ApexFinCoop - Strengthening the apex organization of financial cooperatives in Nepal

The ILO, the ITC-ILO and the FAO jointly organized a training workshop for the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Unions (NEFSCUN) towards promoting financial inclusion and inclusive economic development.

News | 28 June 2019
Participants of the training
The ApexFinCoop training course was co-organized by the ILO, the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in partnership with the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Union (NEFSCUN) in Nagarkot, outside Kathmandu from 17-21 June 2019. The training workshop brought together 30 participants including board members and managers of NEFSCUN as well as regulators and representatives from the cooperative movement. 

ApexFinCoop training package aims at empowering financial cooperatives’ apex organizations and staff in other support institutions including policy makers to advance the scale and effectiveness of financial cooperatives.

Participants in a group work session
The training was organized within the framework of an ILO project aimed at promoting more and better jobs in Nepal through the development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). According to the Department of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives, and Poverty Reduction, there are over 34,512 primary cooperatives and 69 cooperative networks in Nepal. Of these, some 13,578 are savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) with a capital mobilization of US$ 6 billion. These SACCOs are among the key institutions in promoting financial inclusion, job creation and inclusive economic development of the country.

Participants of the training
The training programme covered: i) Visioning and management; ii) Apex functions and business models; iii) Development and delivery of products and services; iv) Financial sustainability and risk management; and v) Enabling environment and advocacy. The participants welcomed the case studies from other countries and various tools presented in the training. They also appreciated the participatory methodology and the opportunity to exchange among themselves and with the facilitators.

The outcome of the training will serve as input into the strategic planning process of NEFSCUN to be finalized by November 2019. One of the priorities is to improve the conformity with the new Cooperative Act, 2074 (2017).

The workshop was closed by Mr DB Basnet, Chairperson of NEFSCUN; Richard Howard, Director of ILO Country office for Nepal; and Mr Binod Saha, Assistant FAO representative in Nepal. All three speakers reiterated the importance of the cooperative movement in contributing to sustainable development in Nepal. They also agreed that collaboration amongst the three organizations will continue to sustain the impact of the training programme on NEFSCUN and its members.