Recent ILO publications highlighting cooperatives

Article | 10 June 2016

World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Transforming jobs to end poverty


This report demonstrates how decent work is paramount in the fight to reduce poverty. It examines the role that policy can play, documenting country initiatives focused on job-centred economic policies, employment programmes, enterprise development, social protection and social dialogue.

The report includes a section concentrating on cooperatives, particularly as a tool to empower smallholder farmers through organizing into cooperatives. It concludes that when operating in a supportive enabling environment, cooperatives have the potential to play vital roles in raising agricultural productivity, supplying agricultural inputs, providing credit, improving market access and increasing the bargaining power of smallholders in supply chains.


Sectoral Studies on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains: Comparative Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges for Social and Economic Upgrading


This report by the ILO’s Sectoral Policies Department is an input to the 2016 International Labour Conference discussion on decent work in the global supply chains, and it compiles studies of economic and social upgrading in global supply chains in four different sectors: animation/visual effects (VFX), electronics, gold and retail.

Particularly the study on gold industry is interesting from the cooperative perspective, as it highlights the role cooperatives play in this sector. It demonstrates how artisanal mining cooperatives have been able to achieve product upgrading through certification, for instance, and how they play a key role in the mining sector in Bolivia.

Building Local Development in Rural Areas through Cooperatives and other Social and Solidarity Economy Enterprises and Organizations
This brief is part of a portfolio of 17 policy guidance notes on the promotion of decent work in the rural economy, highlighting the ILO’s holistic approach to the issue with a view to provide guidance to policymakers, social partners and development practitioners on ways to effectively address employment- and labour-related issues in the rural contexts.

This note outlines ILO’s approach to cooperatives and social and solidarity economy in rural areas, highlighting the relevance, experience and available tools in this context.