Measuring the social and environmental impact of industrial and services cooperatives is important to understand better the consequences and impacts of these cooperatives in the community they operate. It is with this idea and as a follow-up of a series of activities developed for members on the same topic, that on the 14th of July CECOP organized an online mutual learning session for its members.
The aim was to provide a mutual learning space among those members who have established practices in collecting data on social impact and those who do not, but also of knowledge exchange among experts on existing practices.
With presentations by Confcooperative Federsolidarietà (Italy), the Xarxa d’Economia Solidaria de Catalunya (Spain) in collaboration with COCETA (Spain), NAUWC (Poland), and CASES (Portugal) in collaboration with ConfeCoop (Portugal) members had the chance to learn about different approaches and methods of measuring social impact and had exchanges on the challenges and opportunities related to the use and application of these measurement tools.
During the mutual learning session, the question of social impact measurement was discussed from various angles.
Participants agreed that measuring cooperatives’ social impact is a way to support and promote cooperatives, but also for cooperatives themselves to improve their impact. At the same time, some of them highlighted the importance to dissociate this practice from the logic of benchmarking cooperatives whose aims is to provide answers to the needs and primary rights of peoples, not that of giving the best performance.
CECOP thanks the presenters and the participants for their insightful contributions and fruitful debates and is looking forward to continuing working on social impact measurement in the future.