ILO resources on crisis responses by cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy (SSE)

Historically, during periods of crises, the value of cooperation, solidarity, and mutualism experience an increase in popularity. It is also during such times that there is a surge in membership and turnover of cooperatives and the wider SSE. This was the case during and in the aftermath of the 2007-8 global financial crisis, and the 2001-2 crisis in Argentina.

Key resources on cooperative and SSE responses to COVID-19

Article - Cooperatives and wider SSE enterprises respond to COVID-19 disruptions, and government measures are being put in place
Cooperatives and other SSE enterprises around the world are being affected by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways. Some governments have also begun to integrate cooperatives, and the wider SSE in emergency response strategies. Available here

Brief - Interventions to support enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery
This brief presents a range of policy actions to support enterprises - including cooperatives and other SSE organizations - in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and response measures. It focuses on actions to enable business continuity and assist enterprises in laying the grounds for recovery, which are critical to mitigate expected massive job losses and pave the way out of the crisis. Available here

Brief - Jobs for Peace and Resilience (JPR): A response to COVID-19 in fragile contexts
This brief compiles potential initiatives that could be implemented to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in fragile contexts through the Jobs for Peace and Resilience (JPR) approach, including potential interventions with cooperative organizations. Available here

Key resources on cooperative and SSE responses in times of crisis

Job preservation through worker cooperatives: An overview of international experiences and strategies
Publication: August 2014
The report provides guidance on enterprise restructuring through transition to employee owners for businesses facing bankruptcy. It was produced by the ILO's Enterprises Department in collaboration with the Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV). Available here.


The role of cooperatives and other self-help organizations in crisis resolution and socio-economic recovery
Publication: January 2001
The report provides and overview of how cooperatives and other self-help groups (SHGs) can be used in disaster contexts. Available here.


My.Coop - Managing your agricultural cooperatives
Publication: 2012
This training programme has been used in a number of crises/post-crisis settings to strengthen agricultural cooperative capacities toward improved management and governance and advance resilience to crises. This is a relevant tool in strengthening food security across agro-food supply chains (post-earthquake Haiti and Chiapas, Mexico, post-drought Mongolia, post-conflict Colombia). Available here.