From the Ground Up: Partnering with Cooperatives on Locally Led Development

May 25, 2023
By Dr. Judith A. Hermanson, Director, ICRG/OCDC and Dr. Susan Schram, Consultant, OCDC

Cooperatives: the best development partner when localization is the goal!

Cooperatives empower local people and institutions to own the planning, implementation, and evaluation of their own sustainable development. When localization is the goal, cooperatives should be a top choice as a development partner.

The virtues of cooperatives as drivers of locally led development are well demonstrated. This paper shows that cooperatives are a successful private sector business model, with a proven track record, that can bring localization goals into clear focus. It is a resource for policy makers, government officials, private sector donors, and U.S.-based cooperatives.

From the international principles of cooperative development, to the long-established reputation of cooperatives as values-based businesses
serving local people, to the documented grass roots success of cooperatives in developing and transitional economies, cooperatives are inherently and unequivocally local.

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