Technical Assistance - President's Statement on the ICA Long-term Programme

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         June, 1995

                    Technical Assistance 
               President's Statement on the ICA
                    Long-term Programme

                    by Dr Mauritz Bonow*

Before outlining what the Technical Assistance Sub-Committee
considers should be the Long-term ICA Programme of Technical
Assistance 1or the Promotion of Co-operation, let us see the
road which the Alliance has already travelled, the main lines
of its promotional work and its effectiveness, remembering
that, in the opinion of the Paris Congress which instructed
the Authorities of the Alliance 'to draw up a programme of
action by the Alliance and its members for the promotion of
Co-operation in all its forms in the developing regions of the
world........' it should be possible on the results and
experiences of the Short-term Programme to consider and draw
up a Long-term Programme.

Short-term Programme

After declaring that the Alliance should not envisage a
Programme which would compete with that of the United Nations
and Inter-Governmental Agencies, rather that the practical
contribution of the Alliance should be supplementary to the
work of those Organisations, the first recommendation of the
Technical Assistance Sub-Committee was that the ICA should
make its contribution in the sphere of education, training and
propaganda, especially for present and prospective leaders and
for members of Co-operative Societies in the underdeveloped countries.

The types of assistance of practical value envisaged by the
Short-term Programme were:-The supply by the ICA of elementary
literature in vernacular languages for use by existing
Co-operative Organisations in under-developed countries in
their own work, similarly, the supply of visual aids,
projectors, films, film strips.

The organisation by the ICA of Regional Educational Training
Conferences; Special Schools, also regional, for co-operators;
Technical Training abroad for selected persons in
under-developed countries; the provision of Scholarships and
Bursaries for sustained studies.

Visual aids in the form of projectors, particularly mobile
film units, have proved a most effective type of assistance
for education and propaganda.

Where Need is Greatest

In the sphere of Regional Schools or Seminars, those organised
in Jamaica and at Carcassonne in France were most successful,
and it is anticipated that the South-East Asian Seminar at New
Delhi in November will have equally satisfactory results.
Technical Training and Study Courses have been arranged for
several selected persons in under-developed countries, and
although the results of these facilities are not immediately
discernible they promise to bear fruit.

While such individual projects are of considerable value to
the Organisations on whose behalf they are planned, the real
problem for the Alliance and its affiliated Organisations was,
and is, to promote and encourage the development of
Co-operation in the several regions of the world where the
need is greatest. These regions were defined in the Paper
submitted to the Paris Congress by the Director of the
Alliance as being - the Middle East and North Africa;
South-East Asia and the East Indies; Africa, south of the
Sahara; the Caribbean and parts of Latin America; Oceania.

S.E. Asia

The first region chosen for the ICA action was South-East
Asia. The plan for this region started with the exploratory
visit of Dr Keler in the last months of 1955 and early in 1956
and was supplemented by the Kuala Lumpur Conference in January
1958. The first ICA Regional Office in New Delhi started its
activities in a provisional way during this autumn, pending
the appointment of a Regional Officer and just on the eve of
the Congress the Regional Officer has been appointed. The
representative of the ICA now working in New Delhi has inter
alia planned a Regional Seminar, not only by Co-operative
Organisations but by Authorities as well, is underlined by the
fact that it will be inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister,
Jawaharlal Nehru. The permanent ICA Education Centre will
furthermore start its activities after the termination of the
Seminar. The ICA Centre, which is mainly financed by the
Swedish Co-operative Movement, is planned to organise
Seminars, Courses and Conferences not only in India but also
in other countries in South-East Asia. So far as this region
is concerned some very important measures have thus already
been undertaken, having not only a short- time character but
aiming at a sustained long-range activity.

The Future

Let us now pass to the future. Bearing in mind the experience
and knowledge gained since the Paris Congress, one of the most
outstanding requirements is integrated planning at
international, national and regional level. The Technical
Assistance Sub-Committee accordingly considers that the main
lines of the Long-term Programme should be:

1.  The Continuation and Completion of the Exploration of the
Developing Regions, by experts, in order to provide the
Alliance with first-hand accurate information of the existing
Movements, the extent of their development, their problems and
the type of ICA assistance needed.

After South-East Asia the next region in which ICA action is
planned is Latin America and Mr Rafael Vicens, General
Secretary of the Co-operative League of Puerto Rico has
received a definite assignment from the ICA which he will take
up in January 1961.

At the same time, preliminary steps are being studied for a
programme of action in Africa. Here the pattern will be rather
different. The Alliance hopes to have the collaboration of
Authorities in different parts of Africa.

So far as French-speaking North Africa is concerned the
efforts of the Alliance will be joined with those of the
Institut Francais d`Action Cooperative and the Union of Swiss
Consumers` Societies whose project and 5-year plan have been
announced to the Congress.

2.  A Programme of Intensive Research as regards, for example,
Co-operative Marketing, Processing and Supply; Consumers'
Co-operation; the Multi-Purpose Society; Development of
Certain Co-operative Forms; Economic Trends and their Possible
Significance for the Co-operative Movement.

As far as possible the research will be undertaken by people
in the particular region and the Alliance looks forward to
considerable collaboration with the UN Specialised Agencies,
also the Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies.

3.  The promotion of Education at all Levels. The
establishment of Educational Institutes or Centres where they
are needed for the training of leaders, for the training of
teachers to teach Co-operation at village level, also, in
suitable instances, to provide higher education; the
organisation of Regional Seminars and Conferences on specific
aspects or forms of Co-operation, or for particular cadres of
co-operative officials.

Obviously the Alliance itself cannot create Educational
Centres in all regions - neither is that necessary. Where
Educational Centres or Colleges exist it may be possible for
the Alliance to help in developing them further. The Alliance
may also find it possible to use existing Centres and Colleges
for Seminars, etc. There will also be co-ordination between
National and ICA efforts as in the case of the ICA-KF
Education Centre at New Delhi.

Other important developments to be kept in mind are the
establishment of an International Centre for higher education,
and the promotion of the teaching of Co-operation at existing
non-co-operative training centres like that of the
International Federation of Free Trade Unions.

In developing existing National Educational Centres or
Colleges the provision of textbooks, etc, in vernacular
languages would probably arise. Some such needs might be met
by the translation of existing books which could be financed
by the ICA. But in most cases it would probably be necessary
for textbooks and primers to be written by educationalists in
the countries and for the Alliance to finance the printing of

4.  Collaboration with the United Nations and other Agencies
in the field of Research; in the organisation of Courses and
Seminars; in the preparation of handbooks on the practice of
particular types of Co-operative Organisations; the production
of films; the choice of experts to spend varying periods in
developing countries giving advice and practical training to
the co-operators of those countries; in carrying on pilot
projects, and in other practical ways.

5.  Promotion and Expansion of Trade between Co-operative
Organisations in Developing Countries and the highly developed
Movements in Western Countries; also the Promotion of
Co-operative Insurance Societies, Co-operative Banks or Credit

Problem of Finance

While the Technical Assistance Sub-Committee recognises that
assistance in these spheres has been given by certain National
Wholesale Societies, Insurance Societies and Banks - a number
of young Movements urgently need commercial relations for the
export of their own products and the import of essential
consumer goods.

The Sub-Committee, therefore, recalls the appeal of the
Stockholm Congress to established Co-operative Trading,
Agricultural, Banking and Insurance Organisations to create,
wherever practicable, business connections with similar
Organisations in the lesser-developed countries.

In the detailed planning, as well as in the carrying out of
its programme, the Alliance will need, and is confident that
it will receive, the help and advice of the experts in the
National Movements and of its Auxiliary Committees.

Finally, there is the all-important question of finance -
which is the crux of the whole problem.

The Central Committee has endorsed the recommendation of the
Technical Assistance Sub-Committee that the promotional work
of the Alliance shall be regarded as part of its normal
activity and be financed from its income from subscriptions.
But as even the increased income resulting from the acceptance
by Congress of the proposed amendment to Article 18 of the
Rules will be quite inadequate, this Statement on the
Long-term Programme must close by a reiteration of the call of
the Stockholm Congress to affiliated Organisations to continue
their contributions to the Development Fund on an increasing

* Dr Bonow was President of the ICA from 1960 to 1975. This
article appeared in the Review of International Co-operation,
No. 11, November 1960.