As part of the 2018 global celebration of the International Day of Cooperatives, the International Cooperative Research Group released a major research report. This report documents the sustainable cooperative development that has taken place in Poland since market reforms were instituted in the early 1990s.
What Difference Do Cooperatives Make? shows that cooperatives in Poland are having a differentiated and measurable impact on the lives of members, both economically and socially. These findings were reported by members themselves and benchmarked against a representative sample of non-cooperative members and available national statistics.
This research conducted by our Research Group surveyed 2,000 people in Poland and is the first in a series of country studies designed to gather objective evidence demonstrating that cooperatives provide a sound platform for broad-based international development with sustainable, locally owned and institutionalized results. Three key findings from the research are:
- A significant majority (83%) of cooperative members say that membership in a cooperative has positively affected their economic position and was their primary motivation for joining. The economic benefit finding is further strengthened by the fact that cooperative members have, on average, higher incomes than the general population.
- Cooperative members have greater social capital, as measured by trust and their joining of organizations, as well as a greater sense of belonging to their community.
- Social capital plays a significant role in members’ decisions to remain in a cooperative, showing that both economic and social effects make up the cooperative difference.
It’s fitting that the report is released when the world is celebrating and promoting the role cooperatives play in creating sustainable communities, fostering income equality and building a more prosperous, stable and peaceful world.
Read the full report here: