Co-Operative Contributions Measured By Research

Anew research fund will examine the social, economic and environmental advantages that co-operatives provide to communities across the country in goods and services such as housing, child care, health care and financial services, Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology), told Canadian Co-operative Association in Ottawa May 31.

“This research project will look at the value that co-operatives add to communities across Canada,” Goodyear said in a release.

The project, entitled “measuring the impact of co-operatives,” is receiving an investment of approximately $1 million over five years through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC’s) CommunityUniversity Research Alliances grants. The funding will bring communities and universities together in partnerships to build knowledge in areas affecting Canadians.

The new research project will be led by John Anderson, executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association. The research will build on the networks, research and partnerships of the Canadian Co-operative Association, which has nine million members, and the research already undertaken by the co-operative centres for study at Saint Mary’s University, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Victoria. The research team will study topics such as social responsibility and accountability; the impact of member and employee participation on a co-operative’s performance; the role of credit unions in building community wealth; and the impact of housing co-operatives on household income, skills and social capital.

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