Strengthening Cooperatives

USAID Cooperative Development Program: Cooperative Ecosystem and Social Inclusion (CESI)

Project Profile

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Awarded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP), NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Ecosystem and Social Inclusion (CESI) project works in Kenya, Guatemala and Peru (through 2028); and Madagascar (through 2025) to further strengthen:

at a glance:

October 2023 - September 2028

funded by:
USAID Cooperative Development Program

CESI will strengthen 49 co-ops, including 14 secondary co-ops, with 174,000 members

Increase participation of women, youth and indigenous people in cooperative leadership by 43%, 23% and 66%, respectively

Strengthen 39 local organizations supporting co-ops

Facilitate proposal or passage of 13 pieces of co-op legislation

Mobilize non-donor resources for co-op and local development at $3.8 million

Promote uptake of CDP-developed tools by 334 local organizations

Project Profile

Download the project profile

Awarded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP), NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Ecosystem and Social Inclusion (CESI) project works in Kenya, Guatemala and Peru (through 2028); and Madagascar (through 2025) to further strengthen:

  1. co-op capacity;
  2. cooperative enabling environments; and
  3. project learnings applied in the development community

CDP/CESI is informed by the success of NCBA CLUSA’s CDP-funded Creating an Environment for Cooperative Expansion (CECE) project (2018-2023). This profile outlines CESI’s global activities. For country-specific activities, partners and expected results, please refer to the corresponding country-level profiles.

Kenya    Guatemala (coming soon!)    Peru (coming soon!)    Madagascar

Key Global Partners

Local Subawardees

  • National Confederation of Cooperatives
  • ONI Worker Cooperative

Project Objectives

Strengthening Co-op Capacity

Our approach strengthens the local co-op ecosystem, targeting 39 co-op support organizations, higher-tier co-ops and networks to expand and diversify co-op membership by including women, youth and indigenous people. By coaching 49 cooperatives‚ÄĒincluding 14 secondary co-ops, mostly via local organizations‚ÄĒCESI ensures co-ops diversify their products and member services, and grow their businesses sustainably. To advance social inclusion goals, CESI uses NCBA CLUSA‚Äôs Women‚Äôs Inclusion, Empowerment and Leadership in Cooperatives (WIELCOOP) TOT Guide developed under CECE, along with a forthcoming guide for youth in co-ops.

CESI leverages NCBA CLUSA’s Coop-2-Coop Volunteer Council to support peer learning via TA and peer mentorship. This unique platform enabling exchange between U.S. and international co-op networks recruits volunteers with co-op expertise from NCBA CLUSA’s 180 co-op members, including National Farmers Union, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and La Liga.

CESI scales up CECE‚Äôs success by consolidating the Co-op Business School (CBS) in Peru and Guatemala, and expanding it to Kenya. A leading school that helps co-ops leverage digital technologies and social media for online learning, CBS was recognized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture as a promising AgTech in May 2023. CBS contributes to CESI‚Äôs social inclusion and ecosystem strengthening goals by including courses based on WIELCOOP and similar guides and targeting key ecosystem actors. Under CESI, CBS focuses on improving the user experience, course standardization, self-guided learning paths and content adaptability‚ÄĒespecially for indigenous groups. CBS will continue to leverage public and private sector partnerships to expand outreach, ensure financial sustainability and bridge the digital gap in co-ops.

Improving the Co-op Enabling Environment

CESI will improve enabling environments for co-ops like this one in Peru.

CESI supports the passage of legislation proposed under CECE, and‚ÄĒonce passed‚ÄĒfacilitates the drafting of accompanying regulations and their adoption by co-ops. CESI aims to support the passage or proposal of 13 pieces of legislation across four countries. In addition, CESI backstops local advocacy strategies to reduce barriers to women and youth inclusion; streamline the co-op registration process; and improve and expand vital support services to co-ops.

CESI will expand the CDP/CECE-developed Cooperative Law and Regulation Initiative (CLARITY) 2.0 to identify legal barriers to social inclusion. Meanwhile, the CBS will target higher-tier co-ops, co-op apex and support organizations with courses that promote best practices for co-op ecosystem actors and events that advance enabling environments and improve support services. With finance among these crucial services, CESI will mobilize $3.8 million in non-donor resources for development.

Enhancing Knowledge and Learning in the Development Community

Aligned with USAID’s CLA model, CESI will implement innovative activities with NCBA CLUSA members and strategic partners to enhance robust, sustainable learning networks both globally and in the four implementation countries. In collaboration with OCDC, ICA and AMEA, CESI will ensure that knowledge, data, research and CDP-developed tools are shared among targeted local and international co-op audiences to maximize uptake, especially in contexts where these tools have not previously been implemented. CBS webinars and curricula will disseminate knowledge, data and co-op research.

CESI will promote the uptake of CDP-developed tools by 334 local partners and ecosystem actors, including two CDP/CECE-developed tools: the Diagnostic and Monitoring of Organizational Capacity (DMOC) toolkit and WIELCOOP TOT Guide. Available in English, Spanish and French, the DMOC allows organizations to tailor capacity assessments to specific needs, co-create and monitor work plans, and expand co-ops’ capacity.

Contact our Team

Camila Pi√Īeiro, Chief of Party/Global Director,
Jasmine Mesidor, Program Manager,

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