ILO launches new tools in Bolivia to promote cooperativism

Local authorities and specialists from social organizations in La Paz were trained on Think.Coop and Start.Coop training methodologies with a view to providing better job opportunities for rural and informal economy workers.

News | 29 November 2018
Participants of the training
La Paz – On October 29, 2018, the ILO launched its most recent tools, Think.Coop and Start.Coop in La Paz, Bolivia to promote cooperativism as a means of generating employment and decent livelihoods. "At the ILO, we are committed to strengthening national capacities to help cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises become more competitive and sustainable in the market," noted John Bliek, Enterprises, Cooperatives and Rural Development Specialist of the ILO Office for the Andean Countries. "Fostering cooperativism is a fundamental strategy to promote decent work in Bolivia," he said.

Think.Coop and Start.Coop are guidance tools that help participants understand how the cooperative model can improve employment opportunities and contribute to the generation of better livelihoods. They provide basic concepts about this business model and help participants analyse the feasibility of forming a cooperative and take the necessary steps to launch a cooperative business in a participatory manner.

For three days, various local authorities and technical specialists from social organizations were trained as trainers on these two new tools, validated by the ILO in Myanmar and Cambodia with rural and informal economy workers.

The participants to this initial training, were directly or indirectly linked to cooperative work in Bolivia, including representatives of the Municipal Government of La Paz, the Governorate of La Paz, the Municipal Government of Palos Blancos, the Autonomous Municipal Government of El Alto, the Ministry of Mining and Metallurgy, SWISSCONTACT, AOPEB and other NGOs and institutions that work with small-scale producers.

Think.Coop and Start.Coop are part of the ILO's Go.Coop package and are based on a peer-to-peer learning methodology. The participants work together as a team, following the guidance provided in the manual.

Participants of the training
The ILO considers that cooperatives are not only a means to improve the living and working conditions of women and men throughout the world, but also provide essential infrastructure and services to users, including in areas where states and investment companies are not present. Cooperatives have a proven track record in job creation and preservation, and are currently employing more than 252 million people.