Advancing guidelines for statistics on cooperatives

The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Statistics of Cooperatives held its second meeting on April 4, 2018 at the ILO offices in Geneva. Established in 2016, the TWG brings together representatives of cooperative movement, NSOs, policy makers, and researchers working together toward obtaining more comprehensive and internationally comparable statistics on cooperatives.

News | 16 April 2018
During the first meeting of the TWG in May 2017 a Conceptual Framework on Measurement of Cooperatives and its Operationalization was presented and discussed. At the second meeting of the TWG, headed by Professor Marie Bouchard, a specific set of guidelines on statistics of cooperatives were presented for inputs. Based on the comments received, a revised set of guidelines will be finalized for presentation and discussion at the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in October 2018.

The work of the TWG has been guided by a resolution concerning further work on statistics on cooperatives that was adopted at the 19th ICLS held in October 2013. Since then, the ILO, through its Department of Statistics and the Cooperatives Unit of the Enterprises Department has been working on advancing the understanding of statistics on cooperatives in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including more recently the TWG.

These joint efforts have resulted in numerous outputs including a series of country briefs on statistics of cooperatives. The first report was a global mapping providing an analysis based on a database of how statistics on cooperatives were produced in more than 70 countries around the world. In follow up, 11 countries (Spain, Italy, France, Republic of Korea, Costa Rica, Russian Federation, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, the UK and the Philippines) were selected, where different types of institutional arrangements are used in gathering statistics, for deeper review.

In the last year, a series of reports have been produced including one on use of statistics on cooperatives in national policy making. Three other reports were also written by members of the TWG which formed the background to the work on the guidelines: one on cooperative employment measurement presented a statistical conceptualization of the different employment forms in cooperatives; another one presented a possible classification of cooperatives according to cooperative characteristics; and a third one on economic contributions of cooperatives explored alternative measures of wealth created by cooperatives.

This work is intended to contribute to achieving reliable and comparable statistics to measure the impact of cooperatives on members, workers and the economy. Such statistics are also essential in understanding the contribution of cooperatives to achieving sustainable development goals.