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Stakeholders Meeting to discuss the potential of a new training package for financial co-operatives

 

The International Training Centre of the ILO (Turin, Italy) invited key stakeholders in the global cooperative movement from June 29 – July 1, 2015 to discuss the potential of a new training package dedicated to financial co-operatives which appears to be developed on the lines of MYCOOP or ‘Manage Your Agricultural Co-operative’. The Development Alchemist Ltd, facilitated the meeting and the Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development programme at the ITCILO were the organisers. Mr. P. Santosh Kumar represented the ICA Asia and Pacific at the meeting.

A survey that led to the compilation of pertinent data preceded the meeting. It was noted that financial co-operatives account for less than 10% of the entire movement while 65% of the total membership was represented through them. 27% of total employment generated through co-operatives is via financial co-operatives. The discussions revealed severe managerial challenges that financial co-operatives face and the existing training material do not cover all topics or are not freely accessible. Furthermore, such training material focussed on grassroots audiences only. This prompted the discussions to aim at audiences beyond grassroots to include apex organisations and policy makers as well. International Cooperative Alliance, as the custodian of Principles of Cooperation and as the platform for co-operatives worldwide expresses keen interest in the manner the new training package will be shaped. 

Indicators from discussions from the stakeholders’ meeting

 

The stakeholders at the meeting agreed that: 1. There is already convincing evidence of the need for a training initiative to address the needs of financial cooperatives. 2. Apex organisations would be the initial target for the My Financial Cooperative initiative, however the initiative affords an opportunity to create a space for dialogue between apex organisations and policy makers and so the needs of policy makers would also be taken into consideration and catered for. 3. There are already many training packages designed for primary organisations and instead of re-inventing these materials, the initiative would be better served to create a space where they could be accessed by apex and primary organisations. 4. All the stakeholders present were committed to the development of the My Financial Cooperative initiative and the ILO and FAO would offer leadership and coordination to the group. 5. The stakeholders present at the meeting recognised that representation was missing from some parts of the world and that further partners would be sought to ensure better representation, in particular from Africa and Latin America. (Source Bronwen Dietrich)

Participants of the Stakeholder’s meeting

The stakeholders group now awaits questions and challenges that lie ahead in preparing a new training package dedicated to financial co-operatives and devise strategies to engage various stake holders at the Macro (Governments & Central Banks) , Meso (Apex organisations) and Micro (Primary co-operatives and service providers) to help gain the most out of their corresponding experience and structure.

Activity Chart reflecting kinds of trainings that can be offered as part of the training

 

 

Please feel free to send us your queries, suggestions and ideas using the contact us form on www.icaap.coop

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