevant initiatives of Social and Solidarity Economy Organizations (SSEOs) as well as innovative mechanisms of social finance.

Due to their values and operating principles, SSEOs such as cooperatives, social enterprises, associations and foundations are called upon to play a leading role in the generation of social innovation. In addition, the experience of SSE organizations in France in generating social innovation could allow for a transfer of knowledge and exchange of good practices between SSE actors in France and in African countries where the potential of social innovation in responding to major economic, social and environmental challenges can further be encouraged.

The objective of this new phase of the France-ILO partnership in the field of SSE is to provide a better understanding of similar experiences in African countries in order to better support the development of socially innovative initiatives of SSEOs in selected countries in the region, namely South Africa, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. The project will identify promising sectors and value chains with high potential for social innovation by SSEOs and the constraints they face. The research will aim to answer the question as to what extent are social and solidarity economy actors driving the development of social innovation in Africa. Through the project the ILO will identify and analyze five social innovations initiated by SSEOs in Africa.

For more information about the research project visit the dedicated page.