Improved statistics will strengthen global cooperative movement

An international conference has explored ways that more robust and consistent statistical measures can shape better policies and interventions for cooperatives and help their contribution to sustainable development be properly recognized.

News | 30 June 2023
Director of the Enterprise Dpt at the ILO, Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard addresses the conference - © ILO

BUSAN (ILO News) – Improved statistical guidelines that could re-shape the future of cooperative development and lead to more inclusive and resilient economies worldwide have been discussed at an international conference. Delegates at the Conference emphasized the importance of internationally consistent and reliable standards for statistics of cooperatives that would allow their socio-economic impact and contribution to sustainable development to be properly recognized.

The International Conference on Statistics of Cooperatives: Measuring Cooperatives and Beyond, looked at ways to improve and harmonize statistical methods so that they can support better policies and decision-making related to cooperatives, while taking account of diversity in national practices and circumstances.

It’s expected that the Conference outputs will feed into customized national action plans. These will include specific steps, methodologies, and capacity-building measures related to the collection, analysis, and dissemination of statistics on cooperatives. The number and types of cooperatives, members, employees, and the overall economic contribution of cooperatives are among the data priorities.

The conference showcased the findings of the ILO’s Iinitiative on advancing the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives, funded by the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labour. National researchers from Costa Rica, Italy, Korea, Tanzania, and Türkiye, presented analysis of the use and availability of statistics in each country, compared to the ILO’s Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives.

Recommendations made through the Initiative will feed into a Manual concerning Statistics of Cooperatives, that will cover practices for collecting, analyzing and disseminating statistics. By establishing a robust framework and standardized approach, the Manual will facilitate improved data collection, comparability, and understanding of cooperatives’ socio-economic impact at international level. The finalized manual is expected to be presented at the 2028 International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

In opening remarks to the Conference, Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of the ILO’s Sustainable Enterprises Department, emphasized the important role of comprehensive statistics in shaping policies that would create a more conducive environment for cooperatives.

Delegates were also addressed by Seongkweun Lee, Vice Mayor for Economic Affairs of Busan City; Youngkwi Yun, Director of the Sustainable Economy Division at the Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance; Hyungon Jung, President of the Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency; and Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance.

The Conference, hosted by the International Labour Organization, was held at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center in Korea on June 30, 2023. The hybrid event was organized in coordination with the Korea’s 5th Social Economy Fair, being held from June 30 to July 2 in Busan, Korea.

Th conference received coverage from major Korean media outlets.  See here.