The Collaborative Group seeks to develop a board capacity building initiative
Designed to meet the unique governance challenges faced by individual cooperatives. To achieve this a three-stage model was developed to identify specific board development needs at various stages of growth: Creation/Startup; Direction/ Establishment; and Delegation/Institution.
The main objectives include:
- Developing and testing a questionnaire to categorize cooperatives in the three development stages: Creation/Startup; Direction/ Establishment; and Delegation/Institution
- Developing and testing a questionnaire to survey member impressions of their cooperative board’s performance
- Developing and testing a governance training assessment to determine cooperatives’ needs at each of the three development stages
Approach and methodology
The primary goal of the Governance project is to understand the unique governance challenges faced by individual cooperatives. These findings will then be used to create a board training that will be tailored to the needs of cooperatives at various development levels. The governance needs will be assessed in four steps.
Step 1: Governance Development Stages for Cooperatives: A framework was developed for classifying cooperatives along a governance development continuum including three stages: Creation/Startup; Direction/ Establishment; and Delegation/Institution. The framework includes 13 characteristics of cooperative boards at each stage.
Step 2: Selecting Cooperatives for Participation: Members of the OCDC Collaborative Group currently underway with program implementation awards from the USAID funded Cooperative Development Program confirmed interest from partner cooperatives to participate in the governance assessment work.
Step 3: Governance Classification: This tool is used to identify a cooperative’s development stage and the development stage of its board or directors.
Step 4: Development Stage-specific Assessment Tools: A survey questionnaire was developed for each of the three development stages. This assessment is used with board members to assess the governance needs. An additional member questionnaire was developed to understand member’s impressions of their board’s performance.
Major outcomes and recommendations
The classification tool and development stage-specific assessments were tested in 13 cooperatives in 5 countries. Some modifications were made to improve the questionnaires and implementation tools. Despite these changes the response from pilot participants was positive. Participants felt that the classification tool and a tailored governance training program would benefit the cooperatives.