The majority of the world’s current economic models are destructive and unsustainable. Little progress has been made in recent years to change this, despite significant discussion surrounding the theme. In this context, the solidarity economy presents itself as an alternative that seeks environmental and economic sustainability, as well as social promotion. In Brazil, Solidarity Economy Rural Organizations (SEROs) began in the 1970s. As with organizations from other sectors, they should be evaluated in relation to their ability to achieve social and solidarity objectives. Thus, this study aims to present a theoretical model of performance evaluation indicators for Solidarity Economy Rural Organizations in Southern Brazil based on the perceptions of the organizations’ decision makers. SERO representatives interviewed were asked to rank 36 criteria commonly used in performance evaluations, which were grouped into six dimensions: (1) legal documents and standards; (2) valuing of human work; (3) technology and economy; (4) acknowledgment of women; (5) preservation of and respect for nature; and (6) cooperation and solidarity. The results show that SERO representatives consider that performance evaluations should adhere to the Brazilian Declaration of Solidarity Economy Principles. Additionally, we identified a greater concern with criteria correlated to technical and legal aspects than criteria related to solidarity and humanitarianism. These results are relevant for the maintenance of rural solidarity economy organization as they provide a base for developing processes and tools to be used in SERO performance evaluations; such processes are necessary to maintain sustainable development in low-income economies, and to enable solidarity organizations to reach their objectives.
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