History of CLC Project

The Co-operative Learning Centre (CLC) was initiated by the International
Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and particularly by its Human Resources Committee (HRD) chaired by Dr. Yehudah Paz. Today, it is a joint endeavour of the ICA (HRD Committee), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies (BCICS), which, since 2004, has been designated as the project coordinator and manager by the ICA. The project has benefited from the assistance and advice of numerous individuals and institutions, particularly the Co-operative College of the United Kingdom. BCICS is an institute at the University of Victoria dedicated to research, learning and teaching about co-operative thought and practice. Professor Ian MacPherson serves as BCICS director.

In January 2005, the CLC prototype was launched (http://www.learningcentre.coop). In September 2005 BCICS representatives co-ordinated a two-day CLC Planning Workshop at the ICA’s General Assembly to get feedback and develop a project plan. In May 2006, the Global HRD Network for Co-operatives website was launched (www.hrd.coop). This partner site of the CLC focuses on information related to co-operative human resource development. It is maintained by National Co-operative Union Of India (NCUI) and Vaikunth Mehta National Institute Of Co-operative Management (VAMNICOM), an education and networking centre in Pune, India. The HRD site allows co-op training and educational institutions to add information about their courses and training programs. Its functionality will dove-tail with the CLC site.

In 2006, the ILO pledged $10,000 USD interim grant funding to expand the youth resources section of the CLC in English and Spanish and to integrate with the content of the BCICS Youth Co-op Zone website. These funds are being used to coordinate the development of new youth-focused resources such as case studies, information on effective practices for co-op development, and engaging multimedia resources for educating youth about co-operatives.

Throughout 2007 and 2008 we continue to develop the core website and the youth resources. In order to fully articulate the breadth of co-op knowledge that is available, more funding is needed to continue the project and meet the objectives set out by the ICA HRD Committee.

In late 2008, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) provide some modest funding to help bring the project to current form.