ICA and Development

*ICA and Development*

Head Office

The ICA's Development Section is responsible for overall planning and
management of the ICA development programme, for initiating special
activities in the field of human resource development (HRD), and for
coordinating research and new initiatives.

In 1989 the development and administrative functions of head office were
combined under the Deputy Director, Claes Thorselius.  The HRD activities
have been coordinated by two officers during this period, J.M. Rana and
Jan-Eirik Imbsen.  Support is provided by other head office departments,
including personnel, communications, documentation, and UN relations.

The objective of ICA's development programme is to support the growth of
independent, economically-viable, democratic co-operative organisations in
all sectors.  It has four main programme priorities:  to influence
government policy and legislation so that co-operatives are allowed to
develop as independent organisations; to strengthen national apex and
sectoral co-operative structures; to improve the quality and quantity of
assistance provided for co-operative development; and to implement
pro=16grammes in the priority areas of human resource development and
co-operative trade.

ICA's direct financial contribution to its development programme is divided
between the salaries and associated costs of head office staff and those of
the Regional Directors, who are the only permanent ICA employees in the
regions.  This annual contribution of less than CHF 500,000 has led to a
total development budget in 1992 of CHF 8.2 million, including
contributions by some 20 co-operative and international development
agencies as well as regional members.  These figures have grown steadily
every year since ICA's new development programme was initiated in 1986.

In addition to regular planning and administrative support, head office has
coordinated several special programmes since 1988.  The most visible have
been the establishment of two-year "project offices" in Costa Rica in 1987
and in Argentina in 1990 designed to provide support to co-operatives in
the region and to assess the potential and need for full ICA Regional
Offices.  In 1990 the Costa Rica office became the Regional Office for
Central America and the Caribbean.  The future of the Argentine office is
to be determined during a regional consultation in 1992.

In 1991 ICA coordinated an analysis of the co-operative potential in
newly-independent Namibia.  This report was followed by a joint ICA-ILO-SCC
policy dialogue with Namibian government and co-operative leaders as input
into a new national co-operative policy.


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

A total of 58 national co-operative organisations from 24 countries,
representing over 400 million individual members, now participate in the
work of the Regional Office.  Since 1988 new members have come from
Afghanistan, Iran, Fiji, and Vietnam.

The Regional Office's policy work has been implemented through the
preparation and organising of regional conferences of co-operative
ministers.  The first was held in Australia in 1990 and the second in
Indonesia in 1992.  Since 1988 significant improvements in co-operative
policy and legislation have been introduced in several countries of the
region.

The office carries out its technical work through six on-going projects:
Development Planning, Agriculture, Consumer, HRD, Trade, and Agricultural
Management Training.  In 1991 a new five-year training programme for women
involved in agricultural co-operatives was begun.  The major external
funding supporters of these activities have been Sweden (SCC), Japan (CUAC,
JCCU, MAFF), Australia (AAC), and Canada (CCA).

A new focus of activity for the region is the environment.  In 1990 the
Regional Office published an information brochure on the role co-operatives
can play in protecting the environment, and in 1992 it began a regional
study designed to develop national and regional strategies for
environmental enhancement.  Chinese co-operatives have shared their
experience in waste resource recycling with other ICA members by means of a
regional workshop and direct technical assistance.

Since 1988 the office has strengthened its information capacity.  Its
library has been computerised and updated, a data bank has been
established, and the office's quarterly journal has been supplemented by
newsletters on consumer and HRD issues.

In November 1988 the ICA Domus Trust was created in the memory of Dr.
Mauritz Bonow, former ICA President.  Ownership of the ICA's Regional
Office building in New Delhi was transferred to the trust from its previous
British-registered owner, ICA Domus Limited.

In addition to its main office in New Delhi, the Regional Office has
established project offices in Australia and Singapore to coordinate and
implement specific development and trade activities.

Regional Office for East, Central and Southern Africa

Since 1984 the Regional Office has been organising conferences of
Co-operative Ministers every three years in order to promote greater
strength and independence for co-operatives in the region.  The 1990
conference, held in Nairobi, reflected a continued desire on the part of
co-operative and government leaders to move towards the goal of
self-reliance.  In several countries co-operatives have taken over
activities previously carried out by government or by parastatals, although
often without sufficient resources.

Since the 1988 Congress the Regional Office lost one member country,
Somalia, due to internal problems, reducing its membership to eight
countries.  However, in 1991 the Regional Council agreed that national
commercial co-operative organizations should be admitted as members in
future, in addition to multi-sectoral apex organizations, as is the
practice in other regions.

During the last four years the Regional Office introduced three new
programmes in the areas of banking, trade, and women, in addition to its
on-going activities in the fields of research and consultancy, agriculture,
human resource development, and insurance.   The latter project, which is
managed from a project office in a member country, moved from Zambia to
Botswana.

The office's activities are supported by Sweden (SCC), the Netherlands
(Rabobank Foundation), Australia (CDL), and the Co-operative Insurance
Development Bureau.  Recently-terminated support from Canada (CCA) and the
Netherlands (HIVOS) is being renegotiated.

In 1991 Vincent Lubasi, former Executive Secretary of the African
Confederation of Savings and Credit Associations, was appointed Regional
Director.


Regional Office for West Africa

Since 1988 the Regional Office has developed a new work programme centred
on four priorities:  legislative review and government policy, promotion of
national co-operative or
ganisations, education and training, and promotion of economic exchanges.

The Regional Office's membership declined by one country during this period
with the expulsion of Mauritania for non-payment of dues.  It now serves
members in 15 countries.

The results of a regional legislative consultation, held in Conakry in
1991, were published by ILO and widely circulated in the region.  The
office has provided support to new national organisations in Cape Verde,
Cote d'Ivoire, and Mali.

In 1990 the Regional Council agreed to amend the office's by-laws to remove
the membership of government representatives on the council, which had
previously been a provisional body.

The Regional Office's major education and training programme, funded by
Norway (NRD), reached its final year in 1992.  A new multi-year programme
is being negotiated.  The office also receives support for activities from
Canada (SOCODEVI), Germany (DSE), France (Credit Cooperatif), and from two
ICA specialised organisations (CICOPA and ICIF-CIDB).

In 1989 Ada Kibora was appointed Regional Director.


Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean

The newest ICA Regional Office was officially opened in 1990, although it
had functioned previously as a project office.  Mr. Juan Diego Pacheco was
appointed Regional Director. The office is carrying out activities in the
fields of women's integration, human rights, research, and strategic
planning with funding support from Norway (NRD), Sweden (SCC and Diakonia),
Canada (CCA and SOCODEVI), Australia (CDL), and FAO.

In view of the existence of several important regional co-operative
organisations, the Regional Office has signed agreements with OCA, CCC-CA,
and COLAC in order to define and clarify respective fields of
responsibility and action.

During this intial stage of its activity the office is collaborating with
co-operative movements in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and
Puerto Rico.


Future Directions

As the ICA development programme is based on three-year workplans, the most
recent having been approved in 1991, no major changes in direction are
anticipated in coming years.

A continued priority will be increased contributions to the programme from
members in the region, as well as a further diversification of external
funding sources.

As the programme continues to grow, the capacity of head office to provide
administrative and backstopping support becomes increasingly important.
Accordingly, Mr. Arsenio Invernizzi, former director of Italy's
Cooptecnital and currently director of the ICA office in Buenos Aires, will
join head office in late 1992.

As the increased integration of women in co-operatives is a priority in all
Regional Offices, the ICA will develop global and regional gender
strategies in future as the basis for its expanded activities in this
field.  The Regional Offices will seek to strengthen their collaboration
with members of the ICA Women's Committee and with INCOTEC in this regard.

The implementation of the new ICA structure after the Tokyo Congress will
have special implications for those continents in which there is already
more than one Regional Office.  Various techniques for collaboration
between offices will be examined.