The OCDC Research Group (RG) carried out this pilot study in Poland as the first in a series of country studies designed to understand the extent to which objective evidence will demonstrate that
cooperatives provide a sound platform on which to base broad-based international development for sustainable, locally owned and institutionalized results. The Poland country study is also a standalone research product. This study piloted the research methods with the intention also of producing a stand-alone research report.
The results from the research on “What Difference Do Cooperatives Make?” tell us that cooperatives in Poland are making a differentiated and measurable difference in the lives of members, both economically and socially, as reported by the members themselves and as benchmarked against available national statistics.
The motivations for people to join and remain cooperative members are both economic and social, with a sense of greater financial security and a sense of “belonging” engendered by cooperative
membership being paramount. These research findings and conclusions drawn are based on the data collected from respondents, reflecting their impressions and understandings. The findings
do not draw conclusions about cause and effect. Nonetheless, it is important to note that from the member standpoint, economics primarily motivated them to join a cooperative and both social and economic benefits play a role in their having remained cooperative members.