Documenting cooperatives around the world

29 Mar 2019

Every day, cooperatives are improving people’s livelihoods and boosting local sustainable development in the four corners of the planet. The cooperatives model not only guarantees decent working conditions, but it also boosts social transformation and reinforces resilient communities to reduce social and economic inequalities.

With the support of the ICA-EU Partnership on cooperative development (#coops4dev?), the researcher Sara Vicari and the filmmaker Andrea Mancori have started in January a trip around the world to visit and document in a serial of short films some of the most striking and inspiring cooperative examples from different economic sectors in five continents. The project will provide a thought-provoking overview of the existing powerful network of cooperatives having a positive impact on the daily lives of many citizens. Through this project it will be possible not only to immerse in poignant stories, but also to pull similitudes and differences among the different examples of cooperatives to achieve an in-depth and analytical understanding of the movement worldwide.

The project aims to raise awareness on the role of cooperatives in the development of collective action and share knowledge on methodologies for participatory action research with cooperatives.

Having started their trip in their homeland Italy, so far Sara and Andrea have already travelled across Africa. In Southern Italy, they have visited the cooperatives Casa di Alice (Alice’s home) and the Altri Orizzonti – Jerry Essan Masslo. By giving a second life to confiscated land from the mafia (e.g. growing tomatoes in the confiscated land), these cooperatives from the comune of Castel Volturno support social and economic integration of migrants.

The second stop was in Imsouane (Morocco), where they received a warm welcome by the biological argan oil cooperative Toudarte. This project is offering a more prosperous future for over 100 Berber women, that has not only promoted social and economic development, but also had an undeniable positive impact on women’s empowerment.

The Rwandan cooperative COPRORIZ-Ntende has been the third station of the documentary makers. Aside from the different services provided to the more than 3.700 members, this primarily rice cooperative is also carrying out responsible investment based on the voice of all the members. All in all, it represents a participatory and sustainable business project that has eradicated famine in the region.


>> All videos are available in ICA’s youtube channel
>> Get more detailed information from the blog of the project


Photo: ©Sara Vicari/Andrea Mancori




The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) knows that…