ILO shares highlights on statistics of cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy from the 21st ICLS

At the December 14, 2023 webinar on statistics concerning cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy, the ILO shared highlights from the 21st International Conference of Labour Statisticians with 80 participants.

News | 19 December 2023
The ILO presented the progress on testing of the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives and the roadmap on developing guidelines for statistics of the social and solidarity economy during the 21st International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) on October 16, 2023. Mr Dong Il Choi, Senior Specialist on Statistics on Cooperatives and the Social and Solidarity Economy facilitated the webinar. ILO Cooperatives Unit Manager and Co-Chair of UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) delivered the opening words for the Global Workshop on Statistics of Cooperatives and SSE on December 14, 2023.

In her introductory remarks, Ms Esim shared the history and background leading to the 21st ICLS discussion. After welcoming the participants, she noted that ILO’s work on statistics concerning cooperatives started around the 19th ICLS in 2013, leading to the adoption of guidelines concerning statistics of cooperatives at the 20th ICLS in 2018. She pointed out that the Office Strategy and action plan on decent work and the SSE (2023-29) has identified improved statistics on decent work and the SSE as a priority by developing a methodological framework to measure the SSE’s economic and social contribution, and in collecting and compiling comparable, timely, reliable, and harmonized data on the SSE.

Mr. David Hunter, statistician and an ex-ILO official, took the floor to share key points from the 21st ICLS discussion on statistics concerning cooperatives. He provided an update on the progress of the ILO initiative on the applicability and implementation of the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives in five countries, namely Costa Rica, Italy, Republic of Korea, Tanzania, and Türkiye. Building on the presentation and discussion around the ICLS room document, Mr Hunter presented the next steps for the initiative including: deepening national action plans and establishing a working group to develop methods to measure the economic and social contributions of cooperatives and community of practice for to provide a mechanism to share information on national developments and methodological experience. Mr. Hunter also mentioned that an ILO manual on statistics concerning cooperatives would be developed in modular form and presented at the 22nd ICLS, which is scheduled to take place in 2028.

In the following session, Prof Marie Bouchard from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and the President of CIRIEC international Scientific Commission presented highlights from the ICLS room document and discussion around the Roadmap towards guidelines concerning statistics of the SSE and its proposed next step. She pointed to the inconsistencies between existing international frameworks and the need for harmonized and standardized statistics on the SSE and the need for operationalizing the definition of the SSE in statistics. In her conclusions, Prof Bouchard indicated that a technical working group would start advancing the work on statistical definition of the SSE, and developing the guidelines on statistics of the SSE to be presented at the 22nd ICLS.

In the discussion session, delegates from pilot countries of ILO’s initiative on cooperatives statistics including Korea, Italy and Turkey updated their follow ups and future plan after the initiative. Also, current work around statistics of cooperatives and the SSE of several countries and regional/international organizations including Portugal, EURICSE, ICA, OECD, UNRISD, CIRIEC were shared. They all indicated their appreciation and support for the work of the ILO on statistics of cooperatives and the SSE. Some of the participants expressed their interest in participating in and collaborate around the next phase of ILO’s initiative.

In concluding the webinar, Ms Esim noted that the discussion from the webinar will inform next phase activities developed during the first quarter of 2024. She suggested that an online community of practice could be established around statistics of cooperatives and the SSE. The agenda of the webinar is available here. Slides of the presentation on statistics concerning cooperatives are available here. The slides of the presentation on statistics concerning the social and solidarity economy are available here. Recordings of the Global Workshop on Statistics of Cooperatives and SSE are available in English (video), French (audio) and Spanish (audio) are available here.