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Rede de Centrais de Serviços (Central of Services Network)

Author: Michaela Wood
Published Date: 21 May 2008

Association of self-employed workers offering professional services in building, seamstress, catering and general household services.

Rio de Janeiro city and satellites towns, Brazil Central office downtown, plus five centres located in Oswaldo Cruz, Penha and Rocinha districts, in the city of Rio de Janeiro; Jardim Primavera district, in the town of Duque de Caxias and Itaúna district, in the town of São Gonçalo.


Service idea
RCS is a cooperative of autonomous workers, professionals from 4 specific fields (services) who have organised themselves to attend a market demand.

Function addressed
The initiative relates to the function “work”.

Summary of the initiative
RCS is a cooperative connected to 4 capacity building centres (technical) assisted by NOG CAMPO. RCS associated professionals offering services in four areas: civil construction, seamstress, catering, and general household services (cleaning, clothing care, babysitting, nursing, etc). A central operator receives the service order and passes it on to the professional located closest to the client. The operator passes the order to the associates, who prepare a budget for the job to be negotiated with the client. If accepted, a contract is made and signed among the parts. RCS responds to the demand of connecting self-employed (technical) professionals to potential clients (private households or companies). The fact that it is an association of workers confers reliability to the workers and represents a warranty for the clients.

Main actors (promoters, supporters, users, connections)
RCS was created within NGO CAMPO (support for grassroots initiatives, with capacity-building centres). RCS is currently an independent organisation, although it still receives administrative support from them (and great part of RCS associates receive capacity building from Campo). RCS is related to many NGOs and forum, such as PACS, ASPLANDE, IBASE, CEDA, Capina, Association Padre Anchieta, Brazilian forum on solidarity economics. It is associated with people and organisations related to cooperatives movement. It is a politically engaged organisation, acting at the national level. RCS looks for partnership with companies (such as a German company of solar panels, cooperative members have done a course to operate in the area).

Creative community, why?
RCS is a group of self-organized people, created to allow their access to the market of specific service (that would be difficult if each one of them would do that alone). It can be considered as a creative community since it is a self-organized group that created and carried forward a new solution related to the work issue, creating an alternative form of professional association. As a result, new horizontal relationships were established among the members, professionals in the same field.

Furthermore, RCS is a pro-active organization, constantly trying to create new opportunities, proposing new projects and partnerships (that have the quality of being related to social and environmental issues).

About the researchers
Researcher name (and email) and institution: Lara Penin (DIS INDACO/Politecnico di Milano) , Prof. Roberto Bartholo, Beany Guimarães, Marcos Lagenbach (LTDS COOPE UFRJ)

Source of the information/Fonte: Interview with Luiz Antunes da Penha

Date/Data: Interview 05/02/07, format completion 05/03/07

Address and reference person
Luiz Antunes da Penha (gerente comercial)

Rua da Servidão Leste, no. 27 – 3o. andar. Rocinha (em frente à passarela). Rio de Janeiro – RJ. Tel (+55) 21 3324-1331/ 3874-8637

Other reference material

Newsletter “Jornal da Rede”(ONG Campo)