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CEPES in Development Cooperation

Development Cooperation

Development cooperation continues to be an active part of the agenda of Social Economy enterprises and their representative organisations. Social Economy is based on the values of solidarity, participation and responsible business activity that benefit the general interest of people. Thus, its economic development business is especially suited and ideal to achieving the objectives of cooperation policies. The added value of Social Economy in development cooperation also comes from its ability to generate a business fabric that responds to the social and economic needs of people. People, who collectively take the initiative of starting an economic project to favour local development and social cohesion in rural areas or in areas that are geographically far from the centres of power and which, generally, provide few living opportunities for their population.

The Directing Plans that set the strategic priorities of Spanish Development Cooperation acknowledge Social Economy undertakings as one of the agents of policies that foster economic growth towards reducing poverty.

The activity of Spanish Social Economy enterprises and institutions in Development Cooperation is evidenced by the fact that out of the 47.8 million Euros allocated between 1998 and 2016, the Social Economy sector co-financed 26.5% of this amount, 12.6 million Euros.

Social Economy organisations and undertakings linked to CEPES are carrying out projects in 43 countries. These projects focus on generating employment for women, persons with a disability and other vulnerable groups, supporting their enterprising abilities through training and advice programmes. These organisations are also contributing to foster micro-loans to start Social Economy undertakings and micro-undertakings.

These projects generate wealth at a local level and Social Economy enterprises become the drivers of economic development in rural areas and in disadvantaged urban areas. Through a variety of projects, these undertakings can guarantee access to basic services such as education or health wherever the Public Administrations cannot reach.

All of this expertise is collected in the report prepared by CEPES in regard to the experience of Spanish Social Economy in development cooperation.

Some of the results of the impact that Social Economy has on Cooperation:

  • Since 2007, more than 1,000 people have become cooperative members, of which 400 are women.
  • Since 2007 more than 3,000 rural families have become involved in a network for technical assistance in farming.
  • Between 2011 and 2014, 568,000 people linked to disability across Latin America have benefited from educational and training programmes, vocational rehabilitation and accessibility programmes and actions to defend the rights of persons with a disability.
  • Since 2011, more than 120 km of roads have been built and 200 gravity-feed watering systems have been installed, with technologies that are making it possible to water more than 600 hectares of land.
  • More than 225,000 Euros have been awarded to 2,890 persons through micro-loans to start up farming undertakings. The return rate for these loans exceeds 90%.
  • More than 5,000 families with an estimated annual farming production of 800,000 € are currently being assisted in Mozambique.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, 2,419 undertakings have been started by persons with visual disability, 1,150 jobs have been adapted technologically and vocational and professional guidance has been provided to more than 37,000 persons with visual disability.
  • 5 schools in disadvantaged areas of Paraguay have been built by means of Public-Private Alliances towards development, benefiting 1,400 families with eight to ten family members.
  • Hospital services have been generated in Africa through the technical support of the Spanish health co-operative movement, offering health services to 420,000 people.

CEPES AS A SOCIAL AGENT IN COOPERATION

CEPES, as the representative employers’ organisation for Social Economy, is working towards Social Economy enterprises being taken into account in the State cooperation and development policies. It takes part in the Development Cooperation Council and organises activities to increase the contribution of Social Economy to cooperation and to raise awareness of this. Contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC, in the Spanish abbreviation) has enabled Social Economy proposals to be transferred to the European and international sphere, as reflected in these relevant documents:

Reference documents regarding Development Cooperation of interest to Social Economy are available here: Public Documents – Development Cooperation.

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