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Community Economic Development 

The Orpe Human Rights Advocates is a multi-disciplinary non-profit organization which engages in its work an increasing number of non-members from Maryland and various regions of the United States and  of the world. The Organization’s core mission today is to help communities, non-profits, and local governments work together towards a stronger, cleaner, fairer global economy. Through its network of specialized committees and working groups, the Orpe Human Rights Advocates (OHRA) provides a setting where communities development organizations compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice, and coordinate communities development policies.

The OHRA Program on Community Economic and Employment Development (CEED) is expected of becoming an advisory framework of community economic development which advises on how to respond to economic change and tackle complex problems in a fast-changing world. Its mission is to contribute to the creation of more and better quality jobs through more effective policy implementation, innovative practices, stronger capacities and integrated strategies at the community and local level. CEED draws on a comparative analysis of experience from the other continents in fostering economic growth, employment and inclusion.

The social economy has received increasing policy attention in recent decades, particularly with regard to its contribution to employment. Much has been written about the potential role of the social economy as a solution to unemployment. It has been estimated that social economy organisations (SEOs) broadly defined as co-operatives, mutuals, associations and foundations, together account for 6.5% of aggregate employment in the European Union (Monzon and Chavez, 2012). However recent policy attention has more narrowly focused on the role of SEOs in work integration for vulnerable groups (such as the long term unemployed, or those with physical or mental health issues). At the same time, little is known about working conditions within SEOs, particularly for these vulnerable individuals.

In this OHRA program we be dealing with the role of Social Enterprises in the provision of employment, and how they have fared during the recent period of economic turbulence. Attention is also paid to Social Enterprises working with vulnerable individuals, either as direct providers of jobs, or providers of training and services designed to help vulnerable individuals into the mainstream labour market. Program also addresses the issue of gaining greater understanding of working conditions within SE, and the challenges they faced in providing high quality employment while having to keep costs low in order to operate in competitive markets.


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