About the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network
In February 2010, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) awarded $1 million towards a new suite of research projects about Canada’s co-operative sector. Led by the Canadian Co-operative Association in partnership with four Canadian universities (Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Victoria), the research network was funded to conduct research on the social, economic and environmental impacts of co-operatives on Canadians and their communities. The project was live from 2010 until 2015.
Dozens of other co-operative associations, co-ops, credit unions and academic researchers also participated in this Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) research collaboration. In 2014, a new national apex organization was created – Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada – and thereafter the CURA was administered through CMC.
What is a CURA?
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Community University Research Alliance (CURA) program (now discontinued) supports the creation of alliances between community organizations and post-secondary institutions to foster innovative research, training and the creation of new knowledge in areas of importance for Canada’s social, cultural or economic development.
- Produce and disseminate knowledge about the co-operative form of organization within the wider economy, with particular focus on the social, environmental and economic impacts of co-operatives;
- Create tools to measure the value added by co-operatives, and use tools that include co-operative principles and values to capture the ‘co-operative difference’;
- Deepen existing linkages and networks within the co-operative movement (at academic, community, national and provincial levels), and initiate networks of co-operatives within the social economy around common issues;
- Inform public policy on the role and value of co-operatives in meeting social, economic and environmental goals within a public and social policy context; and
- Build capacity within academia and co-operatives (especially the various second and third tier co-operatives) to frame an operationalized understanding of the ICA principles, and to measure social and environmental as well as financial performance.
The Network was made up of four research Clusters and an overall Hub. The Hub was Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, the organization of Denyse Guy, the Principal Investigator for this Network. In the spirit of partnership between communities and universities, the research network was directed by one representative of the co-op sector and one university representative.
Our research structure consisted of four research clusters; three based at Canadian universities at one at the CCA. Each of the Cluster Leads below worked closely with many community and academic partners throughout the duration of the research process.
Atlantic Cluster Leads
Prairie Cluster Leads
Western Cluster Leads
National Cluster Leads
Thanks to the many partners who supported the initial application and/or were involved in the research projects:
- Advantage Credit Union (SK)
- Affinity Credit Union (SK)
- Alberta Co-operative & Community Association (AB)
- BC Co-operative Association (BC)
- Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation
- Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (QC)
- Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité
- Co-op Atlantic
- Co-operative Enterprise Council (NB)
- Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
- Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia (NS)
- Co-operative Management Education Co-operative
- Co-operatives Secretariat
- Federated Co-operatives Ltd.
- Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative (BC)
- Manitoba Co-operative Association (MB)
- Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of C0-operatives (NL)
- Nova Scotia Co-operative Council (NS)
- Ontario Co-operative Association (ON)
- PEI Co-operative Council (PEI)
- Quint Development Corporation (SK)
- Saskatchewan Co-operative Association (SK)
- South Islands Regional Co-op Council (BC)
- Sustainability Solutions Group
- The Co-operators Group Limited
- United Community Services Co-op (BC)
- Upper Columbia Co-operative Council (BC)
- Victoria Community Health Co-op (BC)
We have archived the website that was live during the work of the project. Click here to visit that site.