Jordan plans to use co-operatives as a tool to drive decent work and productivity in different economic sectors in the country.
The plans are laid out in the new national strategy for co-operatives, developed by Jordan Cooperative Corporation (JCC), with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The strategy was launched during an event featuring prime minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh on 3 July, the International Day of Co-operatives.
The event was attended by other high-level government officials, including the minister of agriculture Khaled Hneifat; the director general of the Jordan Cooperative Corporation, Abdel Fattah Al Shalabi; and the ILO deputy regional director for Arab states, Frank Hagemann.
“There is a need to develop the Jordanian co-operative movement, due to its importance in contributing to the development of local communities, and to develop the tools and means to bring about change towards a co-operative movement that is more widespread and more influential in Jordan’s society,” said Mr Hneifat at the launch.
“The ILO considers co-operatives as critical in advancing its mandate for social justice, and the ILO has supported co-operative development for 100 years now,” added Mr Hagemann. “We have been working closely with the cooperative movement in Jordan to strengthen its capacity to advance livelihoods opportunities for Jordanian, refugee, and migrant women and men, particularly those employed in the agricultural sector. We shall continue to assist the Jordan Cooperative Corporation and our constituents in the framework of the national strategy in order to enhance the role of co-operatives in promoting decent work and productivity not just in agriculture, but in different economic sectors in the country.”
While developing the strategy, JCC engaged with a national steering committee, which included representatives of key ministries and co-operative experts.
The five-year strategic document aims to achieve three outcomes: a conducive environment for the Jordanian co-operative movement; an efficient service infrastructure for co-operatives and unions; and autonomous, self-reliant co-operatives providing efficient services to members.
“The strategy represents a new start for co-operative work and the co-operative movement in Jordan. It adopts several outputs, the most important of which is the existence of an enabling environment for cooperatives and which includes revising legislation that govern co-operative work, in addition to establishing autonomous and self-reliant cooperatives based on cooperative principles and values that serve their members,” said JCC director general Abdel Fattah Al Shalabi.
The strategy was developed with the technical and financial support from the ILO in Jordan as part of under PROSPECTS, a four-year programme led by the government of the Netherlands, in close collaboration with the ILO’s Global Co-operative Unit (COOP)
“Advancing decent work opportunities is one of the main aims of Dutch development programming in Jordan. The launch of the national strategy for the cooperative movement signifies a milestone in strengthening cooperatives to ensure decent job creation and work across the agricultural value chain. The Netherlands is proud to support the Government of Jordan in the development and implementation of this work through the Prospects partnership,” said the chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Dolf Hogewoning.