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“Coops for Development” held a meeting in Costa Rica

17 April 2017

Cooperativas de las Américas hosted the evaluation and planning meeting of the global project funded by the European Union.

The first evaluation and planning meeting of the project "Cooperatives for Development - People-Centered Companies", funded by the European Union, was held in Costa Rica with the participation of 20 officials from the International Cooperative Alliance and its regional offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Americas.

The meeting took place between 13 and 16 March and followed a program organized around three themes: the analysis of the main activities carried out, the action plan for the second year (March 2017-February 2018) ; And a training day on research, policy and administration issues.

Analyzing the main activities carried out, Cooperativas de las Américas highlighted the following:

1. The preparation of the Strategic Plan 2017-2020 as part of the institutional development strategy.
2. The workshop "Public policies, advocacy and identity" as part of the development of the capacities for political dialogue
3. The holding of the meetings of Parliamentarians and Cooperative Promotion Institutes, within the framework of the IV Montevideo Summit. The Declarations emanating from these meetings were highlighted as part of the political processes promoted by Coops Americas in the region.
4. The participation of eight delegates of Coops Americas in the Political Forum for Regional Development, held in Antigua, Guatemala.
5. Participation in the Regional Assembly of FAO in Mexico, as well as in the meeting on Food Security and Climate Change convened by CELAC in the Dominican Republic.
6. The publication "Cooperatives: An Example of Commitment to the Goals of Sustainable Development", which presents 15 cooperative experiences related to poverty eradication, access to basic goods and services, environmental protection and the construction of a food system more sustainable.

For Arturo Piedra-Santa, Coordinator of the Development Area of CoopsAmericas, the event allowed for valuable conclusions and lessons learned during this first year.

"It is necessary to improve the decision-making process among the various structures responsible for project execution, as well as to conduct prior consultations to obtain input on the orientation and focus of project activities. It is also necessary to decentralize the communication and contact between the participants of the regional teams, so that the people responsible for research, policies, communication, etc., can coordinate more easily, "he said. Piedra-Santa also noted that the pace of implementation of activities during the first year does not correspond to the planning.

Facing second year

During the activity in Costa Rica was also presented the Action Plan for the second year of the project. The plan highlights the following activities:

• Methodological and thematic training of project staff.
• Conducting research on legal frameworks, youth issues and a mapping process of member organizations.
• Strengthening advocacy capacities on cooperative development issues, ODS and EU cooperation in the region.
• Participation in political processes and bilateral dialogue on the contribution of cooperatives to economic, social and political development at local, national and regional level.

This first meeting of evaluation and planning concluded with three training sessions and thematic update for each of the project teams linked to the tasks of project management, research and policy. The training activities included the collaboration of staff from CoopsAmericas, external consultants and the UNDP country office.

The activity also provided an opportunity to take a look at the development of the cooperative movement in Costa Rica, thanks to an exhibition by Jesús Villalobos, President of CONACOOP, one of the participating organizations of the project. To this presentation was added the field visit made to COOPRONARANJO, a cooperative dedicated to the production, processing and marketing of coffee.

This publication has been prepared with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Cooperativa de las Américas, and in no case should it be considered as reflecting the views of the European Union.