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Co-operative governance: pathways to poverty reduction? the case of Kenya

Hannan, Rowshan (2014) Co-operative governance: pathways to poverty reduction? the case of Kenya. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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A reviving and growing co-operative movement across the globe is attracting greater attention, leading to recognition of the important role that it can play in reducing poverty from actors such as national governments and development partners. However, the history of co-operative development in many developing countries has shown us the risks of such attention on the co-operative model, where external stakeholders direct the objectives and activities of co-operatives. This research extends understanding of cooperative governance, and discusses how it can be used to safeguard the co-operative form. It does this to show how member control and decision-making can remain central within a revived co-operative movement and contribute to reducing poverty. I develop a conceptual framework through ‘pathways’ that extend existing co-operative governance concepts and theories to the African context. The pathways show how a balance in different governance areas can combine to influence the way a co-operative operates, and the impact that this can have on poverty at the village and household levels. I operationalise the pathways through two case study co-operatives in rural Kenya, with contrasting governance characteristics. Using a qualitative research approach with participatory methods, I compare the balance in the two co-operatives’ different governance areas, tracing their direct and indirect links to poverty outcomes in two case study villages (where each of the co-operatives have a large number of members), as well as in member and non-member households. The research shows that a balance in the relationships between internal and external stakeholders, as well as strong member participation and loyalty to the co-operative, can combine to allow a balance in the economic and social outcomes of co-operatives - essential to reducing poverty in communities and households. Striving towards this balance in co-operative governance is crucial to maximising impact on poverty.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.641041
Depositing User: Leeds CMS
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 09:33
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8599

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