Development

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    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
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                         January 1996


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                         Development
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The role of the Development Section at Head Office is to promote
co-operative development in general and ICA's Development
Programme in particular. It provides policy guidance and
administrative and financial supervision. Technical support and
guidance is carried out by the Regional Offices.

During the period under review the Development Section has 
helped implement the new ICA structure. To this effect it was
represented at the 1993 preparatory Regional Consultations and
the first Regional Assemblies which were held in 1994. In
addition, Head Office staff have also attended other statutory
meetings, seminars and conferences (inter alia ROAP and ROECSA
Ministers' Conferences) in the regions. The implementation of the
new structure is proceeding well.

Head Office has, as part of the coordination, planning and
administration, participated in the Annual Review and Planning
Sessions at all regional offices.

Furthermore the Development Section has  held meetings with its
development partners. A Development Forum was organised in
conjunction with the First ICA Regional Assembly in Geneva in
September 1993, and another consultation was organised in Paris
in September 1994 to discuss a new strategy for co-operative
development in Africa. The strategy discussion was based on a
study, "Co-operative Adjustment in a Changing Environment in
Sub-Saharan Africa", commissioned by ICA Europe and funded by the
Swedish Co-operative Centre (SCC).

Meetings were held with the United Nations in New York, and
collaboration with UN agencies continued both within the
framework of COPAC, and on a bilateral basis, notably with the
ILO. The ICA has also participated in the preparations for the
1995 World Summit on Social Development and the Fourth World
Conference on Women.

In 1994 an evaluation was carried out of the SCC support to the
ICA Development Programme. The evaluation provided a critical
review of the programme, and contributed useful recommendations
for the future. The main conclusions were that the ICA is a
suitable channel for supporting regional activities, and that the
SCC should continue its support to the ICA Development Programme.

Human Resource Development continues to be a mainstay of the
Development Programme as indeed it is of co-operative development
in general. As part of this, the promotion of women in
co-operative development has received much attention. With the
gender consultations in East, Central and Southern Africa and in
West Africa, such meetings have now been held in every region.

A priority in all regional offices is the alleviation of problems
caused by the rapidly changing environment brought about by
adjustment policies, liberalization of markets, etc. This
necessitates a review of current co-operative development and
donor strategies. The study on Africa is part of this process,
and in Central America, a core programme is the reconversion
project which aims at enhancing the role of co-operatives as
business enterprises.

The Development Programme continues to expand in monetary terms,
and continuous efforts are being made to diversify the sources of
funding. The total volume is now CHF 8.5 million.

The ICA Development Programme is implemented by the Development
Department in Geneva and by ICA's Regional Offices for Asia and
the Pacific, East, Central and Southern Africa, West Africa, and
the Americas. These offices co-ordinate and implement development
programmes and represent and provide services to members within
the regions. The Development Department at Head Office
co-ordinates and monitors the implementation of the various
co-operative development initiatives at the regional level and
assists the Regional Offices with planning and budgeting.  In
addition, it is responsible for establishing and maintaining
contacts with development organisations, identifying
opportunities for future collaboration and promoting and
implementing ICA Policies.

A new proposal calls for the establishment of a new framework for
the Development Programme; an ICA Development Trust that will be
responsible for the implementation of development programmes. The
new structure should enhance the sustainability of ICA's
development function as well as its capacity to support
co-operative development. 

During the period under review, a review of development
strategies has been initiated at the Regional Offices. By mid-96
new Regional Development Plans to the year 2000 will have been
formulated. These plans will address regional concerns and
members' priorities, and give direction and focus to regional
activities. At the same time, the operational system of the
global Development Programme is being re-examined with a view to
upgrading and streamlining routines and procedures.

Head Office continues to attend statutory, annual planning and
review, and other meetings in the regions. This has been
particularly important during the implementation of the new ICA
structure.

Asia and Pacific
The Asia and Pacific region organised its Regional Assembly from
5 to 7 January. Of particular interest to development was the
decision to establish an ad hoc advisory committee that would
advise the Regional Office on strategies for the rest of the
century.

The Americas
The Americas region organised its first Regional Assembly in
Brazil. The meeting formally abolished the Regional Council, and
changed the status of the Regional Office which is now the
Regional Office for the Americas (ROAM). The major regional event
in that region for 1995 will be the ICA Regional Conference on
Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures, scheduled for 6-8
December in Miami. More than 600 co-operative leaders are
expected to participate in the sessions designed to generate
co-operative business and trade opportunities. 

Africa
The Regional Office for East, Central and Southern Africa has
formulated a new strategy paper, the first draft of which will be
presented to the region's Regional Council at its next meeting in
Swaziland. It is currently also busy making preparations for a
Forum for the South African co-operatives to be held later this
year. The meeting will be the first of its kind to bring together
co-operatives that previously were separated by the Apartheid
divide.

Our West African office in Abidjan recently organised a national
workshop on co-operative legislation in Cote d'Ivoire, and is
currently planning a regional seminar on the same theme. Last
October's regional gender consultation is being followed up in
terms of national studies and meetings.

The Development Programme continues to enjoy constructive
collaboration with a number of organisations.