The global advisory committee of the ILO initiative on cooperative statistics holds its 4th meeting

National researchers from Italy, Türkiye, Costa Rica and Tanzania presented their analyses on the available and potential sources of data on cooperatives in their countries. They also provided comparisons and recommendations on the international guidelines concerning statistics of cooperatives. Discussions were held on the follow up steps, including the development of a manual on statistics of cooperatives.

Actualité | 10 mai 2023
The initiative on advancing the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives is a component of the Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy Knowledge Base project, funded by the government of Republic of Korea. It aims to ensure the statistics on cooperatives are reliable, coherent, and internationally comparable. It also aims to quantify economic and social impact of cooperatives. It is envisioned as a step in implementing the international Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives that were adopted during the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 2018. It includes country case studies on Costa Rica, Italy, Republic of Korea, Türkiye, and Tanzania.

On May 3, 2023, members of the Global Advisory Committee (GAC), including Marie Bouchard (CIRIEC), Hyungsik Eum (ICA), Yonca Gurbuzer (FAO), Sylvain Schtagne (Workers’ group representative), Lara Badre (ILO), Vladimir Ganta (ILO) and national researchers from four countries were present. Several members from the national advisory committees (NACs) of the five countries also joined the meeting.

Ms. Simel Esim, Head of the Cooperatives, Social and Solidarity Economy Unit, welcomed the participants and introduced the new UN GA Resolution on promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development, that was adopted on April 18, 2023. Ms Esim noted that the Resolution highlights the need for making visible the contribution of the social and solidarity economy in the compilation of national statistics. She pointed out that the ILC resolution on decent work and the social and solidarity economy that was adopted in June 2022 had also put an emphasis on improving statistics on the SSE, such as through satellite accounts and collaboration between national statistical institutes and SSE institutional representatives, to inform the formulation and implementation of policies. She pointed out the objective of the ILO initiative on advancing the Guidelines concerning Statistics of Cooperatives is well aligned with these two resolutions.

Mr. Dong Il Choi, Senior Technical Specialist in the Cooperatives, Social and Solidarity Unit, briefed the participants on the timeline of the project. He shared the details of the upcoming International Conference on Cooperative Statistics that will take place in Busan, Korea on 30 June 2023.

Following Mr. Choi’s briefing the national consultants from Italy, Türkiye, Costa Rica and Tanzania presented findings from their country specific analyses. They shared currently available and potential sources for data on cooperatives, including number of cooperatives, types of cooperatives, membership and work in cooperatives and the economic contribution of cooperatives.

All the researchers emphasized the importance of coordination among key stakeholders concerning statistics of cooperatives, including national statistical offices (NSOs), relevant public ministries, cooperative federations, and research institutions. Participants also congratulated the recent launch of an integrated data system for registries of cooperatives (KOOP-BIS) developed and managed by the Turkish Ministry of Trade (MoT).

Mr. David Hunter (ex-ILO official), the lead consultant for this initiative, briefly synthesized the findings from the national cases. He pointed out the similarities and differences between the country cases, especially related to their main sources of data for statistics on cooperatives.

While censuses, household surveys, establishment surveys and administrative registries each has its strengths and weaknesses, relying on more than one type of sources can be critical for quality statistics on cooperatives. Mr. Hunter also presented on the future works, including the development of a manual concerning statistics of cooperatives. Further discussions were made around the operational definition of cooperatives and the need for better measures on the contribution of cooperatives to the economy, society, and the environment.

The GAC members congratulated the researchers and the ILO team on the progress made so far. Ms. Lara Badre (Senior Statistician at the ILO) pointed out that collaboration at national level between the users and producers of data on cooperatives is critical. She appreciated that such dialogue took place within the five NACs, led by the national researchers. Mr. Sylvain Schtagne (Worker’s group representatitve) suggested to do further work towards gathering international data on cooperatives, starting with a measure that is most feasible, for instance, the number of cooperatives. Mr. Vladimir Ganta (Senior Statistician at the ILO) reiterated the importance of the guidelines as an international standard on statistics of cooperatives, which should give flexibility for different countries to adapt to their national contexts. The manual concerning statistics of cooperatives should be detailed but strongly practical so that countries could refer to when implementing the guidelines.

The final meeting of the GAC is scheduled to take place on May 30th, 2023.