ILO holds discussion on research findings on the social and solidarity economy in Kyrgyzstan

The workshop was held in hybrid format, in Bishkek and online, to review and validate the findings of the study on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Kyrgyzstan.

News | 12 December 2023
National advisory committee members reviewed the key findings and policy recommendations of the study on the social and solidarity economy (SSE) in Kyrgyzstan.

This was the first study of its kind that maps social and solidarity economy entities and explores how these entities contribute to decent work and sustainable development. National advisory committee members include representatives from the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and SSE support organizations and observers from SSE representative institutions, as well as UN entities (UNICEF and WFP).

In his opening remarks Mr. Bolot Orokov, ILO national coordinator in Kyrgyzstan highlighted the social and solidarity economy actors as being central to delivering on the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, and the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Mr. Orokov remarked that SSE entities can contribute to addressing multiple crises related to climate change, unemployment, informal employment, poverty, and negative impacts of digitalization in Kyrgyzstan.

Ms. Simel Esim, ILO COOP/SSE Manager informed the participants about the international tripartite definition of the social and solidarity economy that is included in the Resolution concerning decent work and the social and solidarity economy adopted at the 110th International Labour Conference (ILC). She emphasized that a set of values and principles give coherence to the SSE. Furthermore, Ms. Esim noted that the UN Resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development” adopted in April 2023 called for Member States, UN entities and financial institutions to advance the SSE in their policies and programs. Ms. Esim informed the National Advisory Committee members that the first UN SG Report on the implementation of the Resolution will be presented at the 79th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2024.

Ms. Nazik Beishenaly, national consultant, and researcher of the study, presented her findings from “Mapping the social and solidarity economy in Kyrgyzstan.” She stated that the social and solidarity economy in Kyrgyzstan comprise of jamaats (communities), cooperatives, social enterprises, associations and other entities that operate according to a set of values and principles of the social and solidarity economy, as per the ILC and UN definition.

Ms Beishenaly highlighted the relevant legislation and administrative structures regulating SSE institutions. She noted laws on non-profit organisations, cooperatives, credit unions, and jamaats and associations. Ms Beishenaly also presented some good examples of how SSE entities contribute to decent work and the Sustainable Development Goals in Kyrgyzstan. Finally, she presented preliminary policy recommendations to strengthen the SSE ecosystem, including policies and regulations, access to finance and market, business development services, data collection, capacity building and a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Ensuing discussion highlighted the way forward. Suggestions included: Developing concrete measures, vision, and recommendations regarding the SSE entities applicable to the Kyrgyz context; Learning from international experiences, good practices, incentive mechanisms; and Making training materials available for increasing awareness of ILO constituents.

In conclusion, Ms. Simel Esim highlighted that ILO’s further actions will be built on the feedback received from national advisory committee members. She noted that an open, online, awareness-raising package created by ITCILO for the UN Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy is available in English, and will soon be available in Russian and Turkish. She said this will be an opportunity for Kyrgyz constituents and stakeholders to get acquainted with basic concepts and practices of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

Ms. Heejin Ahn, Junior Technical Officer on Entrepreneurship & SSE Development, thanked participants for their active engagement in the meeting. She informed them that the results of the SSE studies from five countries will be presented at a regional conference and study tour in March 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia – Phase 2 project

The workshop was part of the Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia – Phase 2 project which aims to inform and create policy dialogue on the contributions of the SSE to decent work and sustainable development among policymakers, workers’ and employers’ organizations and development practitioners in five countries in Asia (Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam). The project outputs and outcomes are aligned with the Resolution concerning decent work and the social and solidarity economy adopted at the 110th International Labour Conference in June 2022, and UN Resolution on Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development, adopted by the General Assembly on 18 April 2023. The project deliverables will also be contributing to the implementation of the ILO’s office-wide strategy and action plan on decent work and the social and solidarity economy, endorsed by the 346th session of the ILO Governing Body in November 2022.