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Policy initiatives for digital inclusion have been championing by Asia's newly industrializing economies (NIEs) recently, with the spill-over effects of promoting human rights, economic social and cultural rights in particular. Human rights is undoubtedly both a global and local issue. The advocacy for human rights is now situated in the (de-) globalization process, as well as the crisis of it since late 2008. This paper addresses to the interfacing and synergetic processes of human rights and digital inclusion in the information age in Asia and beyond.        

Thanks to the Information and communication technologies (ICT), the real offering, and challenge, of the Internet, is evolving around different (cable, wireless and satellite) modal of communications, representing both micro as well as mass media functioning. Here, the restructuring and crisis of global economy are juxtaposing many nation states' project for the building up of a ubiquitous network society: e-government and e-commerce projects at large, so as to strengthen their global competitiveness.  But the critical question is: What will be the new mode of human rights advocacy, with a new configuration of power relations, developmental tensions and contradictions between the strong state and emerging (global) civil society; and in what way can ICT aid socio-political (e-) mobilization in and beyond cyberspace to shape social development?  This paper examines transnational advocacies networks (TANs) and ICTs in the promotion of human rights at global-local level, with case illustrations.

The interest towards the social enterprise has been growing in Korea. The law on the Social Enterprise was established in 2007, and about 150 social enterprises have been created in the diverse areas including the social service.

However the government dominant drive of the social enterprises lets a deep concern about the possible distortion or retrenchment towards a welfare state since the scope of the public welfare development is still weak and the social service market is not yet well formed.

The purpose of the study is to manifest the possibility and limit of the social enterprises for the development of Korean welfare state, and to present the proper application of the social enterprises based on the critical research on the realization of the social enterprise in a Korea context.

It is expected through this study that I can show the guideline and the policy direction towards utilizing the social enterprise by the Korean government and the Korean NGOs.

Presentation slides: Lee_T-S_2009_social_enterprise.pdf

In recent years public concerns on social enterprises are being greatly increased, as a way of providing the socially disadvantaged with stable jobs and appropriate social services. Since the late 1990s, the Korean government has enforced diverse kinds of social programs, in order to offer jobs and social services to the socially disadvantaged, ranging from the self-help community programs to the Social Job Creating Initiative (SJCI). In particular, the Rho Moo-hyun Administration (2003-2007) inaugurated large-scale interdepartmental SJCIs to narrow income inequality between the people.

However, despite the large amount of the government's financial subsidies, the SJCI has failed to create stable and decent jobs for the socially disadvantaged. Thus, since 2007, the Korean government has moved social policy priority from the SJCI to the policy of supporting and fostering social enterprises, with the aim of providing the socially deprived with more stable and decent jobs. In July 2007 the Act to Support and Forster Social Enterprises was enforced to authenticate promising social enterprises and offer government subsides to certified social enterprises. In particular, the centre-right Lee Myung-bak Administration (2008-present) advocated the invigoration of social enterprises as one of its 100 national agendas that will be accomplished in its five-year term. Moreover, with the aggravating economy since the latter half of 2008, the importance of social enterprises as a source of job creation has been doubled.

But, despite the growing importance of social enterprises in providing the socially disadvantaged stable jobs, the government's efforts to support social enterprises are being confronted with diverse problems in terms of certifying, subsidizing, monitoring, and evaluating social enterprises. The administrative system to support social enterprises also reveals weak points, due to its diffusion and fragmentation. Above all things, the Korean government fails to explore relevant criteria to pick out beneficiaries of government subsidies and to evaluate the performance of benefited social enterprises. As a result, it becomes impossible to connect government subsides with performance evaluation, making the government's financial subsidies to social enterprise inefficient and ineffective. Furthermore, the government subsides offered without the performance evaluation of social enterprises may produce the serious inequity between competing social enterprises for government subsides.

Against these backdrops, this paper aims to explore the acceptable and relevant criteria for the selection of government subsides and the performance evaluation of subsidized social enterprises and to apply these criteria to the real world, taking into account the type and size of social enterprises. In detail, this paper has the following research aims:

  • Establish relevant criteria to select the beneficiaries of government subsides; 
  • Work out appropriate criteria to undertake the performance evaluation of subsidised social enterprises;
  • Debate the alternatives to apply the criteria of selection and performance evaluation to the real world, taking into account the type and size of social enterprises;
  • And finally, examine a way to link performance evaluation on social enterprises with the process of selecting the beneficiaries of government subsides

Full paper: Kim_S-Y_2009_social_enterprise.pdf