The global advisory committee of the ILO initiative on cooperative statistics holds its 3rd meeting

National researchers from Italy, Türkiye, Korea, Costa Rica and Tanzania have presented an analysis of the statistics in their countries on cooperatives. They also provided comparisons to the international guidelines concerning statistics of cooperatives.

Actualité | 21 février 2023
The initiative on cooperative statistics is a component of the Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy Knowledge Base project, funded by the government of Republic of Korea. It aims to ensure the statistics on cooperatives are reliable, coherent, and internationally comparable, in order to quantify economic and social impact of cooperatives. It is envisioned as a step in implementing the international Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives that were adopted during the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 2018. It includes country case studies on Costa Rica, Italy, Republic of Korea, Türkiye, and Tanzania.

At its third meeting, members of the global advisory committee (GAC) including Marie Bouchard (CIRIEC), Hyungsik Eum (ICA), Yonca Gurbuzer (FAO), Sylvain Schtagne (Workers’ group representative) and David Hunter (Consultant and former statistician at the ILO), and national researchers from the five countries were present. For the first time, the GAC extended an invitation to members of the five national advisory committees (NACs), with partners joining from national statistical offices (NSOs), relevant public ministries, cooperative confederations and research institutions.

Ms. Simel Esim, Head of the Cooperatives, Social and Solidarity Economy Unit, welcomed the participants and expressed her deepest condolences for the devastation and loss caused to the people of Türkiye and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquake. She then highlighted the importance of the current initiative on cooperative statistics, is a building block for the work on wider Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) statistics. Statistics on the SSE, an area that requires further research, is highlighted in the ILC Resolution on decent work and the SSE, and the seven-year office-wide strategy and action plan developed by the Office on the portfolio. In addition, statistics are highlighted in the draft UN General Assembly Resolution on SSE that is being developed by a core group of Member States.

Mr. Dong Il Choi, Technical Specialist in the Cooperatives Unit, briefed the 3rd GAC participants on the timeline of the project. He shared the details of the upcoming International Conference of the Cooperative Statistics that will take place in Busan, Korea on 30 June 2023. The national consultants from Italy, Türkiye, Costa Rica and Tanzania presented findings from their country specific analysis. They shared highlights from the discussions they held in the meeting of each of the NACs and the good practices from each of their countries related to statistics on cooperative. These include the Cooperative Census conducted by National Institute for Cooperative Development (INFOCOOP) in Costa Rica (once every four year), and an integrated data system for registries of cooperatives (KOOP-BIS) developed and managed by the Turkish Ministry of Trade (MoT).

They made comparisons between the statistics available and used in each country with the ILO’s Guidelines concerning statistics of cooperatives. They concluded what can be done to improve the national statistics to be better aligned with the guidelines. Some of the points they brought up regarding the Guidelines could be further elaborated upon in the Information guide on the ILO Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives. Other insights can inform the drafting of the manual on statistics of cooperatives which is scheduled for 21st International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The GAC members congratulated the national researchers and the ILO team on the progress made so far. Ms. Lara Badre (Senior Statistician at the ILO) mentioned the importance of testing and implementing the Guidelines, as it is the first of a kind that aims at setting an international standard on cooperative statistics. She noted that country cases will serve as useful references for implementation of the Guidelines concerning statistics of cooperative. She also underlined that the insights emerging from these country experiences will be included in the manual concerning statistics of cooperatives to be presented at the 22nd International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in 2028. Mr. Hyungsik Eum (ICA) pointed out that national and global reports are important outputs of this initiative. A critical achievement of this initiative is the process where different stakeholders, including NSOs, public agencies, federations of cooperatives and research institutes, gather under a common goal to improve statistics on cooperatives.

The 4th meeting of the GAC is scheduled to take place on May 2nd, 2023.