I am grateful to the Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF) of Canada for requesting me to write this volume on “International Co-operative Development”, on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary in 2022. I have put my best effort into chronicling the important work of CDF , to generate an overview of its strategic interventions and achievements that stay relevant over its 75 years of existence.
My official tenure with CDF was from 1983 to 1993. CDF was still under the auspices of the CUC (Co-operative Union of Canada) when I joined them in 1983, and subsequently under the CCA (Canadian Co-operative Association) following CUC’s merger with the Co-operative College of Canada in 1987. As a charitable foundation, CDF assumed the important mandate of international development. Despite my relatively short official tenure with CCA/CDF, I am proud to acknowledge my continuous engagement with this fabulous organization up until now.
It has been truly inspiring to reflect on the many strategic interventions CDF generated to build self-reliant communities. Although Asia Region was the emphasis of this review, most of the CDF strategies identified in this volume are perceptibly still valid and relevant to the other regions as well. I also include a collective retrospect of colleagues who worked closely with me at CUC/CCA/CDF from 1983 to 1993. The amalgam of their views and mine will hopefully be of value for the current generation at CDF.
I therefore wish to record my sincere gratitude to Benoit André and his team at CDF for granting me the opportunity to write this manuscript. This volume has benefited from the keen support of my experienced colleagues who contributed their views and insights into the subject matter.
I am thus very grateful to Jim Carmichael, Alexandra Wilson, Michael Casey, John Julian, Eric Bellows, James Lowe, and Romulo Villamin for sharing their rich insights into the strategies that made CCA international development projects in Asia meaningful. I decided not to offer any summative remarks of the good lessons gleaned from my colleagues, as they are all very original.
I have also decided to add a retrospect of CUC-CDF’s early passages into the Asia region well before my tenure with CDF, and up until the formation of CCA. I therefore wish to express my sincere thanks to
Lorraine (Lorrie) LaFrance for her brief but insightful narration of CUC-CDF’s resourceful interventions in the Asia Region between 1980 – 1986. Lorrie’s role was quite historic as I was still with CUCO and ACCU as a project partner when she introduced CDF to Asia in 1980, and she became my immediate supervisor when I joined CDF in 1983.
I am also delighted to have had a brief yet fruitful discussion with Jo-Anne Ferguson and Kathleen Speake on CCA’s International Development Strategies. They confirmed the important transformation journey of CDF over all these years and up until the latest transformation. Jo-Anne and Kathleen joined CCA just after I left CCA for ICA, but as key figures of CCA’s International Affairs they both continued to work closely with me during my tenure at ICA and in subsequent years until their retirement. I would be remiss if I did not express my special gratitude to William (Bill) Knight and Jim Carmichael who voluntarily offered their kindness to proofread this manuscript and gave me their good suggestions.
It is my sincere hope that this modest volume will be useful for CDF in its efforts to promote greater awareness and motivation among the current generation of the co-operative movement and development actors in Canada and abroad. I remain convinced that intergenerational deliberations on, and engagement in, international development will only enhance our collective wisdom on how to utilize the Co-operative Model to tackle the social and economic ramifications of today’s prevailing problems of poverty, inequality and social injustice in Asia and internationally.
Download the complete booklet on our work in Asia.
A Chronicle of Strategic Interventions by CCA-CDF in Asia Region- Low
 CDF is abbreviated throughout this document to delineate “CDF Canada.”
 CCA was established following the amalgamation/merger of CUC and the Co-operative College of Canada