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Article Index

Impact and scalability

Various factors are critical for cooperatives and partners to achieve impact and sustainability at scale through advisory services: careful design of services; taking into account the needs of cooperatives to strengthen their service delivery capacity and the service needs of members; complementarity between cooperative and externally-sourced services; efficient delivery mechanisms with a constant eye on impact and cost recovery or securing sustainable funding; and having the right partners on board for critical programme design, service capacity development, and periodic reflection for programme improvement.

Tabel 1: Possible service and delivery arrangements for three generic types of members 

Member grouping 

Types of service that may be needed 

Potential service providers 

Most vulnerable: Highly constrained asset endowments, where main focus is food security 

  • Support to meet basic needs 
  • Emergency credit 
  • Assistance with major bottlenecks for production 
  • Facilitation of services to address basic health needs 


  • Government agencies, NGOs and projects for assessing livelihood and health related needs 
  • Cooperative services for securing basic assets (for on-farm production 


Vulnerable: Members with moderate constraints in asset endowments for production, diversified livelihood strategies, but limited capacity to invest in inputs and services 

  • Building human capital for improved crop management 
  • Facilitating access to productivity enhancing assets 
  • Direct provision or facilitation of credit services 
  • Training programs for supporting livelihood diversification 
  • Facilitation of services to address basic health needs 


  • Cooperative services for enhancing on-farm issues 
  • Government agencies, NGOs and projects for basic livelihood and health needs 


Least vulnerable: Members with few or no constraints in asset endowments for on-farm production, able to invest in inputs and services 

  • Short term credit for production of cash crops 
  • Access to inputs for value chain crop 
  • Technical assistance for value chain crop 
  • Assistance to access higher end organic and other niche markets 


  • Buyers/processors (e.g. technical assistance on specific issues in production/processing)