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Sustainable Livelihoods Through Co-operatives


This year marked the completion of CCA's flagship international development program, Sustainable Livelihoods through Co-operatives, a four-year,
$20 million program
funded by the Partnership Branch of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). Through this program, CCA worked with local partners in 12 countries to build and strengthen co-operatives and credit unions, establish networks and influence policy and legislation in support of
co-operative growth and development.

A final evaluation of each of the 18 projects under the program provided a great opportunity for us to take an in-depth look at ourselves and the work we are doing with our overseas partners, and to apply any recommendations and lessons learned to future development practices and programs.

The results were significant and we are pleased to share them publicly.  
Please click the buttons below for more detailed information.

Executive Summary and highlights of Evaluation button Full Evaluation report button
Evaluation Environment button Gender evaluation

In the Program, CCA offered technical inputs in support of sustainable credit unions, as well as focused efforts on microfinance and microinsurance. For agriculture co-operatives and micro, small and medium enterprises, the focus was to maximise both long-term and short-term production capacity by increasing quality and quantity, to improve co-op functioning market access. By harnessing Canadian-grown knowledge of democratic economic processes and co-operative development, the Program enabled 4.2 million co-op members in over 700 communities to improve their lives.

CCA's theory of change supports the work of co-operative development at three levels: the individual co-operative member, the co-operative enterprise and the co-operative network. Co-operatives are a private-sector approach to poverty alleviation, acting as both a stimulus and maintainer of sustainable economic growth.

Partenrship Program infographic

CCA's theory of change relies on two pillars: the strength of the Canadian
co-operative movement, and the power of partnership.  The sustainability of the Program is evident through the strengthening of local co-ops, as well as the social and economic development that partners have identified within their organizations and communities. Through the Program, partners and
co-operatives have realized the importance of good operational practices, strong financial management systems and beneficial linkages with relevant organizations. Training on agriculture, good governance, gender, and finance have provided co-operative members with a strong foundation to continue growing their co-operatives and communities.

The CCA Program was built on a foundation of learning, innovation and replicating high quality practices from our programming. Best practices and lessons learned have been disseminated back to our partners to ensure that successful interventions have a multiplier effect in other regions. The valuable lessons learned through this program have already been used to design new projects and expand our programming.

CCA would like to thank everyone who participated in this Program, notably the staff, partners, Canadian volunteers, local consultants and of course the
co-operative members who contributed to its great impact.