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  1. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR ASIAN CO-OPERATIVES

  2. OVERALL GOAL • Provided BASIC AND ADVANCED INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY TRAINING FOR POVERTY ORIENTED CO-OPERATIVES AND STIMULATING VIRTUAL COOPERATION benefiting members of co-operatives with focus on women entrepreneurs from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand

  3. STRATEGIC PARTNERS The regional umbrella organization ASIAN WOMEN IN CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT FORUM (AWCF) a resource center and advocacy body on gender and co-operatives in Asia • With members that are national co-operative organizations and NGOs supporting co-operatives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam • With partners in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao P.D.R, Myanmar, and Singapore.

  4. STRATEGIC PARTNERS The National umbrella organizations: Credit Union League of Thailand ( CULT) Thailand Forum for Indonesian Co-operatives Movement (FORMASI) Indonesia National Confederation of Co-operatives (NATCCO) Philippines

  5. STRATEGIC PARTNERS Office: Bonn, Germany www.inwent.org and www.it-inwent.org

  6. With fund support from: German FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (BMZ)

  7. Project Components / Objectives 1.Training of IT Trainers Provided IT knowledge in order to increase competitiveness of self-helping approaches; 2. ICT-Supported Business Development Centre Established ICT-Supported Business Development Centres; 3. Virtual Networks Established virtual networks of the cooperatives and their umbrella organization both on national and on transnational levels will be supported and promoted

  8. Description of Components 1. Train the Trainer Program Qualified members of co-operatives in the field of ICT through extensive train-the trainer programme in the respective local language and tailored towards the needs of co-ops 2. ICT Business Development Centers Promoted the set-up of ICT BDC. Such centers enable co-operative members and various micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to gain access to ICT-related services 3. Virtual Networks Created virtual networks to systematize operational procedures, facilitate the exchange of information and act together on the market to improve competitiveness

  9. Results: 1. Train the Trainer Program • Graduated 60 IT SPECIALISTS /TRAINERS (20 in each country, after a 100-day training), provided by reputable training institutes, using local language and tailored to the needs of the co-ops • The IT Specialists advocated it@coops program and they were also promoted in their work in their co-ops according to their expertise • The training materials used to train the IT Specialists in each country were uploaded to the online Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) and in the websites of CULT, FORMASI, and NATCCO. • The IT Specialists enhanced and adapted commonly used training materials to suit the participants in the roll-out training.

  10. Results: 1. Train the Trainer Program • On the roll-out training or transfer of learning done by the IT Specialists in their own co-ops, as of November 2007: • CULT trained 1,241 co-op staff, leaders, and members (64% women) • FORMASI trained 1,991 staff, leaders and members (42% women) • NATCCO trained 1,496 staff , leaders and members (75% women) • The total of 4,728 individuals (staff, leaders and members) (about 60%women were trained and mentored by the IT Specialists/Trainers. • Additionally, CULT conducted an extensive second-wave IT training that produced 14 IT Specialists/Trainers (13 women).

  11. Results: • Train the Trainer Program • Computer laboratories were set up in the three umbrella organizations as well as in six primary co-ops as IT Training Centers. • Training on-site was held using laptops, and using facilities of schools with computers, in some cases. • Advance IT training • Joomla! and Content Management System • Regional exchange program on enterprise development and IT applications in enterprises • Orientation on FOSS

  12. Results: • Train the Trainer Program • Other accomplishments: • Accounting software was installed in some co-ops • FOSS was vigorously advocated and were installed in some co-ops • Co-ops became willing to send participants to the roll-out training events and to pay for the training. In CULT and NATCCO, participants to national and provincial training events have paid the required registration fees. FORMASI Indonesia’s participants have contributed to cover the training cost.

  13. Results: 1. Train the Trainer Program • Other accomplishments: • The tutoring and mentoring given back home by the IT Specialists to most of the co-op staff • enhanced the staff’s skills • lowered the administrative cost for staff capacity building • increased operational efficiency as there was more effective use of software applications • lessened dependency on external technical assistance • allowed co-ops to save for additional dividends and patronage refund for members

  14. Results: 1. Train the Trainer Program Other accomplishments: • IT in co-ops made computerization possible-e.g. digital membership data available unlike before where some co-ops were archiving their records on paper. • IT is maximized by the co-ops in promoting their programs and services • The IT Specialists are now being tapped both at the national and provincial levels according to his/her specialization.

  15. Results: • Train the Trainer Program Other accomplishments: • Some co-ops in the Project are already gaining profit from giving IT training, as many training requests are coming from other co-ops and non-government organizations not originally involved in the Project • IT training centers in the umbrella organizations and co-ops also benefit the youth and children • With training, exposure, and access to IT, co-op members are slowly able to relate IT’s significance to their everyday life. Almost all members consider the IT training to be as relevant, or even more relevant, to their work as other co-op training.

  16. Results: 1. Train the Trainer Program Other accomplishments: Topics taught based on demand of members are: • basic personal computer operations and introduction • Internet • basic Office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations) • Photoshop • website design (for some member-entrepreneurs)

  17. Results: 2. ICT Business Development Centers • 17 BDCs in the co-op level are now starting to operate • Initial services of 6 of the 17 BDCs are • Internet and on-line communications. • More business development and management-related services are being expanded on so as to support the members, including women entrepreneurs, in their enterprises. • These services include business counseling, establishing a database and member • E-commerce is being started as some co-ops already are able to communicate with their customers/buyers via the Internet.

  18. Results: 2. ICT Business Development Centers • Training events were held for the promotion and social marketing of BDCs in CULT, FORMASI Indonesia, and NATCCO • Exposure on enterprise development and BDCs was given to some leaders of the three umbrella organizations. In attendance were 11 women managers and staff of the participating co-ops, an IT Specialist and an IT Coordinator • The umbrella organizations have availed of the services of BDC experts to assist them in further developing their BDCs • Business plans for the BDCs were prepared and approved by the management of the participating co-ops, and some even by the co-ops’ General Assembly

  19. Results: 2. ICT Business Development Centers • Members are using the Internet • to get information on their markets or to get inspiration for developing new products; • to communicate with one another; and • to get updated on co-op news, such as through co-op websites at the national and regional levels • Some co-op leaders who have understood the advantages of BDCs are now able to appropriate resources for this cause. They have also learned to use the technologies offered in a BDC to get information needed for faster and more accurate decision-making in co-ops and in enterprises.

  20. Results: 3. Virtual Networks • Social marketing workshops were conducted in CULT, FORMASI, and NATCCO for the establishment of a virtual network among the three countries • The three umbrella organizations and AWCF engaged the assistance of experts in setting up a virtual network. The former also redesigned, created, and enhanced their websites: • CULT redesigned www.it-coops.cultthai.coop/ • FORMASI created www.it-coopsindonesia.com • NATCCO enhanced www.it-coops.natcco.coop

  21. Results: 3. Virtual Networks • The IT Specialists in each umbrella organization are able to continuously communicate with one another through a virtual network. • Monitoring of activities is also done virtually. • Uploading of materials about the it@coops Project, such as training materials and project documentation, is enabled in the Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) and in the websites of each umbrella organization

  22. Results: 3. Virtual Networks • Product portals of some co-ops are now available in the virtual network • Through e-mails and newsletters, the IT Specialists are able to have continuous learning

  23. Sustainability • The understanding and commitment of the co-ops to IT are manifested by their policies, resolutions, and actual investment on the different activities conducted as well as the physical outlay of infrastructure. • Thus the co-ops are expected to continue to sustain the Project that has now become a Program of the different co-ops. • The sense of ownership of IT in co-ops has been developed among the participating co-ops.

  24. Sustainability • Through the IT training centers in the umbrella organizations and the co-ops, continuous IT-related training will be scheduled. The capability-building aspect of the Program will thus be propagated. • The training of the second batch of IT Specialists is being planned. Resources are being mobilized for this objective.

  25. Sustainability • IT in co-ops will be continuously promoted, particularly by using mass media (Social Marketing) • There will be maximized use of websites and other means of virtual networking to enhance exchange of information, knowledge, business opportunities, and other development uses • The widespread development, reproduction, and distribution of IT materials within and outside the co-ops should be encouraged

  26. Sustainability • The AWCF and umbrella organizations will follow up IT-related policies at the co-op level • The continuous monitoring of the progress of the IT Program should be done on the national and regional levels • Co-ops should also be encouraged to mobilize the co-op training and education fund to continue activities of the IT Program

  27. Lessons Learned(and our Recommendations) • Processes and methodologies used in the implementation • Needs Assessment in each country • Social Marketing workshops with decision makers • MOU with co-ops/NGOs and Trainers • Monitoring and Evaluation systems were installed • A steering committee was set-up and functional

  28. Lessons Learned 2. Advocacy and promotion of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) 3. IT and BDC are important tools and mechanisms to support micro and small scale member-entrepreneurs . 4. Sustainability plan should be in placed before the project ends

  29. Lessons Learned 5. Commitment of the organizations – human resources (structure) and financial support (budget). At the beginning of the project and even after the project. 6. IT involves some costs. The co-op / organization should have the CAPACITY (people and finances) to use IT and sustain it.

  30. Contact us Asian Women in Co-operative Development Forum (AWCF) 227 JP Rizal St., Project 4, 1109 Quezon City, Philippines Tel Nos. (+632)437-4420 Email: awcf@pacific.net.ph awcf@coopwomen.org Websites: www.coopwomen.org www.it-coops.org