Designing Indicators for the Solidarity Economy
Concept paper written for the WSSE Dakar, Senegal meeting,2005
Bernardo Reyes, October 2005
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The search for a methodology that helps us build a vision of society from the perspective of the social groups involved in the solidarity economy, with their local, regional or national viewpoints, can not be substituted by a set of indicators. The indicators would become a record without specific users that could hardly orient actions or decisions, the major objectives of sustainability indicators. The absence of an « explicit and socially constructed vision » is a major deficit in this proposal. But as suggested by Marcos Arruda, if we make an attempt to search for indicators that make visible the progress and activities of the solidarity economy and its contributions to sustainable development, they could also be useful in supporting a vision and dialogue with the different levels of government (and international organizations). It is indeed possible to develop a set of indicators to evaluate progress, actions and specificities of the solidarity economy. The main challenge is to ensure that these indicators reflect the results of participatory evaluations that strengthen the internal dynamics of the groups and their negotiating abilities with external agents.