Written by: Kristin Wilcox, Program Manager for Cooperative Development, Global Communities
Co-operatives. What does the word bring to mind? For millions of people around the world the word co-operatives translates into the opportunity to participate in the economy beyond the subsistence level. For many people, a co-operative represents a first experience with democracy. For women, a co-operative may be the only place that she can participate in a leadership position within her community. For consumers, co-operatives represent a place to make purchases where they know their dollars stay inside their community. For members, a co-operative meeting may be the only opportunity they have to learn about modern farming methods that can dramatically increase their production. The Field Notes blog and the Global Cooperative Learning Platform is meant to be a space for co-operative professionals, members, development practitioners and other stakeholders to participate in active dialogue and knowledge-sharing to capture current issues.
This blog will capture the experiences, lessons, reflections and challenges of co-operative development practitioners in Uganda, Mongolia, Rwanda, Kenya and in North America. Over time, we hope it will have no geographical boundaries. The objective is to not only highlight co-operative experiences worldwide but to engage you, the reader, in advancing the excellence and potential of these co-operatives through participation. Maybe you will read a post about a board who struggles with their finances, or a co-operative’s inability to reach their members after harvest, so patronage levels sink. Your ideas and your experiences can influence these co-operatives through the development organizations working alongside them, just by typing in a response or highlighting an innovation or connection that wasn’t there before.
We invite you to come back and get to know our teams around the world who are helping co-operatives along their path of growth. Come back and share your own experiences, your stories of growth, outreach, overcoming hurdles, and pitfalls that you feel could have been avoided (if you had only known!). It could end up making all the difference to a growing co-operative – and we’ll be sure to let you know!
This website is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Global Communities and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.