What is C.I.T.I.E.S. ?

C.I.T.I.E.S supports the international gathering, sharing and transfer of knowledge and best practices in the field of the social economy. It focuses on collaborations between local governments and civil society in order to enable territorial development.

C.I.T.I.E.S brings together local governments, social economy networks, institutions of higher learning and international organizations.

C.I.T.I.E.S believes that the social and solidarity economy is the key to the harmonious development of territories. While social innovations and meaningful initiatives spread across the world, C.I.T.I.E.S aims to facilitate the successful scaling of the social economy by promoting the sharing of knowledge and good practices between local governments and the civil society at an international level.

C.I.T.I.E.S. offers services that are structured around three functions: Gather, Share, Transfer.

The Social and Solidarity Economy

The social and solidarity economy (SSE) is a form of economic development that recognizes the human being as the center of economic, social and political activity.

According to the Montreal Declaration, the SSE seeks to integrate economic efficiency, social inclusion, sustainable development and increased participation in the functioning of the economy and urban development (…). In short, the SSE encompasses all those who do not put increased profit as the main or sole purpose of their economic activity.

Depending on the country, the SEE can take different names (economía social, buen vivir, community wealth building, etc.) and legal forms (cooperatives, non-profit organizations, foundations…). They all share the same objective: enhance the well-being of their members or their community, building up on democratic governance.

Collaborations in public policies

More and more local governments play a key role in sustainable development and political innovation.

Collaborations between public, private and community actors are also changing. Beyond the traditional founder / beneficiary relationship, collaborations between public and field actors are developing at all stages of the projects, in order to:

  • identify the needs of the territory
  • build solutions together
  • truly involve the inhabitants
  • manage projects on a shared basis
  • conduct participatory evaluations

These collaborations take various forms: participatory governance, co-construction of public policies, public-private-community partnership, shared management … They allow increased benefits: capacities of the populations, stronger ownership and sustainability of the project …

They also call for a change in the attitude of the actors. Collaborations acknowledge that potentially divergent interests may exist but that each stakeholder has equal value in the design and implementation of the projects.

C.I.T.I.E.S. chooses to concentrate as much on the nature of these collaborations as on the way they are constructed.