The Euricse-IHCO (International Health Co-operative Organisation, a sectoral organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance) research project on health cooperatives and mutuals has officially started. On July 8th, the Euricse research team (Michela Giovannini, Carlo Borzaga and Gianluca Salvatori) met in Madrid with José Guisado and Jose Pérez, respectively President and secretary of IHCO. The meeting took place at the headquarters of Asisa, the leading Spanish cooperative in the insurance sector and member of Fundación Espriu, a cooperative group, of which Guisado is CEO, operating in the health sector.
The meeting provided the opportunity to analyse in detail the objectives of the project and to define the methodology and common strategies for data collection. The project, which will have a total duration of five years, will focus in the first year on 15 countries within four continents. The principal goals of the project are to identify the main organisational forms typical of the cooperatives from the health sector and to understand how they relate to national welfare systems. This analysis is also aimed at formulating recommendations for the design of effective and inclusive social policies.
The methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, will focus on analysis of existing data and collection of new data through the use of a questionnaire delivered to the main cooperative health organizations and federations in the 15 countries involved. This will be done in order to determine, on a quantitative level, the number of health cooperatives, the main organisational forms and the number of users in each country. In addition, a qualitative analysis will be developed to understand the role of these organizations in their respective welfare systems and to analyse a series of case studies, ideally six, that will be used to deepen the knowledge of specific typologies and the development of these organizations in differing contexts.
The meeting also provided occasion to approve the composition of the scientific committee that will supervise the research process. It will be formed by seven members: José Carlos Guisado and Adriano Leite Soares (IHCO), Carlo Borzaga and Gianluca Salvatori (Euricse), Bruno Roelants (CICOPA), Angelo Stefanini (Centre for International and Intercultural Health, University of Bologna) and Michael Roy (Yunus Center for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University).
During the next meeting, to take place between October and November, the scientific committee will discuss the progress of the research and address challenges arising during the initial phase of the research.