Private sector contributions to SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Date: 26 of july of 2019

Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Place: A-100 TEATRO

The Externado launches notebook No. 5 of the "Bank of case studies in social responsibility and sustainability," containing 10 case studies that document and analyze how the private sector is promoting decent work and economic growth in Colombia.

The 21st century began with positive results in Colombia’s economic growth. After the crisis at the end of the 1990s, entailing a 0.9 percent decrease in 1998, and 5.6 percent in 1999, between 2000 and 2018, the GDP per capita expanded steadily at an annual rate of 2.73 percent.

This growth involved the improvement of some of the country’s most relevant socio-economic indicators. Thus, for example, the rate of poverty incidence – understood as the percentage of population living on less than US$1.90 per day – went from 20.1 percent in 1999, to 4.5 percent in 2016; and the unemployment rate – the percentage of economically active population that does not have jobs – went from 20 percent in 1999, to 8.3 percent in 2016.

However, this growth did not result in substantial improvement in all the relevant indicators. As of 2019, the GINI coefficient – an indicator that measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of income – remains above 0.50, positioning Colombia as one of the most unequal countries in the region and the world, and the employment informality rate is above 50 percent in 23 of the major cities and metropolitan areas of the country.

Among the goals being developed, globally, to reduce poverty, promote social inclusion, and increase the indices of the population’s quality of life, is the promotion of decent work and economic growth. More precisely, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 – one of the 17 goals of the International Development Agenda for 2030 – which seeks to “Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.”

The private sector – organizations, foundations, unions, etc. – is called to contribute towards a better world to live in – today and tomorrow. The 10 studies included in the book “Sector privado pensando en grande: contribuciones al ODS 8” (Private Sector thinking big: contributions to SDG 8) – edited by professor-researchers María Claudia Romero A. and Óscar Iván Pérez H., with contributions from Masters in Social Responsibility and Sustainability graduates – analyze programs being developed, demonstrating how the private sector in Colombia, within its social responsibility and sustainability strategies, is contributing to promoting decent work and economic growth. In particular, the joint reading of the studies included in the book evidence the efforts by corporations and foundations to:

· Develop programs in areas such as “Education, instruction, and training;” “Support enterprise development and consolidation;” “Safety and health in the workplace;” “Formal job offer”; “Support in achieving formal employment,” and “Eradication of child labor.”

· Contribute, to a greater extent, to the achievement of the SDG 8 targets numbers: 8.3 – Promote development-oriented policies supporting decent job creation, and entrepreneurship. 8.1 – Sustain per capita economic growth; and 8.8 – protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments.

· Work, mainly, in favor of external groups of the organizations implementing them, such as customers, distributors, suppliers, local community, and society in general.

· Involve various forms of private social investment, such as responsible business, inclusive business, investment in communities, and philanthropy.

· Be located, mostly, in the Departments of Valle del Cauca, Atlántico, Caldas, Casanare, Cauca, Chocó, and Cundinamarca, as well as Bogota D.C.

For all of the above and to present these studies, the event features participation by organizations and foundations representatives, private social investment beneficiaries, students, and professors.

Admission is free, with advance registration at emails and

“Sector privado pensando en grande: contribuciones al ODS 8″ is Notebook No. 5 of the online bank of case studies in social responsibility and sustainability the Externado de Colombia University has been building since 2015, supported by the Colombia Global Compact Network and the Association of Family Foundations and Enterprises (AFE).