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The Asia-Pacific Co-operative Development Conference (#APCDC2018) was organized on “Building Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships on Sustainable Development” in Colombo (Sri Lanka) from 27-28 Feb 2018. It was co-organized by the International Cooperative Alliance – Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP), ICA-EU Partnership on Cooperatives in Development: People Centered Businesses in Action (#coops4dev) and the Sri Lankan cooperative movement led by the National Cooperative Council, Consumer Cooperative Federation, SANASA Federation, Kotikawatta Thrift & Credit Cooperative and National Institute of Cooperative Development. The Conference was a strategic dialogue among stakeholders on development policy, which was aimed to create structured exchange and development partnerships among cooperatives and stakeholders in the pursuit of Sustainable Development

 

The APCDC was structured in four thematic sessions on the following themes a.) Eradicating Poverty b.) Building a Sustainable Food Systems c.) Increasing Access to Basic Goods & Services and d.) Protecting the Environment. These thematic panels were followed by round table discussions on the three strategic development priorities of the ICA-AP under the #Coops4Dev program – Youth Inclusion; Exploring Work & Ownership; Coop-Participation in SDGs.

 

Ms. Lasalette Gumban addresses the working session participants.

 

The main outcomes based on the reports submitted by session facilitators, and commitments made by conference participants  are as follows:

 

Strengthen cooperation among co-operatives to deliver on the global goals, and increase coordinated action towards international development by creating the Asia Pacific Co-operative Development Platform comprising of Alliance members and other relevant and committed stakeholders.

 

Encourage

 

  • Active stakeholder-engagement and inclusive planning and implementation in the international co-operative development process.
  • Practical education and support to  youth, women and the marginalized to help them secure their livelihood through ideas like Agri-entrepreneurship, and address challenges of low productivity and employment.
  • Meaningful inclusion of the Youth in the Leadership Structure of the Co-operatives.
  • Knowledge sharing, especially on co-operative development, across partners in Asia and the Pacific in the form of learning exchange, sharing of manuals and educational materials, organization of training pool to support the needs of co-ops in areas related to youth development, and active social media presence.
  • Digitization of co-operatives’ operations and education programmes for its members.
  • Good practices of member-service like skill development, welfare measures like medical & educational allowances, housing facilities, marriage and festival advances; pension facility etc. especially in industrial and service co-operatives.
  • Capacity building among Co-ops in the areas of Financial Inclusion and Enterprise Development, especially for women, youth and marginalized sections of the society.

 

Promote

 

  • Partnerships with governments, CSOs, and stakeholders for co-operative development, and promote participation of co-operatives in governments planning process.
  • Diversification of the co-operative business based on the needs and wants of members and trends in the business environment.
  • Co-operatives to build their data infrastructure and be data ready to fully understand the scope of challenges faced by co-operatives.
  • The use of Co-op Identity tools on a large scale at the local, national and international level, to firm up co-operatives’ collective response to the SDGs.
  • The adoption of new technology for development of cooperative business and governance.
  • Co-operatives to work closely with governments to align socio-economic development policies with SDGs, and in it, highlight the role of co-operatives.
  • The creation of local, national and international relief & reconstruction funds to increase the response time for co-operatives to address challenges posed by natural and man-made calamities.