How SSE initiatives concretely contribute to achieving the SDGs in the post-Covid context

What are we talking about? What are the challenges?

Social and Solidarity Economy is undoubtedly a privileged way to achieve sustainable development, as SSE actors are already active in most sectors covered by the 17 Goals of the Together 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN Summit on Sustainable Development on 25th September 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of economic initiatives around the world already exist. They are anchored in intrinsically inclusive community practices, based in communities and encourage citizens’ participatory practice. The emancipation of women, equality and racial and religious respect for diversity are essential, and included in these processes. They span a wide range of sectors in both rural and urban areas, and are based on the diversity of community practice, especially that of Indigenous Peoples. SSE clearly demonstrates its ability to create decent jobs, and how local communities are able to take responsibility for finding solutions and reinvest, and thus support the strengthening of their communities.

-> Social and Solidarity Economy can become a central reference framework for implementing sustainable development and play a key role in the design of public policies for Economic Development that benefits one and all.

The SSE movement’s recommendations on the Sustainable Development Goals (based on a consultation conducted by RIPESS in 2013-2014), insist on the fact that development and poverty eradication will only be possible through a system based on an equitable distribution of wealth and universal access to broad access to the Commons. The network proposals are organized around four axes:

  • Build the transition towards a Just, Social and Solidarity Economy

This implies:

– The implementation of various public policies on finance, favourable tax measures, specific criteria for inclusive public procurement, appropriate legal frameworks and access to education

– Work towards diversification of national economies and orient them towards more local labour-intensive forms of production and consumption and international fair and solidarity-based trade

Submit existing partnerships between States and various social solidarity activities (including public-private partnerships specifically adapted to social and solidarity economy) to binding mechanisms of accountability and transparency

– Take the necessary steps so that international trade genuinely protects developing countries and supports the livelihoods of small-scale producers and newly created industries thus encouraging responsible production and consumption that are implicit in solidarity economy

– Commit to act decisively against climate change and transform the energy model

– Support the development of food sovereignty and urban-rural territorial relationships

  • Adopt a human rights-based approach for development
  • Ensure civil society participation and transparency
  • Develop indicators to measure poverty, inequality and development

Read the SSE RIPESS recommendations (2015) and the Position Papers of the UNFTSSE (UN Taskforce on SSE on the SDGs), of July 2014 and July 2016.



What international strategies?

In order to highlight the great potential of the SSE to achieve the SDGs set by the United Nations in September 2015, RIPESS Networks participate in various international forums to share different initiatives and existing SSE frameworks.

RIPESS networks and RIPESS Intercontinental work since the adoption of the SDGs has consisted in follow-up and advocacy on the best implementation of the SDGs through SSE practice. This is done at different levels such as:

  • National level, including the participation in establishing specific representative bodies or civil society spaces (such as in Malaysia or Peru)
  • Continental level (c.f. the RAESS African initiatives)
  • International level RIPESS is working closely with several social movements and civil society groups in promoting social solidarity economy in the various international decision-making spaces

In particular RIPESS advocates through active participation in the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy as well as through interventions in the various UN High Level Political Forums in New York. This platform is responsible for the follow-up and evaluation of the Together 2030 Agenda.

In this respect, it is quite clear that SSE enables the development of more accurate and relevant participatory processes and indicators than the more productivist official ones. This opinion is shared by many researchers and academics as well as other social movements.

Some RIPESS members also carry out more sectorial advocacy (such as Urgenci with FAO on the links between the SDGs, solidarity economy and food sovereignty).

RIPESS also organises specific meetings with other civil society organisations (such as during the WSF). In 2017 RIPESS joined Together2030 (a civil society initiative working on follow-up on the progress on Agenda 2030 for sustainable development).


Important outcomes

  • In 2013-2014, RIPESS conducted a wide consultation on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Many groups and organizations of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) from all continents took part in this work. RIPESS recommendations were approved by around 500 organizations from 70 countries. The recommendations are the result of a year-long consultation process that included thousands of groups and organisations working locally and globally on SSE from all continents,.
  • On July 3rd, 2014, Daniel Tygel, RIPESS Operations Directors participated in the second meeting of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York, where he presented the network’s recommendations. The Video and text of his presentation are available online.
  • Madani Koumaré, president of the National Network to Support Social and Solidarity Economy (RENAPESS), member of the African Network of Social and Solidarity Economy (RAESS) and member of the RIPESS Board, was present at the United Nations Summit for approval of the post-2015 agenda September 2015 in New York, participating in an interactive dialogue with the General Assembly. His intervention, in which the President of RENAPESS Mali called for a paradigm shift involving the social and solidarity economy as a reference model, can be viewed in french at this link (the text of his speech is also available here).
  • The network also contributed to the position papers published by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE in July 2014, “The Social Economy and the challenge of sustainable development” (available in English and Spanish), and in July 2016 (“Realizing the 2030 Agenda through Social and Solidarity Economy”).
  • RIPESS works closely with various civil society movements and groups, striving to promote Social Solidarity Economy through different key social movements internationally. For example, at the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2015, the Convergence Assembly “Development Agenda post-2015 what, for whom and for which purpose?” organized by RIPESS together with Enda Tiers-Monde, ATTAC, Social Watch, IBON International, Platform 2015 and more, Our World is Not for Sale and LDC Watch, brought together more than 30 organizations from all continents. It was an opportunity for groups to share their views on the SDG under the Financing for Development (FfD) in order to inform others and propose common lines of action.
  • Throughout 2016, RIPESS participated in the Habitat III process, and contributed to the New Urban Agenda in partnership with the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C)
  • In June 2017, Urgenci participated in two Expert Group Meetings in New York, before the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) (The first on the review of SDG2 on behalf of Urgenci, and the second on Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda on behalf of RIPESS). Both organizations mentioned the importance of SSE in the implementation of the SDGs. The report was presented during the HLPF itself, as well as a complementary declaration on behalf of civil society that mentions SSE. RIPESS Asia also participated in the HLPF in July, in the Voluntary Country Review, providing case studies from Asia.


To know more, HERE