A Technical Guide to Increasing Citizen Participation: How Credit Unions Strengthen Democracy
This guide discusses the role of credit unions in fostering democracy. It also describes World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) recent efforts to increase technical assistance outreach in Afghanistan, Uzbekitsan, Mexico, Africa, Bolivia, Kenya and other countries. Credit unions foster democracy by combining the cooperative model with the creation of economic opportunities for members. They provide members with access to the financial services they need in a way that enables them to create future opportunities. Credit unions are member owned organizations. Multiple levels of participation ensure that credit unions are sustainable over the long term. Members oversee the credit union by exercising their right to vote and electing to use the quality services provided. The board and management of the credit union ensure that the institution evolves along with the needs of its members. National credit union associations and the international credit union system support them in this effort. The guide describes WOCCU's efforts in:
- Building long term credit union capacity;
- Fostering democratic participation;
- Promoting effective governance and accountability;
- Building stable local institutions in fragile environments;
- Engaging marginalized groups;
- Promoting sustainable democracy.