Human Resource Development (1998)
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1997, pp.7)
Human Resource Development
Human Resource Development is a priority for ICA globally and also for the Region. However, during the year the HRD activities suffered due to budgetary constraints.
The ICA Committee on Human Resource Development for Asia and the Pacific had its 9th meeting in Chiangmai, Thailand during March 1997. 35 delegates, observers and invitees from 8 countries, ILO and ICA participated at the meeting. The meeting was followed by a consultation between the Committee and the ILO-Coopnet Project on joint activities. As undertaken during the previous year, activities on leaders training and principals' conference have been agreed upon.
As a follow-up to the Regional Seminar held in Colombo during December, 1996, a training programme on Systematic Approach to Curriculum Designing was organised by the participants of the Colombo seminar in collaboration with the ILO Coopnet and Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Co-operative Management, Pune.
The HRD Advisor facilitated the workshop as a resource person at Pune, India in April 1997, in which a manual on curriculum development has been prepared and tested, which is pending publication.
HRD Project continued to bear the responsibility of providing information to members of the ICA-ROAP. Four issues of Asia Pacific News Bulletin have been published and circulated. Three issues of the journal - Co-op Dialogue and the Annual Report for 1996 have also been published in 1997.
During the year, the Canadian Co-operative Association was kind enough to send us an intern, Ms. Allie Irvine, who helped the project to review the quality of its information service. A readers' survey was conducted and the responses were encouraging. The respondents have also suggested several ways of improving the service.
Under the Singapore Co-operative Technical Assistance Programme (SINCOTAP) four managers from Philippines, Thailand, and Sri Lanka were attached to co-operatives in Singapore for training in store management and insurance.
A faculty exchange programme between India and Sri Lanka was another HRD highlight during 1997. Senior trainers from the two countries were attached to national co-operative training colleges with guidance provided by the Project. The trainers were able to exchange experiences on curriculum designing, improvement on the content in the courses and new co-operative strategies of two countries.
A consultation with the NFUCA Japan has been undertaken to organize a joint activity on youth participation in co-operatives. A joint seminar on the subject will be held next year.
Research as a subject has been attached to the Project in 1996. Accordingly, few research activities have been undertaken during the year. Some studies were carried out in India on new forms of co-operatives within the disadvantaged groups, such as beggars' co-operatives and co-operatives among sex workers. Reports of these research studies were published in Co-op Dialogue.
Environmental activities in fishermen's co-operatives is another study, which will be published in future.
With extra financial support received from the SCC, the Project was able to carry out comprehensive surveys on youth participation in community based co-operatives. The Advisor prepared a research format and researchers from India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have carried out the survey. The reports with a regional overview are still to be published.
The HRD Advisor supported the regional consultation on critical issues in co-operatives in Yangon, Myanmar and also presented a paper on sustainable development activities of cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific at the Co-operative Ministers' Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand in March 1997.
The HRD Project maintained cordial relations with relevant UN agencies and collaborated with the ILO Coopnet Project to conduct two activities and also organized a consultation to determine future directions.
The members of the HRD Committee have been active and contributed through subscriptions and bearing some local costs. However, new resources have to be generated to make the Project more active. The alliance with Japanese youth co-operatives has been a breakthrough in this direction.