Within the different types of organisational structures available, it is generally believed that co-operative organisations serve the poor better than the other available alternatives. This belief is based on the fact that these organisations are usually owned and controlled by the people and their objective is to provide services instead of making profits. They are, therefore, considered an important instrument for equitable development, and have been given a prominent role in the national development strategies in many developing countries. It is surprising, however, that the performance of cooperatives is not as satisfactory as it could have been. They have met with only occasional success in Asia. This book explores the causes of this failure.