From food security to financial resilience, IMPACT 2020 international sessions focus on cooperative response to global pandemic


As COVID-19 continues to impact communities worldwide, many countries have closed their borders to trade and shuttered businesses, limiting the free movement of people and spurring economic instability.

The International Track sessions at this year’s Cooperative IMPACT Conference will examine how co-ops are responding to the pandemic in four key areas: serving member needs as early responders; maintaining food systems; contributing to financial resiliency in crisis situations; and using data and technology to respond to the pandemic.

This year’s dedicated international programming, scheduled for October 8 and 9, is once again available for free to development practitioners. The International Track at IMPACT 2020 is made possible by the U.S. Agency for International Development and hosted by NCBA CLUSA and the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council.

During registration, choose “International Sessions Only” on the Registration Type dropdown. Those registering for the entire conference—now available at the exclusive early-bird rate of $25 for NCBA CLUSA members and $35 for non-members—can also select “International Sessions” as a free Additional Item during registration.

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Check out our sessions below, and look for details on additional international programming—including outstanding keynote speakers and dynamic, engaging workshops—in the coming weeks!


From the earliest days of the pandemic, cooperatives around the world have been serving member needs as early responders, not only their needs for PPE and health care, but their financial needs and the need to continue to address ongoing priority issues such as gender violence that continued throughout the crisis. This panel also will include discussion about the role youth have played in both the response and recovery from the pandemic. A panel of practitioners, cooperatives and donors will discuss how co-ops have helped their members and communities weather, adapt and plan for the future through the crisis.

Featuring USAID, Land O’ Lakes Venture 37, NRECA and HealthPartners


As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the question is how to maintain safe food production, processing and distribution and protection of the most vulnerable. Among the questions that will be addressed by a panel of practitioners, cooperatives and donors: Are co-ops resilient to the crisis or just surviving? What strategies and tools can co-ops use to address the impact of COVID-19 on the food supply? What can producer cooperatives do to ensure the safety of the food supply? Are there technologies that could be used by cooperatives to ensure food safety and supply? Also, is there a role for the international community and donors to work with cooperatives to ensure food systems and security are protected?

Featuring World Food Program, National Co+op Grocers, GENEX, Global Communities, USAID and Equal Exchange


A panel of practitioners, cooperatives and experts in the field will examine the financial and business challenges ahead and discuss strategies necessary for cooperatives to have a successful recovery. The panel will both discuss how best to adapt existing strategies and to employ new and innovative business practices that will be required in the new business environment. There also will be discussion of how cooperatives can be included in government-sponsored stimulus and recovery plans in the US and abroad.

Featuring African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Association, World Council of Credit Unions, Mondragon, World Bank, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation and MICOOPE.


Many new lessons will be learned regarding the resiliency of the cooperative model in times of crisis and this panel will discuss the role data collection has already played in the cooperative community’s response. The panel also will examine the roles of training, technology and social media in the cooperative community’s response and the panel will discuss the prospects for a new and expanded role for technology in both traditional and platform cooperatives.

Featuring Association of Co-op Educators, Lega Co-op, U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, Direct Global, International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University, University of Colorado-Boulder and Co-operative University of Kenya.





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