ICCO Cooperation is a global, non-governmental organization. We work towards a world in which people can live in dignity and well-being, a world without poverty and injustice.
The number of people living under the absolute poverty line of 1, 25 dollar per day is decreasing. That is the good news. But almost 1 billion people live still in extreme poverty and hunger. 2 billion people experience malnutrition. Moreover the gap between rich and poor is growing. Many people, and young people not in the least, are excluded from economic and social opportunities. Their basic human rights are denied.
We believe a world with less poverty is possible. To achieve this we embrace two core principles:
These principles are interrelated and explained in our strategy paper 'Towards a Just and Dignified World'. A livelihood without rights is not sustainable and dignity comes with a livelihood in which rights are respected. The core values of ICCO are compassion, justice and stewardship, expressions of our Christian roots.
‘Strategy 2020: Towards a Just and Dignified World.’
We keep our eyes and ears close to the ground as a partner to enterprising people with a worldwide local network and a strong belief in the power of people to improve their livelihoods.
ICCO gives people the opportunity to link up to viable and sustainable agri-business value chains, acquire income and produce sufficient and quality food for a balanced diet. We connect organizations and investors, and develop skills to enhance farmers’ livelihoods. We also support organizations that help farmers obtain land titles, and we work with private sector businesses that purchase produce, set quality standards and strengthen producer organizations.
There is not a one-off solution to end poverty and injustice. Also there are no quick fixes either. From more than 50 years of experience we know that multistakeholder and public private partnerships help a lot to achieve success. Therefore we facilitate, broker and invest in collaborations between civil society organizations, (social) enterprises and governments. We believe in deploying joint innovative capacities and sharing values.
Many of our programs are characterized by a blended approach. We apply and combine funding sources, different financing instruments and business entities from the Foundation ICCO and the Fair & Sustainable Holding B.V. In this we accept a certain measure of risk-taking by combining grant based co-financing with non-grant based funding mechanisms like loans, equity and impact investments. An example of blending in a public private partnership is the improvement of the malt barley value chain in Ethiopia.
We endeavor to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are seen as the most important global agreements to improve people's lives which require full commitment of governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. There are 17 SDGs that relate to people, planet, and profit. The ICCO themes cover several SDGs. To measure our impact we have established programs indicators that correspond to the SDGs indicators 1, 2, 8 and 16.
ICCO Cooperation works from 5 regional and 26 country offices in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The global office of the organization is located in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The regional offices are in South America (La Paz and Managua), West Africa (Bamako), Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (Kampala), South and Central Asia (Nepal) and South East Asia (Denpassar).
ICCO was established on December 30th 1964 and converted in a structure cooperative from 14 November 2012 (Coöperatie ICCO U.A., brand name: ICCO Cooperation). Present members of the cooperative are the Foundation ICCO and the Fair & Sustainable Holding B.V.
In 2008 Foundation ICCO established the Fair & Sustainable Holding B.V. To this group belong several for profit subsidiaries: ICCO Investments, FairClimateFund, Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services and Fair & Sustainable Participations (e.g. Business Booster). ICCO Foundation is the sole shareholder.
ICCO is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global alliance of 140 churches and related organizations focusing on long-term development and humanitarian assistance.
ICCO is a Dutch cooperative with an international organizational structure. The control over strategy, policy and funds of the organization is shared by the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board and five regional councils. The principal activities are carried out from ICCO’s regional and country offices.
The Executive Board is responsible for the overall organization and consists of:
M. (Marinus) Verweij. Chair and responsible for strategy and external communications. Verweij joined ICCO in 2010 and is also member of the Board of ICCO USA. His motto: ‘Alone you go faster, together you reach further.’ Starting his career as a doctor in tropical medicine in Zimbabwe, at his return Verweij led the TNO Centre for Health Assets. Ancillary positions are treasurer of ACT EU and chairman of the Christian Medical and Dental Association Trust.
W. (Wim) Hart. Member and vice-chair. Hart joined ICCO in 2009. He is responsible for business management and private sector cooperation. Besides Hart is director of Fair & Sustainable Holding B.V. Before ICCO Hart worked as partner and director of Van Huffelen & Meenink Accountants and Tax Advisors B.V. Among his present ancillary positions are board member ACT Alliance and member of the Supervisory Board of New World Campus.
The Supervisory Board oversees the functioning of the Executive Board. Members are:
Ir. J. (Johan) F. de Leeuw. Chairman of the Supervisory Board and member of the Remuneration Committee. Senior consultant in the Public Service, Chairman CTGB (College Admissions Pesticides and Biocides). Former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and former Director-General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
Prof. Dr. Ir. G. (Gert) van Dijk. Member of the Audit Committee. Professor at Wageningen University, Nyenrode University and TiasNimbas, Tilburg University.
Drs. W. (Wim) Oosterom. Member of the de Audit Committee. Business economist and chartered accountant. He was Global Sector Manager at Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Mrs. (Robin) Powell Mandjes. Member of the Board ICCO USA. Principal Powell Mandjes Associates, a real estate investment and advisory firm. Board member of Williams College and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Mr. A. (Albert) Knigge. Member Supervisory Board. Partner Corporate Litigation, Houthoff Buruma. Knigge represents companies, financial institutions and professional service firms in complex multi-party often cross border litigation. Board member of the Netherlands Association for Civil Procedure and an author of a basic loose-leaf handbook for Dutch civil litigators.
Regional councils, consisting of independent experts from civil society organizations, companies and governments, support the regional offices with:
• setting priorities for policy and strategy and
• monitoring the implementation of regional plans.
Jo Verkuyl was the founder of ICCO. He was a missionary preacher who worked in Indonesia, a man with an unconventional approach to aid in developing countries. As one of the very few in his time, Verkuyl believed that development work should be focused on the needs of the poor. He was convinced that all changes start at community level. Compassion, justice and stewardship: these were the three values on which founding Verkuyl, protestant churches and Dutch civil society organizations established ICCO in 1964 on December 31st. These values guide us to this day.
On the occasion of ICCO's 50th jubilee in 2015 the book 'Journey to Justice'was writte. It contains 11 stories and interviews with partners about our rich history.
Our long track record and expertise have created a vast international network of civil society organizations, private companies, governments, knowledge centers and institutional donors. These relationships allow us to work together with the best parties in multistakeholder programs.
Strategic partners of ICCO Cooperation