ACDI/VOCA is a private, international development nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C, United States. ACDI/VOCA’s mission is "to promote economic opportunities for cooperatives, enterprises and communities through the innovative application of sound business practice".
Agricultural Cooperative Development International
ACDI (Agricultural Cooperative Development International) was formed in 1963 by major U.S. farm cooperatives. Its principal objective was to provide expertise and support to cooperative enterprises in developing countries.
ACDI helped found IFFCO, India's largest fertilizer company, re-established cooperative banking in Poland, and set up large business-oriented farmer organizations in East Africa, including the cooperative unions in Sidama and Yirgachefe, Ethiopia, that enabled direct export of coffee from those regions.
Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance
VOCA (Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance) was established in 1970 to provide volunteer assistance in developing countries. In 1985 VOCA was the first implementer of the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program. Volunteers have included bank presidents, coffee roasters, grain storage specialists and business magnates. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a substantial number of assignments were carried out in Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, in many cases providing entrepreneurs there with exposure to the dynamics of the private sector and modern commercial operations.
In 1997 the two organizations merged to form ACDI/VOCA. The merger combined ACDI’s long-term development approaches and VOCA’s people-to-people volunteer activities. Formerly the acronym stood for the combination of the two entities (Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance), but today its legal name is solely the acronym. The organization’s programming currently revolves around value chain approaches to enterprise development, self-sustaining financial services development, farmer organization, agribusiness development, self-help community development, and food aid, among other competencies. The organization sends hundreds of U.S. volunteer experts overseas each year on short-term assignments. It has worked in 146 nations.
ACDI/VOCA works in five main areas:
ACDI/VOCA receives funding from various donors, including USAID, USDA, the World Bank, UNDP, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank and other development funders. ACDI/VOCA also partners with private sector corporations.
- "Vision, Mission & Values". ACDI/VOCA. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
- ACDI/VOCA spreads co-op model worldwide. Rural Cooperatives. 1 May 2004.
- "Our Story". ACDI/VOCA. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- McCullough, Jill. ACDI/VOCA brings business to the world. Business First. 10 Nov. 2000.
- "ACDI/VOCA at a Glance". ACDI/VOCA. Retrieved 23 August 2013.