Cooperatives in industrial and service sectors in the Asia-Pacific region:

Models, work and employment, ecosystem and public policies

ICA-AP & CICOPA release a snapshot from the latest Study supported by the ICA-EU Partnership.

The snapshot presents major findings of the year-long Study undertaken to understand the structures and functioning of cooperatives in industrial and service sectors (CIS) in Asia-Pacific. These cooperatives are better known in the public domain as worker cooperatives, social cooperatives, labour (contract) cooperatives, artisans’ cooperatives, self-employed producers’ cooperatives, enterprise cooperatives, etc. The Study identified 38 cooperative types across 12 countries, out of which 12 target types from Korea, the Philippines, Japan, and Australia were studied intensively. The analysis produced three analytical dimensions important to define different CIS models. These dimensions were further combined to produce five different CIS models, namely: worker coop A, worker coop B, shared service coop, mixed and the multi-stakeholder coop.

The Study highlighted the status of the ecosystem that exists around CIS. It analysed public institutions, financial tools, and education and training opportunities in order to evaluate the soundness of the ecosystems and the gaps that remain in the way of the development of CIS in the target countries. Another important takeaway from the Study were the policy recommendations which included ‘establishing a clear definition of CIS In line with International Standards’, ‘emphasis on autonomy and independence of CIS’, ‘encouraging public institutions to support CIS with conducive policies’, etc.

Mr. Hyungsik Eum, Statistics and Strategy Officer, ICA presented the findings of the Study at the recently concluded Second Asia Pacific Cooperative Registrars’ Forum held in Ho Chi Minh City. The presentation was well appreciated by the Registrars and representatives from International Agencies and CSOs present at the Forum. The full-length report is expected to be released soon after inputs from the experts at the Forum.
Notes to the Editors

ICA-Asia and Pacific: The International Co-operative Alliance Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) is one of the four regional offices of the ICA. It was established in 1960 in New Delhi, India. ICA-AP unites, promotes, and develops its member organizations, and strengthens them through its capacity building and advocacy measures. Today ICA-AP has 105 members from 33 countries. ICA-AP’s membership spans a variety of sectors including Agriculture & Allied Sectors, Consumer, Credit & Thrift, Education, Fisheries, Forestry, Handicrafts, Health & Welfare, Housing, and Supply & Marketing.

CICOPA: The International organisation of industrial and service cooperatives, or CICOPA, has been a sector organisation of the ICA since 1947. Its full members are representative organisations of cooperatives from different sectors: graphic design, construction, social services, renewable energy production, industrial production, education, transport, health, intellectual services, artisanal activities, etc. Its associated members are support organisations promoting cooperatives in those sectors.

ICA-EU Partnership: In March 2016, the ICA and the European Union signed a Framework Partnership Agreement (Europe Aid/150-053/C/ACT/Multi) to implement a multi-year and multi-country development programme aimed at benefitting and advancing cooperatives worldwide. The Partnership is officially titled “Cooperatives in Development: People-Centred Businesses in Action”, translated into the social media hashtag #Coops4Dev (cooperatives for development). The Partnership has 8 Result Areas and 33 Activity Streams for delivery by 5 units, one housed in each regional office and one at the coordination level in Brussels. The AP unit has identified three strategic development priorities namely, the participation of Cooperatives in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Youth Inclusion in Cooperatives, and Exploring Work and Ownership Structures in Cooperatives. The ICA-AP implements the programme in collaboration with ICA members and in partnership with other stakeholders such as governments, international development agencies, private sector and NGOs in the region. You may read more about the Partnership here.

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