The mission of OCDC is to champion, advocate and promote effective international cooperative development.
OCDC envisions a world where people in all countries have the opportunity to work together through cooperatives to create a better life for themselves and their communities.
The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council grew from the solid foundation, success and strength of U.S. cooperatives and a desire by the U.S. to use cooperatives as a way to stabilize developing nations.
During the 1960s, the Kennedy Administration strongly supported cooperatives as part of land reform efforts in Latin America. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson signed early cooperative grants, which were provided to national cooperative organizations.
In 1962, the U.S Agency for International Development undertook a study of cooperative development. From that study came a committee of U.S. cooperative organizations that focused on implementing a 1961 amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, which was designed “to encourage the development and use of cooperatives, credit unions and savings and loan associations” worldwide.
A cooperative office was created to build on the pioneering work of the National Cooperative Business Association and the Global Office of the National Credit Union Administration. Many of these early overseas efforts were carried out by U.S. cooperative employees who were asked to share their experiences overseas. Many of the cooperatives they created still exist, particularly in Latin America.
In 1982, this cooperative alliance was formally organized as a cooperative — the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council.