The associative social innovation as a vector for sustainable territorial development: the case of five non-governmental organisations in the Greater Maghreb
Many solutions are proposed to improve people's living conditions, and social innovation (SI) often appears as an attractive option. This new axis of innovation is particularly relevant in the field of sustainable territorial development (STD), which can be approached as a collective action and a coordination of individual actions, whose characteristics are set by the framework of a world that will change and evolve in an unpredictable way as the actions are implemented, and whose main objectives are the protection of the environment, the development of economic activities and the improvement of local social living conditions. This observation leads to a new research perspective. Indeed, research on this topic has been largely limited to social innovation in the public sector. On the other hand, it would be judicious to show interest towards the associative actor, because of its proximity to the citizens and its local efficiency, and to combine its contributions to the concept of social innovation, in order to take into account all the problems inherent to the improvement of the living conditions of the populations and the sustainable development of the territories. Thus, this article aims to show how social innovation can contribute to sustainable territorial development.
Based on a qualitative study, our investigation presents the results of a multi-case study whose data collection was enabled by semi-structured interviews with five non-governmental organisations (NGOs), each operating in one of the countries of the Greater Maghreb : Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. This article shows that social innovation is structured in networks, within which social actors share representations, distribute responsibilities or roles, and establish rules or standards, allowing the circulation of information, the distribution of resources and the decision-making process in order to satisfy social needs and expectations not covered by the market and/or the State, in favour of vulnerable populations, and also to contribute sustainably to the development of the territories in which it is implemented.
JEL Classification : O35
Paper type : Empirical research
Copyright (c) 2022 Sara AMSASSAN, Jamila AYEGOU
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