MADISON, Wis. -- Over 60 board members from Ecuadorian credit unions have learned how to improve their board performance at a special governance training session sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions.
The latest session took place Feb. 9-10 at Universidad T?cnica de Ambato in Ambato, Ecuador.
The sessions in Ambato, about 90 miles south of Quito, comprise the third offering of the COMDIR program, which aims to further credit union growth, sustainability and governance by training board members on leadership, commitment, teamwork, planning, management and oversight, WOCCU said.
The six-weekend, 34-session program encourages board members to support processes of change and modernization in their credit unions, which in turn lead to growth and greater outreach.
Oscar Guzm?n, World Council of Credit Unions-Ecuador institutional development advisor, led 10 credit union board members in the first two-day workshop on Roles and Responsibilities of Directors. Participants represented five different credit unions located in Ambato and Quito. Many of them were educators by profession with levels of credit union board experience ranging from three months to 14 years.
"Participating in the COMDIR program, I hope to better function as president of the board and share with board members what I learn at the workshop in terms of laws and norms," said Maria Teresa Ru?z, board member of Coop Sagrario in Ambato and one of two women who attended the training last week. Participants saw COMDIR largely as a platform to share credit union governance best practices.
World Council collaborates with both local and other international organizations to deliver the COMDIR program. CEDECOOP, an organization specialized in professional development for credit unions, and Red Financiera Rural, a national network with rural credit union membership, are responsible for implementation. The academic and oversight committee includes WOCCU-Ecuador, CEDECOOP, Swisscontact and the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV).
The Louisiana Credit Union League worked with World Council in the early stages of the program to develop the COMDIR curriculum and training materials.
In order to be regulated by the financial sector regulator, credit unions must meet a minimum asset size. Given this stipulation, World Council estimates that approximately 80% of credit unions in Ecuador lack proper regulation. The COMDIR program seeks to educate board members of both regulated and non-regulated credit unions to promote sound institutions throughout the system.