My.Financial.Coop: Training programme for apex organizations of financial cooperatives

Article | 03 June 2016
My.Financial.COOP workshop participants.
Financial cooperatives have become one of the most utilized cooperative models by member-customers. Although it is estimated that financial cooperatives represent less than 10 per cent of all cooperatives in the world, they account for approximately 27 per cent of all cooperatives’ employees and over 65 per cent of all cooperatives member-customers. Financial cooperatives are advancing financial inclusion especially through the offer of savings deposits, credits and loans, and insurance products to socially and/or economically disadvantaged people.

To support financial cooperatives in this quest, a group of organizations from around the world has joined forces to develop a My.Financial.Coop Training Programme, to especially target cooperative apex organizations and provide them with a set of tools to better serve their member cooperatives. Apex organizations are second- and third-tier organizations of financial cooperatives, and they are well-positioned to help financial cooperatives to respond to challenges they face through both direct provision of technical assistance and training and through promotion of financial cooperatives and government policies – including financial and cooperative legislation – in providing infrastructure for financial cooperatives.

After the initial design phase, the organizations involved in this initiative came together for a workshop in Turin, Italy, on 12-13 April 2016 with an objective to validate the draft of curriculum design of My.Financial.Coop, and to provide further inputs on the way forward for the development the training programme. The workshop brought together a total of 18 participants from 12 organizations involved in the development process.

During the workshop, the participants reviewed the curriculum design outline, which was presented by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), who had been contracted for the curriculum design. The proposed curriculum was composed of three modules: Cooperative Apex Organizations; Apex Support for Sustainability and Development of Personnel of Financial Cooperatives; and Policy Processes, with each of the modules consisting of two components, which again consist of three sessions each.

As the next steps in the development of My.Financial.Coop, the participants agreed to modify the curriculum design based on the discussions at the workshop; and to set up a core team to continue leading the work around the development of the programme, consisting of ILO, FAO and ITC-ILO, who will come up with a proposal on the next steps in the development of the package and the roles and responsibilities of each organization in the partnership.

Should your organization be interested in participating in and supporting the design of the My.Financial.Coop training programme, please contact for further details.