Synthesis documents

Cape Town Conference: Cooperatives as a Practical Option for Formalisation, 2010 (S. Mshiu, Day 2, Afternoon Session)

    This paper starts by giving an overview of the different types of cooperative enterprise. It then describes how several core characteristics of a cooperative are of particular relevance to workers in the informal economy. These characteristics are:
    • Strength through unity; economies of scale
    • Legal recognition
    • Voluntary and open membership
    • Democratic member control
    • Autonomy and independence
    • Education and training
    • Self-help and control over members' affairs
    • Ethical values
    • Elimination or minimisation of exploitation
    • Employment creation.
    In the third section of this paper, the author outlines the types of cooperative best suited to informal economy workers, namely shared services cooperatives, savings and credit cooperative societies, workers' cooperatives and labour contracting cooperatives. The fourth section provides an overview of ILO's policy towards cooperatives and its work to promote them in several developing countries. This is followed by a conclusion.

    A summary of the article in French, translated by le Gret, is also available on the right hand side.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis documents
    »Donor Committee Conference: Business Environment Reform and the Informal Economy, Cape Town, South Africa, 12-15 April 2010