The global advisory committee of the ILO initiative on cooperative statistics holds its 5th meeting

Findings from case studies of Italy, Türkiye, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Korea on statistics concerning cooperatives were presented. This led to discussions around recommendations to the ILO guidelines concerning statistics of cooperatives and the need for development of a manual on statistics of cooperatives.

Actualité | 2 juin 2023
The initiative on advancing the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives 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. It also aims 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.

On May 30, 2023, members of the Global Advisory Committee (GAC), including Marie Bouchard (CIRIEC), Hyungsik Eum (ICA), Yonca Gurbuzer (FAO), Sylvain Schtagne (Workers’ group representative) and national researchers from four countries were present. Several members from the national advisory committees (NACs) also joined the meeting.

Mr. David Hunter (ex-ILO official), the lead consultant for this initiative, briefly synthesized the findings from the national cases. He pointed out that there are wide variations in national circumstances with respect to institutional arrangements for cooperatives, available statistics and sources, as well as in the capacity of national agencies to collect and disseminate statistics on cooperatives. He emphasized that there is no single one-size-fits all template for a national action plan to improve national statistics on cooperatives in harmony with the Guidelines, as each country will be starting from a different base.

Further discussions were around advancing the work on measuring the cooperative’s economic, social and environmental impact, measuring informal or unregistered cooperatives, and the data collection methodologies. The findings and insights gained through this initiative will also be presented at the upcoming International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in October 2023.

Ms. Simel Esim, Head of the Cooperatives, Social and Solidarity Economy Unit, expressed her appreciation to all participants, including the consultants and advisory members, for their dedication and hard work. Building upon the progress achieved in the field of cooperative statistics, she mentioned on-going efforts in expanding the statistical framework to encompass the wider SSE. While acknowledging the early stages of this work, the importance of maintaining momentum and fostering continued collaboration was underscored.

The meeting concluded on a positive note with heartfelt gratitude from all participants towards the national consultants, national and global advisory groups. Different stakeholders, including those from national statistical offices, public agencies responsible for cooperatives, cooperative federations, and research institutions, actively participated in the several NAC and GAC meetings. This collaborative effort has allowed for the development of a comprehensive and contextually relevant statistics on cooperatives at the national level. This has also led to a step closer in ensuring consistency and comparability across different national contexts. The participant also looked forward to meeting each other online/in-person at the International Conference on Statistics of Cooperatives on June 30, 2023, in Busan, Korea.