Director of the Union of Cooperative Associations for Saving and Credit (UCASC)  

Creating equity and overcoming capitalism: cooperatives and the social economy


Creating equity and overcoming capitalism: cooperatives and the social economy

The cooperative movement has existed in Palestine since the early 20th century. The movements have suffered the consequences of successive layers of administrative controls and changes: the British mandate, the Egyptian/Jordanian Rule, Israeli occupation, and the Palestinian Authority, progressively weakening cooperative societies. This decline was worsened by a donor-driven model that led to an aid-dependent economy.

In our global context where social and economic injustices are ever-growing, some regions and countries succeeded to place dignity and social value at the heart of work and wealth, through a different model of economic organizing: cooperatives.

Are cooperatives a good model for a steadfast Palestinian economy? What are Palestinians today thinking when we talk about “cooperatives”? Why are women cooperatives the most successful in Palestine? What are the challenges faced today to develop perennial and successful structures?

Randa's Bio

Randa is the director of the Union of Cooperative Associations for Saving and Credit (UCASC) in Palestine. She has 32 years of experience; contributed to the foundation of the Savings and Credit Groups initiative in Palestine, and focused in particularly on Women Empowerment, Social Economy, and Microcredit within the Saving and Credit cooperatives. During her professional experience, she received training in different topics and fields such as Loan and Delinquency management, Islamic finance and insurance, Social Performance Feasibility Studies, Team Building &Communication Skills, Advanced Operational & Financial Analysis), she has a two years ToT Certification Program, Microfinance (Jordan), Design and Management of Microfinance Programs, Gender. Randa is a member of the general assembly of NGOs,  PARC, ACAD,  and Reef finance, board Member of the Palestinian Agricultural credit institution “PACI” and chairwomen of  Rural Wo men’s Development Society RWDS

UCASC is the legal umbrella for Saving and Credit cooperatives CASCs. As of 31/12/2019, 12 Saving and Credit cooperatives are under the cooperative, one CASC had been registries on each governorate of West Bank and one on the national level are members of UCASC, in which 10 of the cooperative are women-only, the other two are mixed (Hebron and Public Sector employee’s cooperative). With an active membership of 5,278 widespread through 224 groups /village, with a member’s balance amount of $4,540,211 of savings and shares, which represent the major component of the loan portfolio. The cumulative number of disbursed loans is 16,302, with the value of 43,780,217 USD, for the benefit of 7,340 borrowers, 6,717 are women. These women are categorized as poor since the majority of them hold no financial assets and are fully dependent on men for their living and showing good potential to be self-dependent.  

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