From Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota:
I'd like to share the information I've just got from Brazil.
The Secretaria Nacional de Economia Solidária (SENAES), which belong to the Brazilian Ministry of Labour and Employment (MET), has just issued its news letter
and on the page 1 you can read the following article (I translated it into English).
Title: Cooperação com banco central (Cooperation with the Central Bank)
The cooperation agreement between SENAES and the Central Bank aims to realise studies on community banks and on social money, envisioning the creation of the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and of the development of this sector in Brazil. After a decade of many articulation and mobilisation of the solidarity economy movement, with the support of SENAES, the recognition by the Brazilian State was won, by way of this terms of cooperation, that territoty-based communities (small municipalities, neighbourhoods) can build their monetary authority.
For the first time the Central Bank of Brazil recognised the existence of this tool called "community banks and social money" and their important as social technology which generates financial inclusion. With this, community banks will be less vulnerable, both from the formal viewpoint - as definitions on their function, methodology, characteristics, attributes, goals and concepts are established - and SENAES closed a cooperation agreement with the Central Bank also for the more social visibility to be achieved.
At this moment, a working committee and the work agenda it will realise by itself are being created. With the concretisation of the partnership there will be the elaboration of norms which should orient actors who want to know, support and develop community banks which use social money. SENAES is proposing the realisation of five public hearings so that the society should join, together with the solidarity economy movement, in the sense to warrant the more participation in the elaboration of referred norms.
On the basis of this agreement, the community bank initiatives under way win a new institutional framework, enabling the realisation of new strategic partnerships for their development. On top of that, these banks will be benefitted with the enhancement of of incentive and promotion policies, and the institutional environment will be quite favourable for the consolidation of such policies, which means that public resources for training activities, technical assistance and adequate credit lines.
I've never heard of any central bank helping community currency initiatives, but it should be interesting enough for the rest of the world too...
Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota
(with link to other languages)
(in English and Spanish)
Skype name: migjp2003