Evaluation confirms that co-operatives reduce poverty

Co-operatives in the developing world are improving the livelihoods of their members and Canadian efforts to support those co-operatives are helping them do that.

Those are just two of the findings from a comprehensive evaluation of Canadian support to co-operatives commissioned by the Canadian International Development Agency– now the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).  The evaluation is the first of its kind, focusing on a specific development approach  rather than a project or organization and was prompted, in part, to commemorate the International Year of Co-operatives in 2012.  The evaluation looked at the work of three organizations – The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), Développement International Desjardins(DID), and SOCODEVI – in three countries – Guatemala, Vietnam, and Burkina Faso.  Three other countries where co-operative development has not been particularly successful – Cameroon, Honduras, and Tanzania -were chosen as “deviant case studies”  in an effort to more accurately isolate those things that work, and do not work in developing successful co-operative movements.

Visit CCA’s website to read the evaluation.

-Canadian Co-operative Association

Call for graduate students to research gender and international co-op projects

The Canadian Co-operative Association seeks keen graduate students who are looking to study gender, co-operatives and international development. These research projects will be invaluable in contributing to international programming.

Departments of Focus: Women’s studies, International Development, Education, Public Policy

About the Canadian Co-operative Association: The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is the national association of credit unions and co-operatives in English-speaking Canada, representing more than nine million co-operative and credit union members from over 2,000 organizations.  CCA is a federally-incorporated co-operative, owned by its member organizations.

CCA’s International development Unit supports co-operative development activities in over 12 countries, funded by CIDA and other development agencies, and in partnership with local co-operatives. International projects range from agricultural production and marketing co-operatives, trade, credit union strengthening projects, microfinance, housing and multi-sectoral co-operatives. In many of these projects, beneficiaries are in poor regions and sectors that are underserved by the mainstream economy. Several CCA projects target women or ethnic minorities. Our approach is to help people in developing countries to develop sustainable co-operatives, owned and controlled by members, through which members and their communities benefit.

Opportunities for graduate students:CCA is seeking to recruit graduate students interested in doing a) secondary desktop research and/or b) primary research on gender issues related to CCA’s current international projects and programming.

CCA is looking to recruit graduate students who would be interested in a) carrying out desktop research and analysis of CCA programming documents about gender issues to contribute to CCA’s international programming; and/or b) carrying out field research on gender issues related to CCA’s projects in Africa, Asia or the Americas. CCA can offer existing project sites as potential research sites for graduate students looking for local organizations to partner with to carry out graduate research on gender and development issues.

CCA is seeking to recruit interested graduate students in the departments of Women’s studies, International development, Education or Public Policy.

The volunteer graduate student would study a particular topic presented by CCA for desktop research and analysis, or pick a CCA project, choose a topic and mould their research around it.

The volunteer would potentially develop a critical analysis piece to contribute to CCA’s learning about its gender programming and to help deepen CCA’s understanding about what is happening on the ground in the communities where CCA is carrying out development projects.

More details

-Sarah Feldberg, Volunteer Coordinator, Canadian Co-operative Association

Interim Publication Released- Measuring the Co-op Difference Research Network

Interim Publication of Research Results

Hot off the presses! The MCDRNetwork’s first cross-project publication is ready for you to read. Readers can learn about the approaches to research, the partners involved and the progress and results of each of the projects comprising the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network. Digital link below. If you would like a hard copy, please send your request to erin.hancock@coopscanada.coop and they will be mailed while supplies last.

-tools that measure the co-op difference
-sector-specific research on – agriculture, renewable energy, housing, credit unions
-methodologies scan to measure social, environmental and economic impact of co-ops
-educational initiatives of co-ops
-organizational structure and co-ops across cultures

Read it online today!

“Empire and Co-operation” – new book by Dr. Rita Rhodes

New book by Dr. Rita Rhodes: http://www.thenews.coop/node/11091

“Empire and Co-operation”

Referring to the book, Mike Perry, Head of Communications at Plunkett Foundation said: “Empire and Co-operation is an important new contribution to the historical understanding of co-operative development.

He added: “Dr Rita Rhodes has plugged a significant gap in the co-operative movement’s understanding of how co-operatives were developed in the time of the British Empire. It sheds light on the important role of key individuals including Horace Plunkett, Henry Wollf and Earl Gray and key organisations such as the International Co-operative Alliance, Plunkett Foundation, UN agencies and the Co-operative College have had in building the international co-operative movement we see today.”

Building Community Assets – The Co-op Advantage (2004)

  • Building Assets in Low-income Communities through Co-operatives:  A Policy Framework
    (English | French)
  • Building a Better Future through Co-operation: A Guidebook
    (English | French)
  • It’s Time to Share: How You and Your Co-operative or Credit Union Can Help Low-income Communities in Canada
    (English | French)

Child Care Co-operatives

Child Care Co-operatives – A Research Report
March 2007

Prepared for the Co-operatives Secretariat and Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

Child Care Co-operatives in Canada 2007 examines the situation of co-operative child care in Canada. Through research based on qualitative methods, including interviews with child care co-operative spokespersons and government officials, as well as the latest statistical data available, the report paints a complete portrait of co-op child care and provides an analysis of the enabling environment and possibilities for future development. The situation of co-operative child care in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States is also examined and lessons drawn for possible application in Canada.