Deepening policy dialogue on the social and solidarity economy in Cambodia

The ILO undertakes dissemination workshop on the preliminary findings of its study on the social and solidarity economy in Cambodia.

News | 28 February 2024
Researchers from CamTech, ILO’s partner for the Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia – Phase 2 project presented the preliminary findings of the study on the social and solidarity economy landscape in Cambodia.

The dissemination workshop took place on 15 Feburary 2024, showcasing the social and solidarity economy entities’ contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, challenges and opportunities and preliminary policy recommendations. H.E. Somheng Boros, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, stressed in his opening remarks, the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in advancing the the social and solidarity economy in Cambodia and beyond.

The main researcher for the study from CamTech, Dr. Chea shared in his presentation that SSE entities have existed in Cambodia for a long time, even if the concept of the SSE is not well-known in the country. The SSE actors can partner with the government to meet policy objectives – to address youth unemployment, stimulate decent job creation in rural areas, extend social protection and facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy.

Dr. Chea remarked that the SSE entities in Cambodia include agricultural cooperatives, social enterprises, associations, foundations, mutual societies and self-help groups. He also highlighted the main challenges that SSE entities face including: lack of financial sustainability due to high dependence on subsidies and grants; lack of legal recognition; and access to and integration of digital technologies in their operations.
Dr. Chea shared preliminary recommendations including the adoption of a legal framework to recognize the social and solidarity economy or its components, i.e., social enterprises. He noted that by “recognizing the SSE entities’ contribution to the society, SSE actors can contribute even more to environment and human well-being.”

The exchange of ideas and experiences highlighted the importance of harnessing the potential of social and solidarity economy actors in driving inclusive and sustainable development in Cambodia.

The project on Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia is being implemented in five countries in Asia (Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam). It 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.

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 (ILC) in June 2022. 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.