Membership (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
July, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.2 - Annual Report 1996-1997, pp11-16)

Report by Mats Ahnlund)

Member services 
The ICA Board decided in October 1996 to accept an 
outline for improved ICA Membership Services. 

The approved overall objectives for the outline of 
a strategy were:

"By providing good service to both Specialised Bodies 
and National Members, the ICA should be able to: 	

a.	Hold on to existing ICA paying members and 	

b.	Increase membership". 

One reason to provide improved member services is that 
there are many dark clouds in the sky when it comes to 
future membership and income) of the ICA. Some negative 
trends are already influencing income and preventing it 
from increasing. 

The approved outline also included possibilities and 
potential for the ICA to increase its membership, 
highlighting collaboration with its Specialised 
Organisations as a major instrument. 

The more specific objectives of the ICA's Members 
Service activities were also expressed in the outlined 
strategy last year: 	

"- Improve services to and communication with Specialised 
Organisations in order to build up confidence and procure 
an ally in work on the overall objectives outlined above 
(or at least not an enemy, as some Specialised Organisations 
fear that if their members join the ICA they will be
less inclined to pay full fees to the Specialised 

* Reach a joint decision with all Specialised Organisations 
by the end of the four-year period on how to recruit their 
non-ICA members into the ICA. 	

* Co-operate with and support ICA staff working with 
Specialised Bodies which have direct contact 
with ICA members. 	

* Actively look for and approach possible new ICA 
members among Co-operatives and Mutuals outside the ICA." 

Based on the outline, the ICA head office has elaborated 
a strategy for the member services. While several of the 
proposals are not new, they are now gathered together in 
a joint strategy, as follows: The first 
part of the strategy summarises and evaluates the Membership 
Survey carried out during the winter of 1996/97, looking at 
those activities which members think are important and those 
which the ICA does well and in some cases not so well. 

The second part looks at what we as employees each provide 
and should provide as direct services from the Head 
Office and Regional Offices. Based on opinions expressed 
by members in the survey, this part of the strategy tries 
to identify and underline some common goals already 
contained within the present ICA activities, now based 
on the wishes and needs expressed by members and also 
filling the vacuum in our present services between 
different existing and established functions. Two areas 
where ICA decided to improve are in the conducting of 
its meetings and in the ICA as a provider of business 

Some services to members through their Specialised 
Organisations are also already carried out by the ICA 
Head Office. The strategy also lists the services 
provided today, puts the Specialised Organisation services 
into the larger context of Member Services, and proposes 
improvements and a future direction. 

New member recruitment activities takes as its basis the 
ICA mission statement: "To unite, represent and serve 
co-operatives Worldwide". The last part of the Member 
Services strategy includes proposals on how to better 
achieve that mission, by getting more co-operatives 
in the world to join the ICA. 

The implementation has been an ongoing process during 
1996-97 and will of course go on and, hopefully, be
visible for members also in the future. 

Following the Board meetings held in Budapest 
(October 96) and Kampala (April 97), the following 
co-operative organisations became members:

* Argentina, Cooperativa de Electricidad de Bariloche (CEB),
* Brazil, Confederacao Brasileira das Cooperativas de energia
 Telefonia e desenvilvimiento rural "CONBRAC", 
* Chile, Cooperativa del Personal de la Universidad de 
Chile Ltda. (COOPEHUCH),
* Chile, Cooperativa de Servicios de Proteccion Medica Particular 
* Costa Rica, Consejo Nacional de Cooperativas (CONACOOP),
* Costa Rica, Consorcio de Cooperativas de Consumo (CECOOP),
* Costa Rica, Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal,
*Curacao, Federacion de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito de la 
Antillas Holandesas (FEKOSKAN),
*Dominican Republic, Cooperativa Nacional de Servicios 
Multiples de Los Maestros (COPNAMA),
* Ecuador, Corporacion de Estudios y Desarrollo (CEDECOOP),
* El Salvador, Union de Cooperativas Productoras, Beneficiadoras y 
Exportadoras (UCRAPROBEX),
* Honduras, Financiera de Cooperativas Agropecuarias Ltda. (FINACOOP),
* Honduras, Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito "SAGRADA FAMILIA",
* Mexico, Asociacion Nacional de Uniones Regionales de Sociedades de 
Ahorro y Prestamo (ANURCO),
* Paraguay, Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Universitaria Ltda.
* Peru, Cooperativa de Servicios Multiples "7 DE AGOSTO" (COOPSERMUL),
* Peru, Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Trabajo y Fomento 
del empleo (FENECOFEM),
* United States, Co-operative Housing Foundation (CHF).

Asia and Pacific:
* Indonesia, Indonesian Workers' Co-operative Alliance (INKOPKAR)
* Indonesia, Union of Indonesian Dairy Co-operatives,
* Israel, Central Union of Co-operative Societies,
* Israel, Union of Consumer Co-operatives,
* Nepal, National Co-operative Federation Ltd. (NCF),
* Palestine, General Union of the Palestinian Peasants and 
Agricultural Co-operatives,
* Palestine, The Agricultural Co-operative Union,

* Bosnia-Herzegovina, Co-operative Association of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina,
* Malta, Apex Organisation of Maltese Co-operatives,
* Poland, National Auditing Union of Workers' Co-operatives (ZLSP),
* Poland, National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit 
Unions (NCSCU).

However, as the full membership status is granted 
following the first subscription payment, only 18 out 
of 29 are presently full members.

During the reporting period, one member organisation 
asked to be withdrawn from ICA membership and seven 
members were expelled following non-payment of membership 
subscriptions for two or more consecutive years.