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Evaluation and Prospects of Local Social Economy Centers in Seoul

Yi, Joon YoungㆍJung Yong Lee

This research aims to evaluate the performance of Gu (autonomous borough) Social Economy Centers (SECs) in Seoul and propose ways to improve them. Gu SECs were established by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and ran by respective local social economy networks in Gu. The organizational goal of these center’s is to establish social economy ecosystem in Gu level. They are funded by the SMG and Gu governments and commissioned to local social economy networks.
Additionally, this research adopts qualitative approach including in-depth semi-structured interviews and document analysis using a logic model in an effort to assess the performance of Gu SECs and come up with ways to improve the SMG’s support system of Gu SECs. Four Gu SECs were selected as research objects and three years (2015~2018) of their performance were assessed by the researchers.
This research has established that four Gu SECs are different in terms of the size of input, activities, output and results. It also indicates that output and results are not directly proportional to the amount of input. To put it differently, activities focused by Gu SECs are different and this is attributed to the maturity of the social economic ecosystem and the environmental difference in terms of the social economy.
This research suggests the following to improve the current support system for Gu SECs. First, the SMG’s support system should consider the size and maturity of social economic ecosystem and the level of support of Gu governments. Second, the role of Gu government should be expanded in the support system of Gu SECs. Third, it is necessary to consider integrating several Gu SECs to larger social economy centers.