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Paradigm Shift
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p a r a d i g m     s h i f t

I. Why Paradigm Shift?

VICTO as an organization has grown tremendously since its modest beginnings in 1970 not only in terms of programs and services but also in terms of membership scope and area coverage.

Along the way, it has pioneered in a lot of innovative ideas and concepts, marrying these into the classical co-op theories. In many cases, it has succeeded. These were primarily due to pilot-testings courtesy of various projects.

As the Center takes on more roles and functions, as it seeks to interface more and more with various publics, as it undertakes more programs and services, as it tries to consolidate organizing efforts by various co-op promoting institutions, and as it tries to struggle to sustain operations, there are some questions that have been highlighted. And questions that must be answered, and responded to now.

Among them:

Who is VICTO?
Why are the staff representing VICTO in fora, and seldom its leaders?
What is the Center managing, or rather, what should it be managing - its development programs or a co-op development process?
Are VICTO's affiliates members or customers or just a list?
Why is the Center always busy with projects, sometimes forgetting its members?

Hence, "paradigm shift".

II. What Paradigm Shift?

Paradigm Shift means a revolutionary change in VICTO's approaches, systems and structures. It means a change in the way of thinking of the Center's membership, leadership and staff along three aspects, viz: membership, organizational posturing and management systems.

Slogans shall be adopted to rally everyone to these changes:

membership --->     from stockholders to stockholders

organizational posturing --->     from Secretariat to Movement

management systems --->    from managing development programs to managing a development proecess

In summary, what the paradigm shipt hopes to achieve is the strengthening of VICTO -- the co-op movement.

Visayas Declaration

Since it began in 1970, VICTO has grown tremendously, pioneering many innovative ideas and concepts. It has often succeeded in marrying these into classical co-op theories.

As the Center moves into the future, there are some questions that have arisen that need to be addressed and responded to now.

These questions, include: What is the role of the Secretariat? How can we consolidate the co-operative relationship towards meeting challenges of globalization and changing playing fields? What is the most effective management system to respond to members' needs?

The Paradigm Shift is a response to these questions.

In summary, what the Paradigm Shift hopes to achieve is the strenghtening of VICTO -- the co-operative movement. It will do this by focusing on three areas: membership, organization posturing and management systems.

The first Paradigm Shift emphasizes: "From stockholders to member owners".

Membership - To facilitate more active participation by VICTO's member co-operatives on the provincial level, the network structure must be redefined so that they can meet regularly and discuss how the Center can be more relevant, and the cooperatives in the province to undertake joint activites.

A three-tiered structure may be required, viz: a provincial federations or groupings among the affiliates in the province; the formation of a regional groupings with sets of officers that will represent the region in the VICTO leadership.

The second Paradigm Shift emphasizes: "From Secretariat to Movement"
Organizational posturing - There is a need for VICTO to be more membership driven. In connection with network re-structuring , some functions - such as planning for interventions, social audit and representation on various NGO/PO organizations - require more participation by the provincial and regional leaders.
Thus, the third Paradigm Shift emphasizes: "From managing development programs to managing a development process".
Management Systems - To assist VICTO in monitoring its services and programs, emphasis will shift from inputs at the Secretariat staff level to outputs at the co-op level.

The Center's operating structure will be adjusted to correspond with the network operating structure. This will require full decentralization. Cooperatives which is the market, should be segmented and classified. A corresponding planning and management process shall be adopted.

The Paradigm Shift focuses more on the Peoples' Movement and the corresponding change in Internet Affairs, to ensure that the Secretariat can respond to developments in areas such as advocacy for gender, ecology and local governance as well as business enterprise, in the most efficent and effective way possible.

Major Strategies

In 1996, regular provincial ownership meetings were conducted. Affiliates outlined their difficulties, future needs and responsibilities. This resulted in provincial declarations.

The output of all the provincial ownership meetings were discussed at the regional ownership meetings. The provincial declarations were validated, refined and consolidated.

This resulted in the Regional Paradigm Shift Declarations.