Fact Sheets on the Cooperative Sector

These short fact sheets, prepared in 2012 when WIEGO participated in the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) Expo, provide an overview of some organizations and cooperatives that WIEGO has worked with.

WIEGO Fact Sheet on Cooperatives in the Informal Sector 


Around the world, informal workers are forming cooperatives, pooling their energy, ideas and resources to gain mutual economic, political and social benefits.

WIEGO supports this work through action-research projects, capacity-building among organizations, facilitating networking and solidarity, and supportive advocacy on both the regional and global stage.

SwAch Co-operative Waste Collection


SWaCH Seva Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit (known as SWaCH, which means “clean”) is a solid waste collection and handling cooperative. Initiated as a pilot project in 2005, it is the first cooperative wholly owned by self-employed waste pickers and waste collectors.

WIEGO Fact Sheet on Cooperatives in the Informal Sector - SEWA


SEWA is a trade union of women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses, as more than 94 per cent of women in India’s labour force do. SEWA emerged in 1971 and has over 1.3 million members. It has become a national and international force in addressing poor working women’s issues and helping them improve their lives and livelihoods.

SEWA has organized over 100 cooperatives and has a federation of cooperatives.

WIEGO Fact Sheet on Cooperatives in the Informal Sector - Ourinhos

Recicla Ourinhos

Recicla Ourinhos is a cooperative whose 80 members are contracted by the municipality to provide services for collection, assessment, improvement and commercialization of recyclable solid wastes in the Brazilian city of Ourinhos.

English  | Português

WIEGO Fact Sheet on Cooperatives in the Informal Sector - Machakos


 The Machakos Co-operative Union Ltd. (MCU) was established in the 1960s in Kenya. Its original aim was to market coffee for producers. Today, MCU is an umbrella organization for 79 affiliated primary organizations serving over 60,000 individuals in the Machakos and Makueni counties (comprised of 15 districts).