♣ Clarity in the definition of roles and responsibilities

"♣": 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
  • Establishing banking trust funds mechanisms where all actors are represented and their rights and responsibilities clearly distributed (the trustee/bank, the donors/funders, and the beneficiaries/initiative/local people), that contribute to the effective management of the funds, and that guarantee its credibility and transparency
    • Another strategy commonly used to this end is the establishment of schemes, such as the banking trust funds mentioned before, that assure that all stakeholders’ interests and responsibilities are negotiated, defined by contract, and supervised by an external actor — dealing concurrently with potential treats to self-sustainability that could emerge during the implementation process and keeping the communities stewardship of the programs by delimiting their rights and responsibilities.
    • Through the new scheme, the organization collected enough donations to start what is known as a Capital Fund, which sum is enough to secure that the interests it yields are given to the farmers in replacement of the fees they were receiving from logging companies in exchange of their protection of the forest, securing, at the same time, that the fund itself is not touched, reducing the need to search for additional funds annually. This capital fund is subject to control by a banking trust fund mechanism composed of 3 parts: the trustee (the bank), the donors/foundations, and the beneficiaries (the organization/the local people), which contributes to the effective management of the funds and guarantees its credibility and transparency.

    For that, [This/the initiative] complements this strategy by searching for what is known as parity/matching funds, on which each donation that the organization manages to secure is paired by a third source on the condition that the said commitment of the farmers to help preserving the forests is verifiably met.


    • The Parity/Matching Funds Scheme:

    Funding comes from a variety of sources in exchange for an active commitment by the communities who own the forests, to take the necessary actions to ensure that the forests are always kept strictly intact – which means not exploiting them and not allowing anyone else to do so. The funds are used to compensate the communities for revenue lost, resulting from their abstention to economically exploit their forests.

    Some of these funding mechanisms are obtained through parity or matching fund schemes where, in exchange for the communities’ contribution consisting on their commitment to keep the forests intact, entities such as the National Forestry Commission (Mexico) provides 1 Mexican peso for each peso that[This/the initiative] obtains from other financial sources to help the community to achieve the same objective – which is basically to preserve the environmental services that forests provide. Other mechanisms consist of financial contributions on the condition that the said commitment is verifiably met, and that the community engages in undertaking active forest conservation activities.

    Like the National Forestry Commission in Mexico, many institutions are concerned about the lack of direct involvement (ownership) that most development projects have on the part of the beneficiaries. Frequently, beneficiaries’ involvement and ownership of the project demonstrates that the donors’ investment has greater possibilities of surviving and leaving a lasting effect.


    • The Banking Trust Fund Scheme:
    • All financial resources obtained are deposited in the capital fund, the use of which is subject to control by a banking trust fund mechanism, which provides the project with credibility to encourage donations to contribute with those resources.

      Donors, foundations, governments, and international NGOs trying to support the so-called “developing countries” frequently face the same problem: corruption. Money frequently doesn’t arrive at its destination and stays in intermediary hands. It also happens that the money is distributed but the recipient organizations don’t have projects to offer, even if the money is there. With a Trust Fund, the money doesn’t have to go through the organization’s hands but rather goes through the Trust Fund’s hands which gives transparency to the money’s management, and certainty to both the organization and the donors.

      A Trust Fund is composed of 3 parts:

      1. The Trustee (the Bank) that is the one that generates the confidence (the trust), as it is the one that monitors how the money is being spent and ensures that it is used in the way and with the purpose agreed, by contract, between the beneficiaries and the donors.
      2. The Donors/Foundations that put money in the trust for a specific purpose.
      3. The Beneficiaries (the organization and/or local people).


      1, 2, and 3 elect an Executive Board (also called Technical Committee) that supervises/manages the Trust Fund on a daily basis and under the general supervision of the Trustee. It is formed by representatives from donors and beneficiaries.

      All rules applicable to the operation of the Trust are convened through a contract among 1, 2, and 3.

      All decisions (the designation of the Executing Board, the use of the money donated, etc.) are settled in that contract. All parts would like to advocate for their own interests but the ideal is to find a balance between them – respecting the beneficiary’s project objectives and the donor’s aims. The donors participate in the model because they accept it, which means that once they sign the contract they cannot make changes to it. That has to be clear in the original contract.

      The content of the contract is to establish that what is being settled is a Trust Fund, that is, a contract based on trust because there is someone (the bank) that looks after the contract’s compliance (e.g. “We agree to ensure that the obtained money will be dedicated to x and the bank will supervise that it is done that x way” ). When, during the implementation process, money has to be spent, the Executive Board decides how to use the money and the bank watches that the conditions are in line with what was agreed both on the contract and in the conditions to which the granting of the funds were subjected, that is, the original objective and destination of the funds.


    • There are numerous ways in which the program’s local community is already contributing in non-monetary ways to the sustainability of the Night Schools. The degree to which the local community has appropriated the program (as evidenced in their participation in providing management, supervision, infrastructure, funding for activities and materials, etc.) is a crucial point to note, for at least two reasons:

    -It means that almost the only expenses that are not being covered by the community are the teachers’ salaries and some costs for activities that they cannot bear.

    -It means that this initiative already bears the hallmarks of sustainability, given that it is well-known that development interventions are generally successful to the extent that they are appropriated by and integrated into the communities where they are targeted (development interventions are generally seen to fail when project funding ceases or when external project advisers are withdrawn, probably because community ‘take-up’ or ‘buy-in’ has been limited, making the project unsustainable without such community investment and ownership).


    • Recommendations made in the[This/the initiative] Study:

    R1: Make a Community Contributions Inventory enumerating and detailing all contributions provided by families, communities, children, mentioning their monetary value in US dollars (e.g. If the place offered by the community for the school were to be rented instead of simply facilitated, how much should they be receiving for that rent; if the children were charging for their supervisory role how much would they be receiving). Additionally, based on that Inventory, find out the percentages of those contributions to be able to show the donors what percentage of each kind of participation is done by whom.

    R2: Find a Donor that works with the Matching Funds Scheme, or establish it with one of the current donors using the Community Contributions Inventory (referred in R1) to promote an understanding in which for every X amount of dollars that the[This/the initiative] contributes, the Foundation commits to contribute, in return, with 2x or 3x (depending on the established parity). This scheme will give the Foundation the security that if[This/the initiative] stops contributing with x, the Foundation will stop as well. If the[This/the initiative] manages to get a matching fund with a 1 for 1 parity it would be already doubling its budget.


    • [This/the initiative]’s current budgeting process is already highly decentralized, which means that there are many actors supervising it at the same time. After receiving a donation or grant, the[This/the initiative]’s main office, known as the Tilonia office, sends the money directly (that is, bank to bank) to its branch offices – the Field Research Centres (FRC) and the Associated Partner Organizations – who, in turn, transfer it to the Village Education Committees (VEC)’s accounts. The latter are managed together by a member of the FRC and those of the VEC, which are closer to the communities. A mechanism to ensure certainty on how the money is spent would strengthen the model.


    The establishment of a Trust Fund will strengthen the effort of giving certainty to both, the organization and the donors, by increasing the transparency in the money’s management. It will not affect the autonomy of the Village Education Committees because, as members of the Trust Fund, they will be able to ensure their requirements in the agreement between all members of the Trust Fund.


    Because of the[This/the initiative]’s high level of contribution to its own project, it could suggest to be Beneficiary and Donor at the same time, offering its Community Contributions Inventory (referred before in R1) as a contribution.


    • The prototype alternative market model promoted by[This/the initiative] and that inspired the[This/the initiative] Project, comprises, according to Luis Lopezllera’s “Money is not enough, what to do?” Manual (2008), the integration of an alternative economic system that includes at least the following:

    1. The granting of memberships for partners.

    2. The signing of a letter of commitment agreed on the rules of the exchange.

    3. The creation of a user directory based on the planning of a consumer basket (that defines what kind of partners are needed, including foreign partners, if the locals cannot fulfil the need).

    4. The training in person and/or through a brief Operation Manual.

    5. The provision of the barter/exchange vouchers to the partners.

    6. The creation of a regular newsletter that accompanies and strengthens the project.

    7. The creation and distribution of educational and publicizing materials.

    8. The establishment of a promotional team (volunteers).

    9. The organization of regular meetings for the project’s development.

    10. The organization of decisional deliberative assemblies of associated partners (decentralization).

    11. The establishment of cellular stores for the public (that link together, give certainty, and facilitate the buying of products for those who cannot attend the market’s meetings because of logistical problems).

    12. The organization of local fairs, private or public, gatherings, visits, courses, and workshops (introductory lectures and retreats).

    13. The organization of regional or national meetings (with similar networks).

    14. The use of advanced communication and dissemination means.

    15. The procurement of infrastructure and support resources (property for the shop and office, meeting room, exhibition room, furniture, telephone, computer, projector, transportation, support fund, etc.).


    • Su experiencia demuestra la importancia de contar con una definición suficientemente clara de los objetivos del proyecto, de sus mecanismos de operación básicos y de la distribución de responsabilidades, que ofrezcan un lenguaje común entre los participantes y con ello permitan su trabajo orientado (mas no acotado ni sobre-regulado), y la cohesión entre éstos. Claridad en el mensaje que a la postre es crucial para la convocatoria y desarrollo de nuevas colaboraciones. La falta de esta claridad, si bien da un marco para la espontaneidad interpretativa y la creatividad, también puede llegar a generar confusión y frustraciones para algunos, parálisis en los proyectos, así como desalentar el interés de potenciales colaboradores.


    • 1. The granting of memberships for partners.


    • 2. The signing of a letter of commitment agreed on the rules of the exchange.


    • The training in person and/or through a brief Operation Manual.


    • Los llaman “Visitantes” no “clientes”, pero si son voluntarios sí les hacen hincapié en que a fin de cuenta son una empresa, pues los voluntarios han resultado ser abusivos.