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Session Overview
8-SP058 - 2/2: Challenging and Challenges of Development, Solidarity and Social Justice - 2/2
Thursday, 08/July/2021:
12:30pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: June Fylkesnes, University of Agder, Norway
Session Chair: Dr. Hege Bergljot Wallevik, University of Agder, Norway
Session Chair: Dr. Hanne Haaland, University of Agder, Norway

Session Abstract

The dynamics of international development have been and are marked by various actors fighting to control and define “development” and dominate strategic thinking and financial flows. Yet, international development practices are heterogenous with a diversity of actors presenting “alternatives” and resistances to mainstream discourses. Do alternative development actors challenge discourses and practices of solidarity and social justice? Citizen initiatives within humanitarian aid and development are challenging established NGO systems, and religious actors are being recognised as important development partners. The panel will provide a space for discussions about challenging and challenges of development, solidarity and social justice.

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Putting Caregivers For Persons In Situation Of Dependency On The Agenda: Case Study Of The Mobilisation Of Chilean Women

María Fernanda Terminel

Alumni IDS, United Kingdom

Chile is no different than other parts of the world, with caregivers being misrepresented in official statistics, despite having ratified international conventions aimed at protecting the rights of caregivers. However, statistics related to persons with disabilities (PwD) —which show that at least 40.4 percent (one million people approximately) of adult PwD are functionally dependent— suggest that there are approximately one million caregivers for this group alone (Ramos, 2015).

With that as a backdrop, in 2017 a group of Chilean women dedicated to providing care for person in a situation of dependency (PsoD), created and joined a collective organisation through Facebook, which in August 2018 became a formal association under the name "Yo Cuido” (which translates roughly into “I am a caregiver”), representing 2,500 families (Serey, 2019). This is a private non-profit association, formed by caregivers and informal[1] caregivers of PsoD, that seeks to visualize their work and turn it into a matter of public concern as well as increase social awareness about caregivers to improve their quality of life. Since their formation, they have carried out different initiatives, giving the association and its demands significant exposure.

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of collective mobilisation of invisible groups in putting pressure on political agenda-setting. In doing so, a practical case study regarding the “Yo Cuido” association will be examined to show the unequal distribution that exists regarding unpaid caregivers in Chile and the importance of providing high-quality public care and involving men through promoting gender training and campaigns to redistribute work and achieve gender equality. In regards to its structure, the first section of the paper provides a framework for care economies that includes feminist views and the “5R” and care diamond approaches. Then, the case of association “Yo Cuido” in Chile is presented to establish why this mobilisation emerged, what their issues and their demands are and what their current status is. The last section provides further recommendations for the development of policies and programmes to address gender equity.

[1] In this essay, an informal caregiver is a person who does unpaid care work.

Scaling Up the Social and Solidarity Economy Across the Global South: The Potential of Experimentalist Governance

Manuel Mejido Costoya

University of Geneva, Switzerland

Development scholars and practitioners alike have been increasingly interested in the social and solidarity economy (SSE), that constellation of economic activity that gives pride of place to social and environmental objectives, involving producers, workers, consumers and citizens acting collectively and in solidarity through, for example, cooperatives, mutual associations, philanthropic foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), public-private partnerships, advocacy and self-help movements, fair trade networks, social enterprises and micro-financing schemes (P. Utting).

No doubt due to its potential to create wealth, enhance assets, expand socioeconomic opportunities, protect the planet, and increase civic participation, this interest also stems from the fact that SSE is a pathway for innovation insofar as it embodies at least three processes in and through which new development discourses and practices are emerging: 1) the shift to polycentricity that defines the late-modern conditions of post-Westaphalian or disaggregated sovereignty, and more specifically, the dynamics of devolution and network governance; 2) attempts to overcome “outdated” analytical distinctions, such as development alternatives and alternatives to development, market and state, private and public, reciprocity and exchange, green growth and post-extractivism, and social protection and emancipation; and 3) efforts to blend indigenous/local knowledge and professional knowledge, and the adaptive features of bottom-up civic engagement and the complexities of technocratic top-down programming.

Given its potential, scholars and practitioners have been puzzling over how to scale up SSE as a pathway to implementing frameworks like the the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as more heterodox development projects, like the Buen Vivir paradigm in the Andean region. Toward this end, research and technical assistance initiatives have focused on how the state could foster an enabling environment for SSE through laws and specific policies; how SSE networks and platforms could build the capacity of social and solidarity economy organizations (SSEOs); how south-south and triangular cooperation could support SSE; and how financial mechanisms could be marshaled to deepen and expand this emerging sector.

The problem with these efforts to scale up SSE is that they tend to be comprehensive, integrated and top-down strategies that assume to know, ex ante, where the sector should be headed and how best to get there. Indeed, these efforts have not been able to unleash SSE’s potential for generating collective problem solving and social learning about how to achieve more legitimate and effective shared prosperity, social equity and sustainability to the extent that they have failed to adequately address the challenges associated with the fragmentation of power and authority, on the one hand, and the uncertainty about achieving certain outcomes, the costs involved and the design of optimal institutional arrangements, on the other.

This paper will argue that, in order to overcome these barriers, the scaling up of SSE needs to be approached from the logic of “experimentalist governance,” understood as a recursive process of provisional goal-setting and revision based on learning from the comparison of alternative approaches, involving open participation by a variety of stakeholders, lack of formal hierarchy within governance arrangements, and extensive deliberation in decision making and implementation (C. Sabel, J. Zeitlin). Experimentalist governance strategies have already been deployed in the European Union and in transnational contexts to address public health issues, disability rights, environmental sustainability, and food safety, for example.

I will make the case that, given its characteristics, SSE is conducive to experimentalist strategies, and that, in effect, aspects of experimentalist governance can already be identified—albeit inchoately—in certain local, national and regional expressions of SSE across the Global South. Through specific examples from Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific, I will show, moreover, how experimentalist governance processes might be catalyzed to scale up SSE.

Learning Spaces for Change: Analysing Organisational Learning in Hybrid Non Governmental and Social Movement Organisations for Peace Building in Israel and Palestine.

Katelin Rebecca Teller

The Open University, United Kingdom

Social movements and civil society advocacy organisations, as routes to development, respond and work to instigate political and social change (Hanlin and Brown, 2013). There are however few studies of how they achieve change (Giugni, 2007) and problems of causality make it difficult to establish their precise impact. This research seeks to explore a productive route to understanding how change is achieved through an investigation of organisational learning, understood as processes ‘of improving actions through better knowledge and understanding’(Fiol and Lyles, 1985:803), which takes place within and between hybrid NGO and social movement organisations for peace building in Israel and Palestine. The research aims to capture the wide range of ways in which learning takes place at individual and collective levels within and across organisations and how that learning relates to and possibly impacts on their broader political networks and political activity. By seeking to understand the role of the organisations included in the research as case studies, in identifying, creating, enabling access to, and sometimes shutting down learning spaces, I will be exploring where learning and political spaces overlap and the impact that organisational commitment to learning might have on hybrid NGO and social movement organisation’s political ambitions for social justice in Israel and Palestine.

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