♣ Choosing the right leaders

"♣": Estrategias específicas empleadas por los estudios de caso para incrementar su nivel de auto-sustentabilidad.Pueden estar en inglés o español. Por favor usa el traductor del menú lateral 

"♣": Specific strategies used by the case studies to increase their degree of self-sustainability.They might be in English or in Spanish. Please use the side menu translator
  • To ensure counterweights in case of controversy, the leaders of the communities are 3 and are chosen with the agreement both of the [This/the initiative] team and the communities. They adopt the responsibility of consulting with the farmers what products they want to sell, of announcing them to the consumers, of finalizing the orders, of supervising the selection and packaging of the products, and of sending them to the city. Likewise, they are responsible for managing the resources obtained to solve logistical issues (such as renting a car to transport the goods), to pay the farmers for their products (approximately 80%), and to collect their respective commissions (approximately 3%). They also commit to maintaining frequent contact with the team of researchers.

  • One of the strengths of the[This/the initiative] lies in its teachers, who seem to be liked by the community and respected by parents and children, principally for two reasons: the manner in which they treat the children, and the devotion with which they work. Night Schools’ teachers are local adults from different working backgrounds (postmasters, keepers of records, policemen, nurses, traditional midwives, extension workers), which helps them to make their teaching relevant for the community.
    • To attract members to the[This/the initiative] Project, the abovementioned coordination identifies people from the community who could enrich the diversity of products and services offered in the association’s directory (x), and presents them with a document on regulations (x)


    • The success of the project resulted in its absorption by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and in its escalation to State level in 2010.

    Nowadays,[This/the initiative]’s general coordinator, considers that the organization’s health mission is accomplished because it has not only achieved its objective of providing health access to the populations in the area it serves, but it has been escalated in the whole state thanks to the organization’s pragmatism and its acknowledgement that the State’s delivery and funding capacity is bigger. Therefore,[This/the initiative]’s role in the area of health has changed. Now it is focused on training communities for the management and social control of these social policies to monitor the State intervention’s quality, which has implied a great detachment effort for the organization.


    • [This/the initiative] has never had schools. Compulsory Education’s coverage in the area is almost 100%, partly because of[This/the initiative]’s advocacy efforts in the last 20 years. It rather had focus on complementary activities to the work of public schools. Since more than 53% of the local population is below 19 years old,[This/the initiative] mainly works with children and the youth with programs for community and environmental education, cultural promotion and diffusion, digital inclusion, and complementary actions for schools. During the latter, local education-related actors (communities, schools, and multiplier of actions) are trained to create supporting regionalized learning materials with participatory methodologies. This counteracts the lack of relevance of local schools’ curricula.

    As with the health program, while[This/the initiative]’s efforts where concentrated until not long ago into complementing schools’ activities, they are now focused on a partnership with 5 schools, the Carlos Chagas Foundation, and the Education Ministry of Santarem municipality, to work on a pilot project for making education for the Amazonian populations more relevant.

    For this purpose, they also use the participatory mapping methodology. Children draw maps of their communities that include not only their inhabitants, but also their institutions, geographical conditions, resources, etc. This methodology helps both[This/the initiative] and educators to identify the perception children have about the place they live, what is important, whose concepts are embedded into their mindset, etc. Based on these concepts and images,[This/the initiative] helps educators and school authorities to sensitize teachers about what is relevant in the region (many teachers are not from the communities where they work), and adapt local materials and the curricula with images, subjects, and methodologies that are more familiar to the children.

    The objective of this partnership is to set an example of how to improve the quality of the public schools in the region that, if successful, is to be scaled to the whole municipality. That is, as the case of the health program, to serve as a demonstrative experience that aims at being escalated by the State, with the argument that it is the latter’s responsibility to provide access to quality education for all. The project so far has been stopped because the Carlos Chagas Foundation cancelled all of its funding this year.


    • [This/the initiative] also ensures that all its programs are supported by training to form “multiplier” agents, that is, local leaders that can manage and disseminate the programs independently.


    • [This/the initiative]’s Strategies for Scalability

    Not only the vision but also the strategies of the organization intend all to create replicable models of action whose objective is to serve as demonstrative references for the State (not the government) and/or the private sector, so they learn better and cheaper ways for designing and implementing public policies/projects and adopt them.

    X argued that the organization’s mission is to create links between communities and partners from abroad rather than monopolizing the former; meaning that their objective is to create development models that can be further scaled by agents that are capable of implementing and funding them sustainably. Once this mission is achieved, the organization’s aim is to change its role from implementing the programs to creating management capacities in the communities, to oversee their continuous persistence and quality after adopted by either the State or the private sector.

    [This/the initiative] is currently requesting an independent agency’s help to systematize[This/the initiative]’s intervention model to be able to scale it, providing that it considers itself as a low cost and high impact sustainable development alternative whose construction is based on the know-how gained from more than 20 years of working with marginalized populations in the Amazon.

    In collaboration with[This/the initiative], Ashoka and McKinsey & Company (2010) made a noteworthy multi-annual strategic plan for scaling-up[This/the initiative]’s program (hereafter referred as the Strategic Plan) to envisage the perspectives and recommendations to expand[This/the initiative] and achieve, in 5 years, a “community integrated development participative model, with proper socio-environmental technologies, with low cost and high impact, consolidated in all direct attention areas and ready for replication in other regions” (x).

    The Strategic Plan explores the characteristics of[This/the initiative]’s model and its principal strengths and weaknesses before making some suggestions to the organization – all of them very illustrative of the factors related to its level of self-sustainability.

    It describes the organization’s value chain: the inputs it receives (e.g. financial resources, social demands, human resources, data, and information), the means through which the organization works to create value (e.g. participative processes, democracy, partnerships, strategic planning, trainings, exchanges, inter and multidisciplinary approaches, adaptation of international social technologies into the local context, and methodologies for the strengthening of community groups), and its outputs (e.g. learning and information, trust relationships, reference models for development initiatives, self-esteem, autonomy, social inclusion, influence in public policies, social work, trained professionals).

    The Strategic Plan also evaluates[This/the initiative]’s strengths (e.g. proper and replicable social technologies, measured benefits, co-management capacity, team’s expertise, knowledge on the region, capacity to propose and adapt, network of partners, visibility and credibility obtained, both locally and abroad), its opportunities (e.g. work in a region with global visibility – the Amazon – network of contacts, scope for gaining scale because of the interest that public administrations have on[This/the initiative]’s work), its weakness (e.g. spread of energy and resources in too many actions, non-satisfactory working conditions, insufficiency in the system of management and systematization of experiences, little participation of the Associates’ Council), and its challenges (lack of stability in the funding sources, limitedness and lack of flexibility of the resources available for institutional strengthening, lack of appropriateness of national policies for the Amazonian region, Amazonian predatory occupation processes).

    Correspondingly, some of the recommended strategies contained in the Strategic Plan for [This/the initiative]’s sustainability and scalability are:

    • The formation of a network of multipliers.
    • The expansion of communication tools.
    • The inter-institutional exchange of methodological processes of expansion.
    • The transfer, dissemination, and replication of environmental technologies.
    • The cooperation with the public and private sector.
    • The methodological reorientation to ensure a greater interaction with public policies and both public and private institutions, identifying common demands and possible cooperation initiatives, using information technologies for gaining scale.

    To enlarge[This/the initiative]’s reach without compromising its quality, the Strategic Plan recommends dividing the 5 years into 3 stages. During the first one, the areas that are currently intervened are consolidated as a permanent laboratory, its results are more comprehensively systematized, and priority is given to the Institutional Integration (which includes developing its communication means, inter-institutional agreements, methodological exchanges and consultancies, adapted socio-environmental expansion, transference, dissemination, and replication processes).

    During the second stage, the area of dissemination is gradually expanded, starting with[This/the initiative]’s more consolidated social technologies, especially 1) the health initiative – which includes preparatory actions for scalability (systematization of the Basic Attention Model that[This/the initiative] has implemented and is offering now to the new beneficiaries, consultancy services portfolio, prospective of potential regions and actors for the replication of the model, etc.). And, 2) its integrative development practices: also needs preparatory actions. Start with strategies of participative diagnosis and planning (conjuncture, identification of local actors and their perceptions, research about priorities for short, middle, and long terms, sectorial competences, etc.) culminating with a Development Plan with Recommendations for the application in the area of work.

    Finally, stage 3 is suggested to be about articulating the Amazon with other regions around the globe, attracting proactive and strategic connections.


    • The success of the project resulted in its absorption by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and in its escalation at State level in 2010. As a consequence, the organization finished its health mission not only in the consideration that it had achieved its objective, but also that the State’s delivery and funding capacity was bigger.[This/the initiative]’s current director, argued that the organization’s mission is to create replicable development models of action that can be further scaled by agents that are capable of implementing and funding them sustainably, for which it also works on strengthening the links between the communities and partners from abroad. Models that serve as demonstrative references for the State (not the – rather unstable – government) and/or the private sector so they learn better and cheaper ways for designing and implementing public policies/projects and adopt them. Once this mission is achieved, the organization changes its role from implementing the programs to creating management capacities in the communities to oversee their continuous persistence and quality.


    • [This/the initiative]’s alleged success in improving the quality of education in rural areas (especially multi-grade and poverty-stricken schools) convinced the Colombian government to elevate it on a national scale for a period of 10 years (starting from 1992), and it was implemented in 20, 000 rural schools all over the country.

    However, governmental support was not stable and the promotion of the model became vulnerable to political struggles/interests. Therefore they decided to create the Escuela Nueva Foundation as a social enterprise that seeks to generate surpluses to reinvest them in their social objective (to strengthen and promote Escuela Nueva pedagogic model’s scalability) and enlarge their impact and mission (x). As a result, their organization has become more self-sustainable because it doesn’t rely on the vulnerable support of the government for the achievement of their social objective.


    • El esquema de red que actualmente perfecciona el[Esta/la iniciativa] también constituye un mecanismo para su sustentabilidad. Las redes duran más que las personas (especialmente con el carácter rotativo de la plantilla del[Esta/la iniciativa] ); permiten la creación de varios liderazgos y líneas de trabajo que no sólo se fortalecen unas a otras sino que sirven de respaldo por si alguna de ellas encuentra dificultades; gozan de presupuestos especiales; permiten compartir recursos y responsabilidades; y más importante, facilitan la misión del[Esta/la iniciativa] de abordar problemáticas de manera integral e inter/transdisciplinaria. En esta misma lógica, el[Esta/la iniciativa] se beneficia del trabajo de otros institutos de la universidad (y de fuera de ella), y les ofrece retroalimentación a cambio. Además, trabaja con el enfoque y métodos de la Complejidad, que al ofrecer herramientas para la comunicación transversal entre disciplinas, facilita la colaboración entre los miembros de su red. Ello tendrá alcances aún más significativos a largo plazo, pues el proceso de sintonización toma tiempo.


    • El problema en México, a diferencia de USA por ejemplo, es que hay pocas donaciones, quizá por el miedo a la corrupción o la falta de confianza sobre en qué se van a gastar. El sistema hacendario es de los más flexibles y ha tenido más reformas que ningún otro sector público gracias a que ha habido una inusual continuación de su personal a pesar de los cambios de gobierno (debido en parte al alto grado de especialización de sus miembros). Sin embargo, no ha logrado cambiar de raíz la estructura que reproduce la desigualdad en el sector.


    • llamada “Bosque Santo” en donde se da permiso a visitantes de depositar las cenizas de sus difuntos.


    • Aunque existen otras haciendas alrededor de[Esta/la iniciativa] que también venden árboles de navidad al parecer existe poca interacción


    • Actualmente, los proyectos que se adoptan en[Esta/la iniciativa] son elegidos por los dueños. Tienen pensado, a futuro, formar un comité de las cabezas de proyecto para considerar sus opiniones. Se eligen proyectos (a) que construyan “bienestar integral en armonía con el medio ambiente, arte y cultura y tecnología”, (b) que sean complementarios y se refuercen entre sí, y (c) que sean autosustentables en términos financieros. Los dueños consideran que la competencia es sana y no prometen exclusividad a ningún proyecto (visión que contrasta con la de modelos, como los de las economías alternativas, que argumentan que la diversidad y complementariedad, más que la competencia, son fuentes de sustentabilidad.) Los proyectos tienen un tiempo de gracia para establecerse y luego tienen que comenzar a dar resultados o renegociar los términos.


    • In its current state, the public education sector is excluding, principally, the most disadvantaged children from their right to equal access to quality education in terms of the Right To Education Act (RTE)’s own criteria: girls, rural children, and children from the lower classes/castes – those for whom the Act’s entitlements have most urgency. Yet, the Act’s main focus is not the public education sector, who is actually no subject to the RTE’s sanctioning scheme.