ICA and OCDC launch international co-op development portal

‘This platform is the first of its kind that will bring recognition to the work of all co-operative development organisations’

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) have launched a joint online data platform displaying projects run by co-op development organisations (CDOs) around the world.

Conceived as a user-friendly interactive tool for stakeholders working in international development, the Mapping International Cooperative Development Programs (MICDP) portal aims to demonstrate the impact of CDOs at local and global scale. CDOs are defined as co-operatives and co-operative support organisations that provide funds and/or implement development projects outside their home countries.

It brings together data on 440 international co-operative development projects from 28 CDOs operating in 70 countries. An interactive map and search engine will enable users to explore the different projects, highlighting key information such as the objectives of the project, the partners involved, the types of activities and their connection to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This platform is the first of its kind that will bring recognition to the work of all co-operative development organisations and provide a place for anyone to see the impact of co-operatives in sustainable development,” said Paul Hazen, OCDC executive director. “We encourage interaction and networking within the CDOs on this site and with those key stakeholders as they leverage the expertise of our members. This is a wonderful partnership between OCDC and ICA which benefits the larger co-operative community.”

The OCDC brings together US organisations committed to building a more prosperous world through co-operatives with the mission to champion, advocate and promote effective international co-operative development. Together, the OCDC and ICA hope that international collaboration and networking among CDOs will be fostered through data and knowledge sharing. This collected data will support strategic decisions to enhance the leadership of co-operatives in sustainable development and raise the profile of CDOs with donors, international institutions, decision-makers, partners, civil society and other development stakeholders.

They also hope the MICDP portal will also be a valuable tool to increase the visibility of active CDOs’ programmes on the field – and showcase how they are transforming the fabric of local communities towards increased economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Bruno Roelants, ICA director general, highlighted the importance of the portal “to assess the impact of co-operative development organisations’ programs at country and global levels,” adding that the compilation of critical information and knowledge will “support data-driven strategies focused on co-operative development”. 

“This platform is the result of a fruitful partnership between our longstanding member OCDC and ICA, which we hope will be the seed of increased collaboration among our members and key partners active in sustainable development to keep enhancing the role of co-operatives in coping with current global and local challenges,” he said.