ICCO Coopération de Vacances Scolaires
Socio de Gente Emprendedora
ICCO Cooperación es una organización no gubernamental holandesa con más de 50 años de experiencia. Trabajamos por un mundo en el que las personas puedan vivir con justicia, dignidad, sin pobreza y con acceso a medios de vida sostenibles.
ICCO es la Organización Intereclesiástica para la Cooperación al Desarrollo. ICCO Cooperación busca contribuir a un mundo donde las personas vivan con dignidad y prosperidad.
Nuestro trabajo en Centro América
En Centro América vemos un gran potencial de desarrollo. Sobre todo entre jóvenes, mujeres y poblaciones indígenas en áreas rurales. Históricamente, estos grupos han sido marginados y excluidos. Por estas razones, en nuestro trabajo priorizamos jóvenes, mujeres y poblaciones indígenas. Los apoyamos en su desarrollo para un futuro mejor.
Creemos que cada ser humano merece oportunidades para desenvolverse de la mejor manera. Para esto se requiere de condiciones económicas, educativas, ambientales y de respeto para los derechos de cada uno.
Para Centro América buscamos contribuir a la creación de sociedades Justas, Sostenibles y Seguras.
Juntos logramos más. Nuestra visión reconoce la importancia de unir fuerzas. Por lo tanto, formamos alianzas y redes, trabajando de cerca con organizaciones sociales, universidades, organismo gubernamentales y sector privado.
Nuestros roles son de enlace, agencia especializada, co-financiador o una combinación de los tres. Contamos con una larga trayectoria de trabajo en Centro América desde los años 80.
- Desarrollo Económico Justo
- Transformación de Conflictos y Democratización
- Clima y Bosques
- Fondo Holandés de Derechos Humanos
- Construyendo Protección a través del Empoderamiento de las Personas (BPEP)
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
ICCO mantiene alianzas con organizaciones locales en El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua. Apoyamos a personas de escasos recursos, marginados y pueblos indígenas para que vivan con dignidad. Creemos que esto es posible gracias a la organización, participación y empoderamiento del pueblo. Trabajamos con ONGs e instituciones que desarrollan iniciativas que respondan a las causas de la exclusión y la injusticia en los países de Centro América.
Entre nuestros socios en Centro América se encuentran:
Asociación para el Estudio y Promoción de la Seguridad en Democracia (SEDEM)
Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral de Programas Socieconómicos (FUNDAP)
Asociación de Comunidades Forestales del Petén (ACOFOP)
Sistema de Asesoría y Capacitación para el Desarrollo Local (SACDEL)
Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD)
Instituto para el Rescate Ancestral Indígena Salvadoreño (RAIS)
Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM)
Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras (OCDIH)
Fundación Dejame Intentarlo (FDI)
Universidad Americana (UAM)
Fundación del Pequeño Trabajador (FPT)
Fundación Menonita Colombiana para el Desarrollo (MENCOLDES)
Project Counselling Service (PCS)
Los donantes institucionales garantizan el financiamiento necesario para la implementación de nuestros programas en América Central y la creación de alianzas con socios locales. Contamos con un excelente historial administrando los fondos de nuestros donantes, entre los que se encuentran:
- Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de los Países Bajos
- Unión Europea
- Embajada de los Países Bajos en Costa Rica
- Fundación ClimateWorks
- Alianza Clima y Uso de la Tierra (CLUA)
- Fundación Ford
- Iglesia Protestante de Holanda
- Canal de Televisión EO
¿Hay demasiadas vacaciones escolares?
Entrevista El gobierno obtuvo recientemente la luz verde del Consejo Constitucional para modificar, si es necesario, la distribución de las vacaciones escolares sin recurrir a la ley. Un tema muy delicado, como se mostró en la era de Holanda, la implementación de la reforma de los ritmos, desenmarañada por la mayoría actual.
El punto de vista de Alain Boissinot, ex director general de educación escolar.
“No tiene mucho sentido preguntarse si tenemos demasiadas vacaciones escolares. Debido a que varios países con resultados tan buenos o mejores que los nuestros ofrecen al menos tanto permiso como nosotros (1). Las preguntas se relacionan en realidad con dos aspectos: por un lado, la distribución de estas vacaciones. Algunas academias sufren, por ejemplo, de un tercer trimestre amputado, debido a la posición tardía de las vacaciones de primavera; por otro lado, y esto es lo esencial, semanas y días que son demasiado pesados, con hasta ocho horas de lecciones por día para algunos estudiantes de secundaria o preparatoria.
Combien de temps pour visiter le louvre ? : il faut environ 96 heures pour visiter le musée du Louvre à Paris.
Los cuadernos de vacaciones siempre son populares entre los franceses
Nos encerramos en una lógica binaria, con períodos demasiado intensos, seguidos de largos períodos de inactividad. Ciertamente, no hay razón para regresar a la alternancia de siete semanas de clases y dos semanas de vacaciones, recomendadas por los cronobiólogos. Pero es importante aligerar los días. En la escuela secundaria, cuatro horas al día serían suficientes. Esto liberaría tiempo para documentación, trabajo en grupo, actividades culturales, etc.
El ministerio solo puede actuar en la distribución de vacaciones.
A cambio, podríamos intentar alargar el año, de 36 a 38 semanas. Este es un camino que ha estado en discusión durante mucho tiempo, pero que no es fácil de seguir. El ministro de Educación al mando de Nicolas Sarkozy, Xavier Darcos, había lanzado, sin mucho éxito, una "reconquista del mes de junio", un mes que aún hoy sigue en gran medida cargado por los exámenes de la patente y el bachillerato.
Al fortalecer la evaluación continua y limitar el número de exámenes finales a cuatro, reformar el CCB, en particular, puede facilitar las cosas. Pero el Consejo Constitucional especifica que todavía es necesaria una ley para modificar el número total de semanas de lecciones. Es solo en la asignación de vacaciones que el ministerio puede actuar a través de regulaciones.
Funcionarios electos asociados
Y los parámetros son muchos y complejos. Para establecer el calendario para los próximos años, el ministerio reúne a representantes de la industria hotelera, la seguridad vial o incluso las comunidades, que afirman sus intereses divergentes, sin tener en cuenta la pedagogía. No hay nada nuevo sobre esta realidad: originalmente, las vacaciones de verano terminaron a mediados de septiembre, para permitir que los niños ayuden a sus padres a cosechar.
Después de la decisión del Consejo Constitucional, el gobierno es libre de asignar las dieciséis semanas de vacaciones de manera diferente. No estoy seguro siempre que después del desafío de la ley de Blanquer, este tema políticamente sensible sea una prioridad. En cualquier caso, si tuviera que abordarlo, tendría que asociar representantes electos locales para salvarse una honda como la que la izquierda sabía, desde 2012, durante la remodelación de los ritmos.
(1) Estonia, el primer país europeo en el ranking de Pisa (3er lugar), por ejemplo, tiene 16,5 semanas de vacaciones, un total casi idéntico al de Francia.
STRATEGY 2020: TOWARDS A JUST AND DIGNIFIED WORLD
”Where, after all, do universal human rights
begin? In small places, close to home – so
close and so small that they cannot be
seen on any map of the world. Yet they
are the world of the individual person: the
neighborhood he lives in; the school or
college he attends; the factory, farm or office
where he works. Such are the places where
every man, woman and child seeks equal
justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity
without discrimination. Unless these rights
have meaning there, they have little meaning
anywhere. Without concerted citizen action
to uphold them close to home, we shall look
in vain for progress in the larger world.”
United Nations, New York, 27 March 1958
ICCO Cooperation is an international
cooperative for development
cooperation, established in November
- Current members of the
coPrisma, Edukans and Kerk in Actie.
This strategy paper was adopted in the
General Meeting of the members of the
cooperative on 13 November 2013.
Member of the
01 CHANGING LANDSCAPES 6
The global picture 6
New structures 7
Playing a pivotal role 7
Taking cooperation one step further in Madagascar 8
02 OUR VISION 9
Our values 9
An expanding cooperative organization 10
Co-creating jobs in Brazil 11
03 WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO 14
Land rights for the poor in Cambodia 17
04 HOW WE ARE GOING TO DO IT 18
Achieve greater impact at beneficiary level 18
Build on our strengths 19
Empower the poor 20
Become an enterprising partner of choice 20
Secure and expand our financial resources 21
Know and show our results 21
PO Box 1890
3503 RD Utrecht
Print: De Groot drukkerij - Goudriaan, NL
Cover photo: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 5
On the eve of our fiftieth anniversary – 30 December 2014 – we
find ourselves in a fast changing world in which traditional development cooperation finds itself at a crossroads. Time, we felt, to
reflect on our strategy and re-assess our policy, roles and bottomline impact.
There is no doubt that realizing a just world without poverty and injustice is an enormous challenge and requires new strategies. Although the number has decreased
over the past decade, more than 1 billion people still live in extreme poverty and
hunger according to the United Nations. Many of these people are excluded from
economic opportunities, access to natural resources and are denied their basic human
rights. The recent surge in economic growth in middle-income countries has benefited only a few, causing an increasing divide between rich and poor.
ICCO Cooperation has long understood that many must play their part in redressing
grave injustice and inequality. Our emphasis has therefore always been on partnership and cooperation. We have helped to make a difference and at the same time we
are only too aware how much more needs to be done.
This strategic plan is built on our 50 years of experience and will guide all of us
within ICCO Cooperation in fulfilling our ideal towards 2020. It is the result of
extensive consultations throughout ICCO Cooperation and external research. All
actors - from workers in the field, through to Regional Offices, Regional Councils
and cooperative members - were invited to contribute their views on what our
strategy should be and what change should look like.
We look forward to fulfilling our strategy jointly with others.
Utrecht, December 2013
Marinus Verweij, chairman
Wim Hart, member
The global picture
Developing countries are rapidly gaining strengths and
wealth is increasing. Unfortunately, gains are usually
not shared by society as a whole, but only enjoyed by a
few. There are now more poor in middle-income countries than ever before. What’s more, marginalization,
inequality and the denial of basic human rights aggravate the position of the poor even further.
Today’s global landscape differs strongly from the
world in which ICCO was founded in 1964. Since that
time, shifts in the North-South divide and economic
crises have affected the resilience of human societies. New, emerging powers increasingly claim space
within the global landscape. On the other hand,
overconsumption and overpopulation threaten our
scarce natural resources, such as fertile land and
clean water. Fragility characterizes our world. The
pressure on our shared resources and the challenge
of feeding the world population remain paramount.
Ensuring the viability of small-farm economies as
weapon against fighting poverty and undernourishment is one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Worldwide interdependence of societies and economies can easily lead to distortions. The interconnectedness via the worldwide Internet strongly accelerates these shifts and may easily worsen unbalances.
At the same time, the growing interconnectedness
creates new opportunities. Access to knowledge is
possible in the most remote areas. New networks
are rapidly creating new ways of human empowerment, mobilization and participation. They create the
opportunity to address worldwide and local problems beyond national boundaries.
The unprecedented problems, as well as unprecedented opportunities, posed by these changes are challenging us to look for new structures that are just and
sustainable. Not in the least, because we expect that
development cooperation, as we know it, will cease to
exist. Civil society, private sector and governments will
have to share power and overcome their differences
as they jointly address global challenges. We will need
to deploy our joint innovative capacities to not only
include the poor in economic development but to also
develop renewable sources of energy, cradle-to-cradle
The time is right for us to change for a changing world. The global landscape is evolving
rapidly and geo-political power is shifting, not only between countries and continents,
but also within sections of society. Poverty is a worldwide phenomenon, which is no
longer geographically located in certain countries or regions of the world.
01 CHANGING LANDSCAPES
Farmer harvests sorghum plant in Sudan.
Photo: Fred Noy
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 7
solutions and new technologies designed to
address global warming and the depletion
Between 2006 and 2010 we opened up for
influence for ‘southern’ stakeholders by
decentralizing our organization, organizing
co-responsibility and adopting a programmatic approach. Seven Regional Offices
were opened in Asia, Latin America and
Africa. These offices have become important
assets through which we have direct access
to local know-how, networks and infrastructure. Nowadays, decision-making processes
and resources are shared with the heads of
our Regional Offices. Co-responsibility has
been maximized through a change in our
governance structure: the Regional Councils
participate in all strategic decisions and
they advise our Regional Offices.
The establishment in November 2012 of
ICCO Cooperation as a cooperative – unique
among Dutch NGOs - was our next answer
to the changing landscape. The founding
members of the cooperative are Edukans,
coPrisma and Kerk in Actie. The co-operative model reflects both the ambitions
of our members and constituencies in
the Netherlands and of our international
organization. It also underlines our vision
on change: change processes are driven
by local ownership and responsibility of
people and groups. The added value of our
cooperative is found in increasing efficiency
through sharing services and expertise,
as well as greater program effectiveness
through knowledge exchange and intervention coordination. We warmly welcome new
members from ‘the North’ and ‘the South’.
With our new cooperative structure in
place, we now wish to bring more clarity,
unity of purpose and more focus to our
work. A result-oriented and sustainable
strategy is called for. Now, active ‘co-operative’ participation requires us, next to
our traditional grant-based activities, to
focus on investment-based solutions. This
strategic plan will guide the way in helping us achieve our goals.
Of course, it is difficult, if not impossible,
to be sure what our world will look like in
- But, whatever the challenges to be
can only be achieved through sustainable
and value-based programs, carried out
by enterprising people and organizations. Our cooperative structure is ideally
suited for working collaboratively and for
achieving change at different levels.
Playing a pivotal role
The inter-connectedness of global challenges asks for new, innovative perspectives. Civil societies worldwide will have
to respond to shifts in power relationships
between actors and create new global and
local alliances. Such alliances will play
a pivotal role in creating a world where
exclusion and poverty no longer exist.
We believe change towards fair and
sustainable societies is possible. Such
change will be the work of active citizens
and civil society organizations who create
new inroads. In many countries, however,
a combination of political and economic
forces aims to constrain and minimize
the power of civil society. Because we
consider people as the actors who hold
their own future in their hands, we will
take on the role that is needed to support
economic empowerment and justice and
dignity for all.
This strategic plan outlines how we will
take on a more active role in empowering
for change. It calls for us to take an enterprising, result-driven and outward-looking
attitude. ‘Co-implementing’, ‘brokering’ and
‘lobbying’ will become key, next to strategic
program financing. It underlines our belief
in the power of joint action and solidarity
between groups. Our existing extensive
worldwide networks in the field and our
reputation as critical, supportive and innovative partner are the sound foundation on
which we will continue to build long-term
relationships with enterprising people and
MAP OF REGIONS AND COUNTRIES
ONE STEP FURTHER IN
Coffee and cloves galore, yet many farmers in Madagascar still
live on the verge of poverty. We have been working hard with
partners in the southeast of the country to help these farmers
create sustainable livelihoods. Here is how.
Madagascar is a large country with a poor infrastructure. Our first major decision has been to concentrate our programs in the southeast region of the country. Focusing within a single geographical area, on themes specifically relevant
to that area, has allowed us to maximize our efficiency, effectiveness and impact.
Connecting the issues
Using ICCO Cooperation’s two strategic themes - securing sustainable livelihoods and justice and dignity for all - we have developed a program revolving
round the diversification of food production, the quality of nutrition and fair
economic development. But, Madagascar is cyclone prone. We know that helping farmers create livelihoods without doing anything about disaster risk- and
natural resource management will not deliver sustainable solutions.
Multi-level and multi-issue
We have organized our local partners in such a way that, although each partner
works within his own thematic area, interventions are coordinated and complementary to each other. By converging partners’ activities we have created maximum multi-level and multi-issue impact.
We have even taken the joint cooperation with partners a step further: forming
a coalition that lobbies for and develops food security initiatives. One of the
coalition partners is supporting the set-up of land registration offices to secure
landownership rights of smallholders. Land deeds not only give farmers the
certainty of ownership, but deeds can be used as collateral for loans.
Local to global
Cooperatives have been created to not only give farmers access to international
markets, but to bring together the driving forces of the region - farmers, producers and finance institutions – in value chains that are key to lasting economic
Global to local
Even further, we will be stepping up partner collaborations with the private
sector and investing directly in social enterprises to upscale the impact of our
interventions. In this way we will be opening up the true potential of cash crops
such as coffee and spices.
Vendor of cloves in Madagascar.
Photo: Raymond Rutting
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 9
Compassion, justice and stewardship: these were
the three values on which founding father Jo Verkuyl
established ICCO in 1964. These values guide us to
this day. As one of the very few in his time, Verkuyl not
only believed that development and aid work should
be focused on the needs and requirements of the poor,
but he was convinced that all change starts at community level. Verkuyl’s approach was unconventional:
challenging existing beliefs and institutions.
It is this philosophy and bottom-up approach that
characterizes ICCO Cooperation’s history. By keeping our eyes and ears close to the ground we have
been successful in the work we do. Time and again
we have teamed up with the best partners, together
creating sustainable programs: not as one-off solutions, but with the goal of empowering civil societies
in the long-term. We have dared to take a stand
against injustice and challenge the powers that are.
And we have been successful.
The three core values compassion, justice and stewardship continue to be the essential expression of our
Christian roots. We believe in the dignity and self-reliance of each and every human being, as we are all
created in the image of God. We work with people and
organizations irrespective of their religion, class, race,
gender, sexual orientation or physical challenges. We
support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Our core values also motivate us to be inclusive in
our approach. We embrace partners who uphold the
same values as we do. We choose our partners - civil
society organizations, market parties, governments
and knowledge institutes - on the basis of their
know-how, effectiveness, program coherence and
their ambition to create a just and compassionate
world. All partnerships are based on solidarity, reciprocity and equality. Critical dialogues within our
partnerships enable us to achieve the best results.
But, in all our work, it is not only the end result
that counts: the process, too, has an intrinsic value
in boosting civil society. For instance, people need
competencies to make their own choices and lead
dignified lives. Organizations need the capacities
to represent the interests of the people they work
Our vision is a just world without poverty. A world where people claim and assume
their rights in a sustainable civil society. We believe that exclusion and scarcity,
created and aggravated by unequal power balances, are the main drivers of poverty.
02 OUR VISION
Women protest for justice and human rights in Colombia. Photo: PCS
for, to exact inclusive growth and societal change.
Such competencies need to be developed. We help
strengthen civil society and in this way contribute to
the inclusive development of countries.
“Exclusion and scarcity, created
and aggravated by unequal power
balances, are the main drivers of
An expanding cooperative organization
From a single operator to an alliance, from a centralized organization to a decentralized one, from an
alliance to a cooperative which seeks fruitful co-operation with a diversity of excellent partners: when
change was needed, we embraced change.
The move to a cooperative reflects both the reality
of the more complex and interconnected world we
live and work in and our fundamental emphasis on
partnering, co-creation and co-ownership as the way
forward to achieving impact. It also underlines our
wish to reposition ourselves in our relations towards
state and market. The growing interest of the private
sector in corporate social responsibility creates
new opportunities for us. As organization that is
embedded in civil society, we have the strengths to
bring about change and support the establishment of
pluralist societies founded on human rights, instead
of pure economic value.
The current members of the cooperative have their
own unique identity and specialization. Through our
members, we have a powerful home constituency.
Our agenda for the Netherlands and Europe is to
cooperate and lobby with stakeholders and to activate global citizenship. In the future we aim to attract
international and national organizations as new
members to our cooperative, including trade unions
and financial and knowledge institutes.
With the regional, de-centralized structure in place,
we are now moving forward to create greater synergy.
Unity of purpose and a joint focus are called for so that
we maximize our cooperative power as think-tank and
change- and fundraising platform. The first step to
creating such synergy will be the implementation, by
all cooperative members of this strategic plan.
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 11
CO-CREATING JOBS IN
How do you transform an environmental issue
into a chance to combat poverty and even create
sustainable livelihoods for the poorest of the
poor? That was the challenge faced by ICCO
Cooperation when social entrepreneur and waste
recycler Jan Boone approached us. His wish is to
show the world that there are many possibilities
to use waste in a more intelligent way and create
jobs at the same time.
Turning waste into an advantage
Boone believes that the global waste problem should be tackled in more intelligent ways: saving our natural resources and
keeping our earth in a healthy state. To put his money where
his mouth was, Boone planned to construct a waste processing
plant in Belem in which he would be ‘Turning waste into an
advantage’. But, he also realized that it would be essential to
collaborate with local partners and to involve the local authorities in the project for it to be a success.
From seeds to jobs
And that’s where ICCO Cooperation’s added value – and
that of her local partners – manifested itself. Firstly, ICCO
Cooperation’s partners were involved in organizing garbage
collectors into organizations that would be able to guarantee
a steady supply of waste to the plant. More importantly, we
were successful in transforming an environmental issue into
a chance to combat poverty. The seeds of the popular açai
fruit, which pollute the streets and canals of Belem, are now
being used as biomass for energy generation. This has many
advantages: long-term work and a steady source of income for
hundreds of garbage collectors who would otherwise barely
make living, clean streets, and the production of high quality,
‘clean’ biomass for the domestic and export market without
imposing on food production capacity.
Co-creation: sustainable livelihoods for the poor
Unique to this project has been the ability of ICCO
Cooperation’s grass roots network to provide unexpected
livelihoods to a truly destitute contingent of Belem’s poor. This
co-creation project has not only fulfilled Jan Boone’s wish as
social entrepreneur to turn waste into an advantage, but to
this day, continues to contribute to the sustainable social-economic development of the most deprived: garbage collectors’
families and communities.
Açai fruits are being processed into juice and
the stones into biomass by garbage collectors.
Photo: ICCO Cooperation
OUR TWIN CORE PRINCIPLES:
LIVELIHOOD AND JUSTICE
1 Stevia production in Paraguay.
Photo: Ivan Greco.
2 Training of young mechanics in Burundi.
Photo: Rieneke de Man.
3 Small shoe factory in Guatemala.
Photo: Okke Bouwman.
4 Producing of chili peppers, Uganda.
Photo: Rieneke de Man.
5 Woman irrigates vegetable garden in Mali.
Photo: Johannes Odé.
6 Sesame oil factory in Nicaragua.
Photo: ICCO Cooperation
7 Cotton harvest in Kyrgyzstan.
Photo: Dimitry Motinov.
8 Growth of snow peas in Guatemala.
Photo: Okke Bouwman.
9 Potatoes at a local market in Kyrgyzstan.
Photo: ICCO Cooperation.
10 Weaver in Churachandpur, India.
Photo: AKVO/Joy Ghosh
11 Bolivian farmer interviewed by national
television. Photo: ICCO Cooperation.
12 The Farmer Field School in Vietnam.
Photo: Marcella Bos.
13 Cooking on biofuel in India.
Photo: Haran Kumar
14 Rebuilding Haiti.
Photo: Act Alliance/Paul Jeffrey.
15 Birth attendant in Malawian hospital.
Photo: Mariëlle van Stipthout.
16 Back to school in Uganda.
Photo: Rieneke de Man.
17 Demonstration for peace in Cambodia.
Photo: Macella Bos.
18 Campaign sign in Kenya.
Photo: ICCO Cooperation
19 Rice processing in Rwanda.
Photo: Rieneke de Man.
20 Açai collector in Brazil.
Photo: ICCO Cooperation.
18 19 20
In our present world - where everything is interrelated - trade, environment, security, democracy
and human rights can no longer be tackled through
isolated programs. Development - or a lack of it - in
one area has consequences for the other. That’s
why we are moving away from programs based on
single-issue themes, to ones in which our two core
principles are the driving force.
Securing sustainable livelihoods
People should not be treated as victims needing
aid, but as people with skills and resources. We give
people the opportunity to develop in such a way as to
be able to create their own sustainable livelihoods.
Whether that requires developing specific skills, acting
as intermediary or investor: our efforts are focused on
empowering people so that they can link up to viable
and sustainable value chains, acquire income and
produce sufficient and quality food for a balanced diet.
Our focus is on sustainable farming and agri-business
value chains. Where needed, this includes mitigating
and adapting to climatological change.
Our strength lies in making connections on the
ground. We connect organizations that strengthen
producers’ organizations to enhance farmers’ livelihoods. We also support organizations that help
farmers obtain land titles, and we work with private
sector businesses who purchase produce, set quality
standards and strengthen farmers’ organizations. In
this way, we enable farmers to become sustainable
producers for markets within value chains.
We focus on chains that are vital to creating sustainable livelihoods, and those that support food security
worldwide for feeding the growing world population.
Equality throughout such chains is key to our success.
In other words: we want to make markets work for
the poor and the poor work with their markets.
To that end, we encourage people to develop foundation (literacy and numeracy), transferable (employment and life) and vocational skills, next to a formal,
general education. These skills open up to broader
opportunities for them. Technical, vocational training
and agricultural skills help people create self-reliant
Our drive towards creating a just world without poverty is grounded in twin core
principles, which we see as fundamental: securing sustainable livelihoods and justice
& dignity for all. Why twin? Because a livelihood without rights is not sustainable and
because dignity only comes with a livelihood in which rights are respected.
03 WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO
A girl writes on the blackboard during a
class in Timbuktu, northern Mali.
Photo: ACT/Alliance Paul Jeffrey.
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 15
Creating sustainable livelihoods also calls for emergency preparedness in those areas of the world
where natural disasters occur frequently. Resilience
in the face of disasters and the ability to secure
people’s own livelihoods are key.
Justice and dignity for all
We combine forces to tackle rights-based issues. We
strengthen networks that work towards empowerment of marginalized or minority groups. At the
same time, we support programs that work towards
creating sustainable livelihoods for these groups.
Our rights-based approach and dignity for all can
be traced to our faith-based roots. The full potential
of individuals can be realized only when justice and
dignity are achieved. Such enabled individuals can
then contribute to the development of their society
and create security: for themselves and for their
families and their community.
1 We empower the marginalized - In countries
with bad governance, socially irresponsible
companies, weak infrastructures and corrupt
“The full potential of individuals
can be realized
only when justice
and dignity are
Rights to natural
resources and land
Rights and access
to skills and health
Rights to political,
social and economic
connecting poor to value chains
Farming focus: food security,
agribusiness, climate mitigation
JUSTICE & DIGNITY
Our working style:
‘down to earth’, enterprising,
broker, facilitator, co-implementer,
strategic financer, lobbyist
OUR TWIN CORE PRINCIPLES
institutions, we concentrate on mobilizing
and strengthening people’s organizations and
grassroots movements. We organize people and
organizations around issues such as land grabbing and access to and conservation of fertile
land and clean water. Our aim is to make them
more resilient and better equipped to challenge
the dominant forces in their society.
Foundation skills empower people to know
and claim their rights, contributing to ‘just and
dignified societies’. Adult literacy and numeracy
training offers a second chance for those who
missed out on basic education. In middle-income
countries, with governments and institutions
that do not respect the rights of the poor and
excluded, we focus on supporting the campaigns
and protests of the latter.
2 We strengthen civil society organizations – In
countries where duty bearers do not respect the
rights of marginalized people and minorities,
we encourage civil society organizations to challenge such authorities. We influence structures in
societies that restrict people’s full enjoyment of
their rights, including the right of women to have
control over their sexual and reproductive health
(SRHR) and land rights.
Creating synergy through connection
We are convinced that truly sustainable solutions
can only be achieved if our twin core principles –
securing sustainable livelihoods and justice and
dignity for all – are connected. We see that the sum
of the parts is more than the whole. By protecting the
rights of people, they are at the same time empowered to create their own livelihoods. We give special
attention to business ethics and human rights issues
within private sector enterprises.
Similarly, we will work towards a more inclusive
economical and financial system that addresses
people’s needs. In this way individuals will gain
control, encouraging participation and
responsibility in bringing about sustainable growth. ‘Growth’ as such needs to be
redefined, giving less primacy to ‘quantity’
and more to ‘quality’. In our definition,
growth only comes with increasing justice.
Working with and through
Our partnerships revolve around solidarity, reciprocity and equality. We are
inspired by others and inspire others. We
develop programs in close cooperation
with people in the field and their organizations and we believe in their strength to
realize the changes that are needed.
Our partnerships and partners are very
diverse. We enter into partnerships
because we expect that we can realize our
objectives with these partners. We engage
primarily with civil society organizations,
both in the ‘South’ and the ‘North’. They
represent and work with the people for
whom we want to bring about change.
Faith-based organizations and churches,
with whom we share a common identity,
are our primary partners. But we also
work with the private sector as principal movers towards meaningful change.
Partnerships are undertaken at all levels:
from global to field level.
For development and change to be effective and sustainable, we need to influence
the underlying systemic relations that
sustain poverty and injustice. This implies
a multi-stakeholder approach. We intend
to increase our power to change systems,
by involving traditional and non-traditional players and linking these. We will
set up coalitions with both partner and
donor organizations that can contribute
to a joint strategy.
Our fifty years’ worth of experience in
the field place us in the ideal position to
broker and to facilitate: we are experts in
working with a variety of organizations,
including producer organizations and
cooperatives, social enterprises, trade
unions, academic and research institutes,
local and semi-government institutes,
faith-based organizations, churches,
human rights groups, minority right
groups, community-based groups, training institutions and more.
Concurrently, our donor landscape is
rapidly changing. Decreasing funds from
the Dutch government and our increasing
reliance on other sources, means that
conditions and provisions set out by
donors are shifting. As a consequence, our
partner relationships are also subject to
change: partners are required to adopt
specific roles and meet specific prerequisites within coalitions. This trend is
strengthened even further by the new
multi-stakeholder approach. Our traditional role as strategic financer is set to
decrease in favor of co-implementation
together with partners in a multi-stakeholder environment.
Diversifying funding instruments
Together with our partners, we will
become more enterprising. This will
involve adopting more innovative solutions and accepting a certain measure
of risk-taking. Our partnering role is set
to change once we engage more directly
in change processes as co-implementer,
investor, broker, facilitator, networker,
lobbyist and advocate.
Our role as strategic funder is also set
to change, as we gradually move from
solely grant based co-financing, to mainly
non-grant based funding, including loans,
guarantees, participations and tailormade solutions. With ICCO Investments,
a new initiative of ICCO Cooperation,
we also offer viable and relevant social
The use of new funding instruments
will become particularly evident in our
programs concerned with securing
sustainable livelihoods. In some cases, we
will become a co-implementer of programs
funded by donors. In other cases, we
will be co-creator, linking our resources
to those of others in a mutually created
change process. Other programs - justice
and dignity - will remain grant based,
as cost recovery and financial return on
investments are difficult to realize. Within
such programs, we will, however, be aiming
at realizing a social return on investment.
Partnerships can take on various forms:
- Co-creation Engaging with parties
local) to reach shared objectives.
Each party contributes either material or immaterial resources.
- Co-implementation Playing a
coalition of organizations.
- Strategic fi nancer Funding a joint
non-grant based funding – whilst
also taking on other roles.
- Value chain development
entrepreneurs and businesses, and
- Investment Investing in social- and
GRANTS SOCIAL VENTURING
Grant based BDS (= business development services)
Risk based BDS
DIVERSIFYING FUNDING INSTRUMENTS
Grant based BDS (= business
Risk based BDS
Grant based BDS (= business
Risk based BDS
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 17
FOR THE POOR IN
When a company approached Un Tom to
sell her land, she refused. She subsequently
served 18 months in prison just for saying
‘no’. She had been accused of ‘living on land
that was not hers’.
Illegal land sales
Un Tom’s plight began over a decade ago when the
government sold off land belonging to 108 families in
a rural Cambodian village to a local company. The sale
was negotiated and effected without the permission of
the families concerned. The families revolted and the
company sued them. Un Tom and 5 other people went
to prison and the remaining families were forbidden to
farm their land. The families’ loss was not only their land
rights, but their livelihoods and their houses too.
With the support of ICCO Cooperation and our partner
NGO Forum, Un Tom’s community filed legal action
against the company that had purchased their land illegally. Un Tom’s land-grabbing story is just one of many
similar cases. Without the support from outside agents,
these rural communities are powerless against the rich
and influential companies and the Cambodian government. Although Un Tom’s case has not yet been solved,
she appreciates the legal assistance we can offer her. It
gives both her and the community the chance to keep
on fighting for their rights to land and a livelihood.
NGO Forum’s slogan ‘Cooperation for positive change’
reflects our own multi-stakeholder approach. The NGO
Forum land right projects in Cambodia are carried out
in cooperation with relevant national and international
civil-society organizations. This approach effectively
connects the knowledge, skills and lessons learned
of various organizations. In this way we can create a
more powerful lobby within the government and other
relevant institutions. We believe that such cooperation
is the way forward in achieving our goal: a well-informed and sustainable civil society that supports poor,
marginalized and vulnerable Cambodians to assert
their economic, social and political rights.
4.1 Achieve greater impact at
beneficiary level – Leveraging our
The issue and our objectives
We have a vast number of programs in 44 countries. Most programs are linked to coalitions at
national or regional level, based on single themes1
and geographically fragmented. There is too little
or no synergy between these programs. We need to
focus on fewer, bigger and interrelated programs to
achieve greater impact and efficiency of resources.
How we are going to achieve this goal
- We make choices – We have fewer, larger,
Instead of having many, thematically different
programs in a single country, we carry out
thematically connected programs within a
limited geographical area and implement these
with partners and other stakeholders. This focus
will create the sought after synergy between our
livelihoods and rights interventions.
- We connect – Our programs connect our core
and dignity for all. We work with fewer, selected
partners in thematically linked programs, covering issues such as: food security, disaster risk
management, connecting to value chains, human
rights and business, rights of marginalized
people, vocational education, health systems and
natural resource, including water management.
- We set up viable and sustainable structures –
Our strategy is the framework for all that we will be undertaking through to 2020.
Defining our strategy in this way will give us unity of purpose and a clear focus as to
where we are heading.
04 HOW WE ARE GOING
TO DO IT
1 Fair Economic Development, Food and Nutrition Security, Fair Climate, Conflict Transformation
& Democratization, Basic Health & HIV/AIDS, Basic Education and Emergency Aid.
Chicken raising in Cambodia.
Photo: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey.
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 19
partners and civil society. The objective of such
coalitions is to embed change in society. Similarly,
we help strengthen cooperatives or value chains
that give individuals access to international
markets and lasting economic benefits. We
support and broker relations within value chains
and ensure that rights related issues are also
connected to these chains.
- We broker and facilitate human rights networks
amongst others, gender and specifically genderbased violence, right to food, rights of people with
HIV/Aids, minority rights. We link these networks
with sustainable livelihood networks.
- We participate in effective and inclusive value
provide the poor with the right of participation
and true economic empowerment. Such value
chains revolve around food security, agribusiness
COOPERATION IS OUR STRENGTH
4.2 Build on our strengths – Nurturing
The issue and our objectives
We have experienced that integration of programs,
generally speaking, bring about more sustainable
and lasting gains than individual actions or programs
based on single issues. Increased impact in time and
space can be gained if we converge with partners and
other stakeholders and complement each other. We
build on and strengthen our identity and reputation,
so that it is clear to all within the cooperative - and
to our external stakeholders - what we stand for and
what we are recognized and respected for.
How we are going to achieve this
- Creating impact at local level – We have a strongly
with our partners we create impact where it is
needed: at local level. Companies who are looking
to invest in sustainable economic development
have access to our local know-how, within a vast
and effective global as well as grass roots network.
- Sharing vital know-how – We are an international organization with a strong and easily
the ACT Alliance. We also connect with civil society partners, private partners and knowledge
institutes. Sharing know-how and best practices
with our partners gives us valuable input for
achieving results in all regions and at all levels.
At a global level, our lobbying power is used
to tackle issues including business ethics and
human rights, and the shrinking political space.
- Achieving change at different levels – We are
poverty, but we believe change can be achieved
through a bottom-up and inclusive approach.
We are hands-on: we work with organizations
of people in the field and involve all stakeholders. Our cooperative model enables us to create
synergy between civil society organizations,
companies and knowledge institutions worldwide, creating effective solutions for complex
- Empowering our own people – We invest in
of best practices using up-to-date IT solutions.
Within our own learning communities, we
combine corporate and local learning practices.
For instance, strengthening competencies of local
staff members who are required to work in coalitions or cooperative processes. We also work
together with knowledge institutes that provide
us with the know-how and insights needed to be
able to put in place sustainable solutions.
AS A GLOBAL PLAYER:
- We work with people and their organizations - from
ideas and proposals on how to work towards change
and create just societies and wellbeing for all.
- We make the connections and create the partnerships that are needed to drive such change. Equality
- We are member of the ACT Alliance. This coalition of
in three targeted areas: humanitarian aid, development and advocacy.
- Impact at beneficiary level is indicative of the success
boosts our results at local level. By joining forces at all
levels, we create new possibilities. We aim to create an
international cooperative network that offers ideas,
innovations, solutions and knowledge from all corners
of the world. Such a global community takes joint
responsibility for creating a world in which people live
in wellbeing and dignity.
- Our vision on poverty and injustice is inclusive:
take on their social and ecological responsibilities.
EMPOWERING ENTERPRISING PEOPLE
4.3 Empower the poor – Addressing
exclusion and injustice
The issue and our objectives
We work in low-income countries, fragile states and
middle-income countries. Recently, the economies of
the middle-income countries have been growing fast.
Unfortunately, so has the gap between the well off
and the marginalized. The poor in these countries are
caught up in a vicious circle of human rights violation
and social, political and economic deprivation. But,
poverty is still a global issue. Our goal is to empower
all people, also in middle-income countries, to break
through the poverty circle and build their own
sustainable livelihoods within a society that upholds
their rights. We partner to enterprising people.
How we are going to achieve this
- We use our capabilities, skills and reputation - As a partner to enterprising people, we
to improve the rights of disadvantaged groups,
enabling them to access decent jobs and
economic and social services.
- We don’t just give money – Many of the poor
development process. We work together with
partners in strategic funding partnerships to
develop business ideas and set up businesses for
these people. Funding of programs can be grant
based or non-grant based.
- We provide loans, equity or guarantees – We
return on investment, but we also have social
and ecological targets. One of our instruments is
social venturing through ICCO Investments.
- We act as watchdog – We support networks
exclusion. There where people are excluded from
education, we lobby for their right to education.
Where people are denied land rights, we support
advocacy organizations. We want to empower
people, but true empowerment only comes with
the prospect of long-term livelihoods in a safe
and just society.
LESS AND BIGGER PARTNERS
4.4 Become an enterprising partner of
choice – Partnering for synergy
The issue and our objectives
Due to the changing global landscape and major cuts
in government funding, we need to shift towards
partnering with more professional and sector-based
organizations. We will reduce the number of partners and, at the same time, increase the scale and
volume of our partnerships, with a focus on bigger,
fewer and more cross-sectorial programs. Fewer
partners and coalitions will receive higher amounts
of funding. We need to develop our capabilities to
identify and select partners, bring them together and
help to get the best out of our partner network to
achieve our strategic and program goals.
How we are going to achieve this
- Partnering for synergy – We select partners who
and create synergy through a joint approach.
Partners and other stakeholders will be challenged to define relevant issues and develop joint
programs and change proposals.
- Making markets work for the poor – Partners
create a niche and help people set up viable
businesses and develop business ideas. Together
we support cooperatives and producer organizations to make them relevant market parties.
Such organizations should become the driving
forces in a region and in value chains, embracing
farmers, producers, financiers and more. These
sustainable mechanisms open up access to international markets for even the smallest farmer.
- Fostering our synergies – We foster our successes
is focused on areas that need to be driven
forward. We share our best practices with ICCO
Cooperation members and external partners.
“We aim to
but true empowerment only comes
with the prospect
of long-term livelihoods in a safe
and just society”.
ICCO COOPERATION STRATEGY 2020 21
4.5 Secure and expand our financial
resources - Our resource
mobilization is focused
The issue and our objectives
In the face of a changing landscape for international
cooperation, we will need to find new sources of
income. Fundraising will become a central part of
our strategy. At the same time, we will be looking to
enlarge the membership of our cooperative. We aim
for an overall budget of at least € 70 million in 2016.
This will be raised through the diversification of
resources and income.
How we are going to achieve this
- Fundraising – Together with our strategic partners,
We are able to mobilize resources from a broad
spectrum of people and organizations, including:
institutional funders, social investors, companies,
governments and multilateral institutions.
- Resource mobilization – We provide worldwide
including overall program coordination that
meets stakeholder requirements within international cooperation models.
- Attracting funds – From solely grant-based strategic funding we will move to investments, refundable loans and to co-creation. We use each other’s
alternative sources of funding, such as companies
or financial institutions seeking to invest in social
entrepreneurship. We offer these the benefits of
our local presence, long-term commitments, and
proven, result-oriented approach. And importantly, our long-standing local presence gives
these companies insights into and grip on context
specific risks and opportunities.
- Fund management - Fund management for ICCO
dedicated investment management capacity
close to our investees and embedded in our
- Using innovative solutions - We use new financial
grants, loans and guarantees. These can include
impact investments with return on investment,
guarantee funds, philanthropy investments,
convertible grants and risk-based business development services. We also help communities to
generate credits on the basis of carbon, biodiversity and water and sell these on the international
market on a pro-poor and fairtrade basis.
ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT
4.6 Know and show our results -
Strengthening our accountability
The issue and our objectives
Promises need to be fulfilled. We must show our
results. This is especially true in a world where investments are taking over from grants. Transparency and
accountability are important for building a long-lasting relationship with our partners, investors, the
communities we work in and all other stakeholders.
Our current reporting system is based on reporting
guidelines as set out by the Dutch government. This
system does not offer true transparency as to our
impact at beneficiary level. Our goal is to set up new
methodologies that foster mutual accountability
within the organization - and with our partners - and
that provide independent stakeholder feedback.
How we are going to achieve this
- Measuring performance - Together with our
invest strategically and form alliances to monitor,
learn, enhance impact and steer on result performance and cost-effectiveness.
- Financial management - We require that all our
This is necessary in order to comply with ICCO
Cooperation requirements and good stewardship of our resources. It also ensures financial
accountability and transparency towards
back-donors, and ensures sustainability and
viability in the long run.
- Creating transparency – We develop accountability and communication tools that offer availability and accessibility of narrative and financial
and results for key stakeholders.
Development is often seen as a progressive linear process. But, in reality, frequent
ruptures and even setbacks and regression characterize this process. In all of
human history, the future has never been precisely forecast. Adversities as well as
miracles remain notoriously difficult to predict.
Our license to operate is our goal to secure sustainable livelihood and justice and
dignity for poor and marginalized people. These should never be taken for granted,
although on the whole more and more people are enjoying better lives.
ICCO Cooperation is convinced that in our fast changing and inter-connected
world, cooperation is key to move forward and create dignified societies. Relations
between people and organizations, based on mutual commitment and trust can
create social transformations for the better. A new multi-dimensional development
agenda is called for with a sustainable balance between human beings and natural
systems. But, there is no universal recipe: impact becomes concrete in different and
local contexts where people live.
ICCO Cooperation wants to play a pivotal role herein, together with our stakeholders. With this strategy, we are moving towards becoming an international organization with a solid, broad constituency in the Netherlands and growing constituencies
in the countries in which we work.
We make a difference in the wellbeing and resilience of many all over the world.
That is our ambition for 2020.
A woman sells mangoes in the market in Sonougouba, Mali.
Photo: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey.
PARTNER TO ENTERPRISING PEOPLE