The cooperative sector is always looking for evidence to tell its stories and impacts. Because of the nature of our business model being in service of multiple bottom lines, sometimes that is harder to measure. Often, collecting the tombstone data (tallies of people involved, basic financial metrics, etc.) is a great place to start, and the narrative accounts of cooperative impact complement that well, to illustrate how the coop model and its application in differing contexts, can enrich people’s lives, support people’s core needs and also enhance livelihoods. The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council and the International Cooperative Research Group have created some robust impact reports for cooperatives in four countries: Peru, the Philippines, Poland and Kenya. Like any research focusing on a particular country, it is valuable to see how the findings relate in other country contexts, as well as how the cultural, political and historical landscape for cooperatives is unique to that location.
The below content are excerpts from the OCDC website:
The “What Difference Do Cooperatives Make?” research initiative is a comprehensive, evidence-based study that rigorously examines the impacts that cooperatives have on the lives of people who belong to cooperatives. It is the “first” study of its kind, using the same methods in Poland, Peru, Philippines and Kenya.
For each country study “a representative sample of 2,000+ people across the country, provides compelling evidence that cooperative members on the whole enjoy better economic conditions and have greater social capital than the population as a whole. The policy implications of these findings are wide-ranging and underscore the critical role that cooperatives can play in fostering inclusive economic growth in countries across the globe,” according to the OCDC website.
The Peru study should be available soon here
There is also an event that showcases this research to happen on May 26, 2021 so visit the events page for more details and to register.