What we Do

Our Work

We propagate cooperative principles and methods for the promotion of cooperatives in India and adjoining neighbouring countries. Some of the key initiatives include promoting cooperative research and youth inclusion, capacity-building of cooperative leaders, engaging in policy advocacy, production of publications & information on cooperatives and operating a physical and digital library.



IDT undertakes cooperative development projects and activities to advance the cooperative movement and model of business. One of the key projects towards this has been the digitalization of the IDT library which has a collection of resources on the global cooperative movement.

Key Projects

Study: Mapping the Worker-Owned Cooperative Economy in Chennai – Perspectives and Recommendations for a City-based Approach  

Collaborators: Empowering Communities Through Education (ECTE)

Empowering Communities Through Education (ECTE), a non-profit based in Texas, aims to create a cooperative ecosystem in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. This includes setting up institutions, support groups, infrastructure, and regulations to encourage worker-owned cooperatives. ECTE and IDT are working together on this goal, focusing on a city-based approach that could be promoted within the Greater Chennai Municipal Corporation (GCMC) and tested with a pilot project in Chennai. The study explores the benefits of cooperatives in Chennai, especially worker-owned models and is being led by Dr. C. Pitchai from the Gandhigram Rural Institute in Tamil Nadu, India.

Digitalization of Library Resources

Collaborators: ULCCS, Librarian

IDT has transformed its library system and knowledge repository through digitalization. The vision includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling the library owning the physical works to substitute them with lendable digital copies. The aim is to build a collaborative digital library collection and circulation system in which the IDT can unlock its analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

Maximize the potential of collectives in the knowledge economy

Collaborators: Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC)

IDT rooted in the values of global cooperative movement and the International Cooperative Alliance has brought in mentorship, international exposure, best practices and relevant use-cases for young innovators as part of KDISC’s YIP programme. IDT supported this vertical of the YIP named ‘Innovation collectives and Platform Cooperatives’ focused on a confluence of cooperativism and innovative social enterprise working within the contours of a non-competitive and non-capitalistic framework to solve the second-generation developmental problems of Kerala. Awarded INR 10 lakhs under YIP program in Sep 23.



IDT promotes the sharing of resources to enhance knowledge about cooperatives in India and nearby nations. It supports the publication of collaborative materials, books, and reports aimed at enriching the collective understanding of cooperative ventures in the region.

ULCCS – the Saga Continues

By, S. K. Sharma

Second critical study on co-operative legislation and policy reforms

By, Ravi Shankar (India), Gary Cronan (Australia)

Cooperative Development: The next phase

By, K. K Taimni



Dr. Mauritz Bonow was a strong advocate of education and believed that the strength of the cooperative movement depended on the existence of a vast and enlightened membership. IDT promotes youth participation to a greater extent with Dr. Mauritz Bonow Young Researcher Award. Traditionally, the award carries a cash amount of US$ 500 for the first prize and US$300 for the second prize.

Bonow Awardees
Dr. Yuki Sano (Japan) – 1st prize (US$ 500)

The Transition of Producer Cooperatives – a Comparative Case Study of the Dutch and Japanese Horticulture

Ms. Ashni Giridhar (India) – 2nd prize (US$ 300)

Cooperatives for Teachers – A Community Empowerment Vision

Ms. Pallavi G L (India) – 1st prize (INR 20,000)

Institutional support in integrating smallholder farmers to mainstream urban markets: Insights from the Chitravathi FPCL, Karnataka” by Ms. Pallavi G L from IRMA, Anand.

Ms. Nishi Malhotra (India) – 2nd prize (INR 10,000)

A systematic literature review of Joint Liability Group through theoretical lens of Agency Theory by Ms. Nishi Malhotra from IIM Kozhikode.

Mr. Abhishek Saxena (India) – 1st prize (US$ 500)

Building Ecological Resilience in Farmer Producer Organisations: Insights from Case Studies

Ms. Sreelakshmi C. C. (India) – 2nd prize (US$ 300)

Environmental Concern and Green banking: Factors inducing online banking adoption in co-operative banks

Ms. Heira Hardiyanti (Indonesia) – 1st prize (US$ 500)

Worker Cooperative in Indonesia, The Invisible Cooperative

Ms. Jihyun Jeong (Korea) – 2nd prize (US$ 300)

How do local actors institutionalise global movement? The case study of Fair Trade in Korea

Ms. Shefali Pardeshi (India) –
1 st prize (US$ 500)

Financial and Sustainability Performance of Co-operatives – A Case Study of Annapurna Parivar, Pune

Mr. Neem Lal Pandey (Nepal) – 2nd prize (US$ 300)

Application of modelling to investigate irrigation conflicts between Small Farmers : A case of SFACL Bajrabarahi, Nepal

Ms. Emi Do (Japan) – 1st prize (US$ 500)

Fostering Co-operation: Can Membership Education increase a Co-operative’s Ability to Mobilize Community through Organizational Social Capital?


Ms. Jieun Jang (Korea) – 2nd prize (US$ 300)

Compatibility of the Interests of Producers and Those of Firms in Cooperatives: Lessons from Producer-owned Dairy Cooperatives in India

Ms. Shefali Pardeshi (India), Dr. Lucia Veronica (Peru)

Gender Equality, Green Microfinance


Policy Advocacy

There is limited information to engage the attention of policymakers on the issues of cooperatives. IDT fulfils the gap by collaborating with concerned stakeholders to organise various conferences, seminars, and webinars to discuss key policy issues like the future of work, opportunities in the social and services sector, autonomy and independence of cooperatives, technology infusion, youth inclusion and entrepreneurship, etc.


Theme : Policy Dialogue on Gig and Platform Economy in India
Collaborators : ISB Mohali, NITI Aayog

IDT was a Speaker in the One-day conclave on ‘Gig & Platform Economy in India’ jointly hosted by NITI Aayog and the Indian School of Business (ISB) Mohali on 25th January 2023 from 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. at ISB Mohali campus. Topic was “Promoting Financial Inclusion for Gig and Platform Workers”.


Theme : Policy Dialogue on Gig and Platform Economy in India
Collaborators : IIT Bombay, NITI Aayog

Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies (ADCPS), IIT Bombay and NITI Aayog jointly organized a Policy Dialogue on the ‘Gig’ and Platform Economy in India on 25 November 2022 at IIT Bombay. NITI Aayog had released a study report on India’s booming ‘gig and platform economy’, which has triggered considerable discussion on the state of the gig and platform economy in India, the implications on labour, and what efforts can be made by stakeholders to best steer ‘gig’ work and the platform economy in a way that is inclusive and beneficial to all. IDT was invited to join at the Policy Dialogue and share thoughts, particularly on social security for gig and platform workers in India.


Theme : Co-ops during crises
Collaborators : Action Aid, TISS

ICA Domus Trust joined the webinar as a speaker to discuss how cooperatives function effectively to counter the socio-economic challenges that emerges during crises.


Theme : Participation, Representation & Accountability: Strengthening the Movement.
Collaborators : PRIA, MYRADA

The Samvad on “Participation, Representation and Accountability: Strengthening the Movement” was organised by PRIA (New Delhi) in partnership with APMAS (Hyderabad) and ICA Domus Trust, India on November 17, 2021 between 5-7 pm (IST) to explore the following questions:

What lessons can be drawn from past practices and innovations in fostering direct participation and governance of development programmes for and

  • of the vulnerable and marginalised households?

What strategies can be built in large-scale programmes (both public and private) to enable participation and representation to remain mutually accountable and vibrant for the long-term health of such enterprises?

National Consultation

Theme : Autonomy and Independence of Cooperatives in India.
Collaborators : APMAS, IRMA

A multistakeholder consultation on “Autonomy and Independence of Cooperatives in India” was organized at Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) in collaboration with International Cooperative Alliance Asia Pacific (ICA-AP), ICA Domus Trust (IDT), and Andhra Pradesh Mahila Abhivruddhi Society (APMAS) on 3rd September 2021. It discussed prospects for the cooperative sector, considering the current political economy. The consultation gave space for sharing the different views and experiences of the panellists and brought forth an Anand declaration, containing a brief set of actionable policy recommendations.


Theme : Issues and Challenges for Credit Cooperative Societies in India.
Collaborators : Sa-Dhan

Sa-Dhan along with ICA Domus Trust co-organised this webinar to enable academics and development practitioners from across India to deliberate the future of community development finance, cooperative banking, and rural management as a discipline. It drew out the legal and constitutional implications of the recent developments and present the relevance of a cooperative-based economy.


Theme : Rethinking Kurien: Changing dimensions of Cooperatives and Collectives.
Collaborators : PRADAN, Caspian, Vrutti, Chitrika

The webinar was organized to mark the birth centenary year of late Dr. Verghese Kurien. Having speakers with experience in working with collectives, and interacted with Dr. Kurien, it was an opportunity for current students and the academic and development practitioners’ communities to engage with the IRMA alumni community on the topic and position themselves in this new ecosystem. 


Theme : Cooperative Training and Education
Collaborators : VAMNICOM

As a practical way for sharing and showcasing the hope and response that the cooperative movement has to offer during these uncertain times, ICA Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP)  in collaboration with the ICA Domus Trust , Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM) and the ICA-EU Partnership  undertake this webinar to share the ongoing experience, lessons and good practices of education and training institutions in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.


Theme : Post COVID-19 Technology Transformation in Cooperatives
Collaborators : Innocircle (Indonesia), ICC (Iran), ULCCS (India), NTUC (Singapore)

This webinar addressed the following key questions: 

  • How are cooperatives across Iran, Kerala and Singapore being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How are their issues and concerns being addressed by the government, policy implementers and civil society organizations?
  • What role can technology and digitization play in the covid situation?
Co-op Mic

Theme : Decent and Dignified Work Demands Action Now!
Collaborators : Ajeevika Bureau

Mr. Rajiv Khandelwal is the Executive Director of Aajeevika Bureau; Aajeevika Bureau is a pioneering public service organization that provides services and solutions to vast numbers of rural migrant workers in urban centres. Mr. Khandelwal speaks about the dire conditions under which migrant workers in India have to survive, and the kind of policy and CSO interventions required for them.

International Conference

Theme : Cooperatives in the Changing World of Work.
Collaborators : ICA-AP and EU

The International Conference on ‘Cooperatives in

the Changing World of Work’ was organised from April 29 – May 1, 2018, by ULCCS in association with ICA-AP, ILO, IIM Kozhikode, with support from ICA-EU Partnership & ICA Domus Trust


Youth Inclusion

There is a growing need to encourage technology infusion, innovate models of collective entrepreneurship and incentivise youth participation in the cooperative ecosystem. IDT does this by supporting Coopathons and Coop Pitch Competitions. Started in 2018, Coopathon is a Cooperative Hackathon that aims to encourage technology infusion and collective entrepreneurship. Coop Pitch, organized as part of the Asia Pacific Cooperative Youth Summits, has been designed to find new and sustainable enterprise ideas on cooperatives led by youth.

Coop Pitch APCYS 3.0

Theme : Celebrating Youth as Torchbearers of the Cooperative Identity.
Collaborators : ICA-AP and EU

The winners were :

1st Prize – Eco-Clean (Indonesia): a  platform cooperative for cleaning-service providers

2nd Prize – Himalayan Hemp Cooperative (India): a community of artisans and farmers creating eco-conscious products

3rd Prize – Udara Cooperative (Malaysia): food production through aquaponics systems

Coopathon 3.0

Theme : Technology and Cooperative Identity.
Collaborators : Tinkerhub

The winners were :

1st price – Inno Game Coop: An Indonesian online coop hub producing digital products like games

2nd Price – Mycoon: An innovative model from India that grows biomaterials using agriculture residues and fungal mycelium, creating employment for the local youth in the production process

3rd Price – Design for Impact: A platform in India for youngsters to learn design and creative skills

Coopathon 2.0

Theme : Promoting cooperative entrepreneurship among Youth.
Collaborators : National Cooperative Union of India

The winners were :

1st price – Tech coop (s): Online platform for facilitating CSR investments for coops

2nd Price – Techmites: Database to maintain warehouse transactions

3rd Price – Saksham: Online platform to promote cooperative movement amongst youth

Coopathon 1.0

Theme : E-governance, member & communication management.
Collaborators : Kerala Startup Mission

The winners were :

1st Price – Invento: Smart shoes to track worker attendance in real-time

2nd Price – Vash: Smart hats to help the visually impaired to hear what they see

3rd Price – COOPON: Open maps system to aid the creation of app-based coop-run taxi service