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BenQ ASEC Report on SSE Evaluation

BenQ ASEC Report on SSE Evaluation

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Published by Eduardo Canela
This evaluation report focuses on an action research conducted by the author in collaboration with partners of Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and concluded in 2012. The action research reveals the dynamics of responsibility sharing among economic stakeholders at the level of community-based supply chains. Crucial steps in developing a culture of shared responsibility are: (i) the co-creation by stakeholders of a shared vision of an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable community; (ii) the formulation of a road map to concretize the shared vision and which elaborates the responsibilities of stakeholders in proportion to their resources, power, and knowledge; and (iii) the establishment of a feedback mechanism that constantly informs the stakeholders of where they are in the journey.
This evaluation report focuses on an action research conducted by the author in collaboration with partners of Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and concluded in 2012. The action research reveals the dynamics of responsibility sharing among economic stakeholders at the level of community-based supply chains. Crucial steps in developing a culture of shared responsibility are: (i) the co-creation by stakeholders of a shared vision of an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable community; (ii) the formulation of a road map to concretize the shared vision and which elaborates the responsibilities of stakeholders in proportion to their resources, power, and knowledge; and (iii) the establishment of a feedback mechanism that constantly informs the stakeholders of where they are in the journey.

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Published by: Eduardo Canela on Mar 11, 2013
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 1
Integrating Human Responsibilities in the Framework of Social Solidarity Economy
by Dr. Benjamin R. Quiñones, Jr.
1
 Manila, February 2013Evaluation Report submitted to the Asian Solidarity Economy Council
 Abstract 
This evaluation report focuses on an action research conducted by the author incollaboration with partners of Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and concluded in2012. The action research reveals the dynamics of responsibility sharing among economicstakeholders at the level of community-based supply chains. Crucial steps in developing aculture of shared responsibility are: (i) the co-creation by stakeholders of a shared visionof an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable community; (ii) the formulation of a road map toconcretize the shared vision and which elaborates the responsibilities of stakeholders inproportion to their resources, power, and knowledge; and (iii) the establishment of afeedback mechanism that constantly informs the stakeholders of where they are in thejourney.The process of formulating a feedback mechanism paved the way to the construction of anevaluation tool for conceptualizing, measuring, and evaluating Social Solidarity Economy(SSE) performance. In 2012, ASEC pilot tested the evaluation tool on a limited scale of 15case studies: 9 from Indonesia, 5 from the Philippines, and 1 from Cambodia. Discussed at ASEF (Asian Solidarity Economy Forum) Indonesia (Manado city, North Sulawesi, October103, 2012) and at ASEF Philippines (Angeles city, Pampanga, October 26-27, 2012), thecase studies provided concrete basis for the formulation of a shared vision of SSE.The action research illustrated the usefulness of the value chain analysis in evaluating SSEperformance and its advantages over the individual enterprise method of analysis incapturing the dynamics of shared responsibilities of economic stakeholders in a collectiveeffort to build sustainable communities. But the evaluation tool can stand a lot of improvement. ASEC welcomes the collaboration of other organizations and networks inextending the action research to other countries.
Conceptual framework of SSE
An important objective of the action research was to highlight the articulation of theprinciples of human responsibilities in the conceptual framework of SSE. At first glance,this appears to be a not so difficult task because by its nature SSE is a development approach based on shared responsibilities among its stakeholders. What makes the task abit more challenging is that the concepts and practices of SSE differ across continents, andconsensus seems lacking on how to define SSE.SSE case studies presented at the last three events of ASEF (Manila 2007, Tokyo 2009, andKuala Lumpur 2011) largely highlighted the performance of branded initiatives such asmicrofinance, fair trade, organic farming, etc. but they routinely failed to explain thealignment of these initiatives with SSE. Thus at the end of the event, participants amassedmore knowledge about the individual development initiatives but their understandingabout SSE remained superficial. This calls to mind the tale about a study visit to learn the
1
The author is the President & CEO of ASEC (Asian Solidarity Economy Council) and Executive Coordinatorof RIPESS (Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy). The views expressed
in this paper are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those
of the organizations he represents.
 
 
 2nature of a forest. As told, participants returned from the study visit with more knowledgeabout trees but they failed to see the forest.In this light, much of the author
’s work 
during the period covered by this report (2012)devoted to tackling the fundamental issue of conceptualizing SSE. A closure of this task isof great importance inasmuch as only then can we begin to measure and evaluate SSE. Thespecific issue at the outset is: What are the dimensions of SSE? The American Heritage
Dictionary defines ‘dimension’ as a measure of spatial extent 
- especially width, height, orlength
magnitude, or scope. The contemporary approach is to view the dimensions of aneconomy based on the concept of gross domestic product or GDP. An internationalagreement on the dimensions of GDP made comparative studies of GDPs possible acrossterritories and over time. But this productivity-centric and growth-oriented concept of theeconomy is widely criticized for its lack of insight into the social and environmentalaspects of development.The action research was initiated in the year 2010 to ascertain how the principles of human responsibilities contribute to the fleshing out of the SSE dimensions. The authorwas involved in the action both as a researcher and development worker while at the sametime learning from it, which in turn enabled him to further inform the actors. Fromaround 300 stakeholders from more than 100 organizations in the Philippines, a randomsample of 100 individuals were selected and invited to participate in a focus groupdiscussion on concepts of SSE in September 2010. A total of 63 individuals respondedpositively and participated in the focus group discussion. Subsequently, they identified 33descriptors of SSE. Of this number, 16 were the most common: at least two-thirds of therespondents cited each of the 16 descriptors as being part of their individual concepts of SSE. The 16 descriptors are shown in Table 2.Participants of the focus group discussion classified the descriptors into five groups, whichthen became known as the key dimensions of SSE. These are:
- Socially responsible governance
: SSE policies and practices of governance that guide andenable SSE stakeholders to protect the environment and meet their development rights ina sustainable way and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilitiesand respective capabilities.
- Edifying Values/ethical principles:
ethical principles that bind stakeholders to a concertedeffort to demand and achieve their development rights and which prioritize the welfare of people and planet over profits and unsustainable growth.
- Social development services to the community:
services provided by SSE stakeholders toenhance the capacity of local citizens to live a dignified, sustainable ways of life.
- Ecological conservation measures:
steps or measures undertaken
 
to maintainenvironmental protection.-
Economic sustainability 
: economic contributions of stakeholders that increase financialsustainability of SSE enterprises.The present report highlights the steps taken after the key dimensions of SSE have beenformulated.
 
 3
Supply chain and the notion of ‘shared responsibility’
 
The next crucial step after determining the key dimensions of SSE was to ascertain theappropriate scope of analysis. In contemporary economics, the scope of analysis is eitherat the microeconomic (the primary enterprise or household) level or the macroeconomic(aggregate of enterprises or households) level. At the 3
rd
Asian Solidarity Economy Forum(ASEF) on October 31 - November 2, 2011, ASEC members unanimously chose thecommunity-based supply chain as the basic SSE unit of micro-economic analysis. Themacro-level SSE can then be perceived as the aggregation of SSE supply chain networks at the national and global levels.A supply chain is a fundamental unit of any economic system. It involves the basiceconomic activities of input supply, production, distribution/logistics, finance, andconsumption, all of which contribute to the creation of value added to existing resources of 
a community. Such value added increases people’s welfare when it meets what AmartyaSen calls the people’s
development rights
. A supply chain also requires the cooperation of various stakeholders (input suppliers, producers, distributors, financiers, and final users/consumers) to ensure that the resulting product is of good quality, it meets the needs of the people, and it is accessible.In other words, an important condition for the sustainability of a socially inclusive andresilient supply chain is that it meets the
rights
of stakeholders. But this is not sufficient.The sufficient condition is that stakeholders fulfill their
responsibilities
. In fact, ensuringthe sustainability of a socially inclusive and resilient supply chain is a
shared responsibility 
 Towards the end of 2011, and owing to preparations for Rio + 20, the issue arose: Why isthe notion of 
shared responsibilities
fundamental to the transition from a growth-orientedeconomic system to a new development model? This issue was relevant to the discussionsin Asia because SSE is seen in this continent as an alternative to the mainstream economicsystem that is oriented towards maximizing growth and personal gains.Incidentally, the Forum on Ethics and Responsibility (FER) has prepared well for this issueand provides some compelling reasons for the move
towards the ‘great transition’.
Thespecific arguments are well articulated in the FER documents
Proposal for Charter of 
Universal Responsibilities”
 
and “On Human Rights and Responsibilities”
, but two can bementioned here to summarize all, as follows:
(1) the scope of today’s necessary changes is
out of range of individuals and implies that all people and all public or private institutionsbecome involved in them; and (2) consideration of the interests of others and of thecommunity, and reciprocity among its members are the foundations of mutual trust, asense of security, and r
espect of each person’s dignity and of justice
.
The Principles of Human Responsibilities embedded in the Ethical Principles of SSE
One of the realizations in the early stages of the action research was that the principles of human responsibilities are embedded in the ethical principles of SSE.
A “sharedresponsibilities” approach presupposes the adoption of common ethical principles
asinspiration for the behavior and rules of the stakeholders of an economic system. Thesecommon ethical principles, art 
iculated in FER’s
Universal Declaration of HumanResponsibilities, can be summarized as follows: (1) Individual human beings andeveryone together have a shared responsibility to others, to close and distant communities, and to the planet, proportionately to their assets, power and knowledge; and

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