INVEST Coop is a 5-year project supported by Global Affairs Canada and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada). One of the key objectives of the project is to build the capacity of cooperatives in the four implementing countries – Indonesia, Malawi, Mongolia and Peru – to assess their strengths and weaknesses, define their goals and priorities, and formulate areas that require support or further improvement.
To help cooperatives in various country contexts undertake this comprehensive analysis, CDF Canada has developed and successfully deployed an assessment tool entitled Development Ladder Assessment (DLA). DLA helps cooperatives of various sizes in identifying what are the key areas that they need to address to strengthen their governance, effectiveness and membership.
In partnership with the Mongolian Co-operative Training and Information Center (MCTIC), the Mongolian National Co-operative Association (MNCA) and the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MOFALI), INVEST hosted a training-of-trainers event on the use of the DLA model. The event brought together 341 specialists, including 290 women, representing 21 aimags (provinces), 330 soums (primary-level administrative units) and 9 districts of Ulaanbaatar.
The trainings were facilitated by experienced consultants from MCTIC and covered topics such as the goals of the national DLA exercises, methodologies for conducting independent evaluations, data collection from primary and secondary co-operatives, guidelines for nationwide DLA exercises and regulatory information about co-operatives and SMEs. The soum evaluators will conduct the DLA on more than 4,200 co-operatives in their respective territories and present findings to aimag specialists as well as the soum governor’s office.
The training-of-trainers was an important step toward the first national DLA for Mongolia. In the future, this nationwide network of soum-level co-operative evaluators will be supported and mobilized for co-operative assessment needs. Overall, the DLA exercises are intended to result in clearly identified development indicators to guide co-operatives, government organizations and co-operative supporting actors on their actions for co-operative development at soum, aimag and national levels.