1. Introduction

The purpose of this survey is to better conceptualize the task of evaluating the impact of the work of Social Economy organizations. The idea of impact can mean different things for different people and groups. We believe that there is no single absolute way to measure the idea of impact. For the purposes of this survey impact refers to the different effects that an activity or service provided by Social Economy organizations has on individuals and communities.

The Social Economy is understood to mean different things for different people. There is broad agreement that the Social Economy is comprised of economic, political, and movement practices that depart from the public and private sectors. These practices are found in a variety of settings including co-operative, non-profit or for-profit businesses, non-profit housing properties or community-based grassroots associations. As a means to initiate discussion and reflection, we provide one description of the Social Economy.

“Economic activity neither controlled directly by the state nor by the profit logic of the market; activity that prioritizes the social well-being of communities and marginalized individuals over partisan political directives or individual gain.”

Please note that we are treating this description as a starting point that we hope can lead to developing new ways to evaluate the impact of the Social Economy on the Public Good. Therefore, you are encouraged to answer the questions in this survey using your own understanding of the Social Economy.

This survey as an initial step in a research project aimed at exploring and developing a new way of conceptualizing approaches to evaluating the impact of the Social Economy on the Public Good. To that end this survey does not have a defined end point. The responses will inform the ongoing refining and evolution of this instrument as a means to understand the different approaches and influences associated with evaluating the impact of the Social Economy on Canadian society.

The research project is administered and developed by Jorge Sousa of the University of Alberta and JJ McMurtry of York University. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please contact Jorge at sousa@ualberta.ca or J.J. at jmcmurtr@yorku.ca.

This research is supported by The Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships (CESRP) and The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). The report of the data will be submitted to CCEDNet and other research partners. The findings will also be available to academic and non-academic audiences in the form of presentations and articles.

Your participation is completely voluntary. Completing this survey should take upto 30 minutes of your time. Note that approximate answers are acceptable. Be assured that the information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and is anonymous. Data is encrypted using SSL encryption - the highest available. Access to the raw data is strictly limited to the researchers. Results will only be presented in the aggregate so that no individuals can be identified.

If you undertake this survey, we assume that you are consenting to participate. You may withdraw your participation by closing your browser window at any point in the survey. This action will terminate your participation. However, do note that you cannot withdraw your participation once you have clicked the submit button at the end of the survey since your responses will anonymously and confidentially be a part of the larger data pool.

The plan for this study has been reviewed for its adherence to ethical guidelines and approved by the Faculties of Education, Extension, Augustana and Campus Saint Jean Research Ethics Board (EEASJ REB) at the University of Alberta. For questions regarding participant rights and ethical conduct of research, contact the Chair of the EEASJ REB c/o (780) 492-2614.

Thank you very much for your co-operation.
9% of survey complete.