♣ Creating and promoting integrative responses

"♣": 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
  • Up until now, they help selling each other’s goods, and coordinate lodging, food, and a quite rich entertainment offer for visitors, taking advantage of the varied resourcesand landscapes of each community – visits to the volcano, bird watching, hiking, son jarocho music events, horseback riding, campfires, observation hikes to the core area of the reserve, boat rides with visit to the archaeological site of Las Margaritas, etc.
  • The detailed and holistic development planthat allowed Songshan to acquire the UNESCO label, considered aspects such as:
  • UNESCO Global Geopark – Songshan encourages the research and protection of a geological area of great natural beauty that exhibits a significant part of earth’s history, and helps to safeguard and disseminate a mosaic of Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian cultures. The initiative brings tangible economic benefits for the local population, which has found in geological and cultural tourism. an alternative to poverty and an opportunity to extend its cultural ties with the whole world.
    • As a social enterprise that serves as an integrated platform for agricultural development, the farm is maintained with the income received both from the rent of land and animals and from the school trips, mentioned above. In addition, it has set up a dining room that operates during the weekends and a store in which it sells its own products (eggs, meat, vegetables), as well as some from other collectives with similar working approaches (with commission), which makes the visit to the farm more attractive. The farm also offers consultancies and training to officials and organizations that want to replicate the model, as well as to companies that want to adopt greener technologies. It also offers carpentry and local arts workshops. It works with the support of volunteers — some thesis students, other young people who want to experience a way of life different from the one offered by the city — and still relies heavily on donations from both foundations and local governments, which help, in part, to finance scholarships for interns who help manage the farm. This diversity of income sources allows the subsistence of the project in a region where land rent is expensive.

    • Obviously, this scheme benefits everyone because of the contribution it makes to reduce the environmental impact. Moreover, it benefits:

      • GreenPrice, because it generates profits as a company that allows it to ensure the financial sustainability of the project — unlike if they were constituted as a non-governmental organization.

      • Customers, because it allows them to access products that would otherwise be out of their reach, while contributing, in principle, to solving the ethical and environmental problems that GreenPrice addresses. Here it is important to mention that the niche population of the project are middle-class citizens, especially adults. Firstly, because the civil organizations that collect and redistribute food waste in Hong Kong — from restaurants and not from distributors or suppliers — focus on the poorest populations and the wealthier sector is not particularly interested in getting their products at a lower price. Second, because the type of products that GreenPrice focuses on are not essential— they are foods that are normally considered luxury and some other products such as cosmetics. Third, because young people do not seem to care too much about the high price of products.

      • Suppliers, because it represents their only alternative, in addition to garbage dumps, to channel their products with dates close to expiration in a responsible manner, minimizing their monetary losses due to transportation, storage and disposal of these products — the GreenPrice initiative does not represent a risk for them because the project is still small and because the products it sells are not fixed, but depend on what suppliers provide it. In addition, some suppliers register their transfer of products to GreenPrice as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Moreover, the sale of these products through GreenPrice allows them to approach a population niche that will potentially continue to buy these products through conventional means.

    • In 2006, a group of these migrants founded [This/the initiative]. This non-governmental organization created a toll-free hotline service that migrants from the cities of Beijing, Wuhan and Suzhou can call to request counseling in urgent and immediate situations — eg. help to get a job, to resolve legal disputes with their contractors, to defend their social and political rights, to solve health problems, etc. [This/the initiative] offers this advice thanks to the collaboration of a staff of around 10 people and more than 300 volunteers, all of them ex-migrants.

    • The work of [This/the initiative] is complementary to that of the government in its interest to ensure the best conditions for this vulnerable population, not only because of the number of migrants it serves (more than 34,000 to date) but also because the services it offers are much more comprehensive and integrative, thanks to the diversity of professional profiles (lawyers, doctors, sociologists, social workers) and cultural profiles of its network of volunteers.

    • The creation of these communities “with borders”, as suggested by Prof. He, facilitator of the project and researcher of the [This/the initiative], has allowed the emergence of bonds of friendship, trust and collaboration among the inhabitants and between them and urban consumers, that have enabled the conditions for the implementation of other development initiatives, including some that are trying to promote the protection of native species, the revival of local culture, environmental protection, etc.

    • The experiences of the cases studies demonstrate that there are many important reasons for arguing that comprehensive solutions not only have more chances to be sustainable but also are more helpful in building self-sustainability:
    • First. Both people’s and their communities’ lives are integral. There are many factors influencing each of their capacity to take advantage of any given intervention. Factors that are affected by the particular way in which the different developmental dimensions of their lives interact (e.g. the geographical context, the political situation, their economic capacity, the culture, etc.). Thus, leaving unattended one or more of these factors can become an impediment for them to positively enjoy the service/opportunity/facility provided by the initiative (e.g. providing education to children who cannot take full advantage of the opportunity because of their nutritional conditions). And the same way, addressing them in the more integrated way possible can help in their mutual reinforcement.Second. Since it is frequently the same people that are involved when different programs are addressed towards improving their quality of life, one area can support another.Third. All age/ethnic/race/etc. sectors of the community have to be attended, so that they can support each other.Fourth. Donors typically work with established criteria according to their own aims, regarding the allocation of funds, and the assessment and evaluation of the interventions.  These lead to the setting of relatively strict funding guidelines and the expectation of specific results from the programs they fund. As a consequence, initiatives often have to plan their funding, institutional responsibilities and, more critically, their development programs, in a fragmentary fashion.  Such fragmentation of course runs contrary to the integrated nature of the environment in which they are working. The initiatives researched showed that strengthening the transversality of their institutional responsibilities and the interrelations among their development programs helps them in counteracting this problem. Integration not only reinforces each development program’s potential for sustainability, but allows both for a more flexible distribution of funds and for the benefits of funding in one area of the overall development strategy to be spread across other areas. Moreover, a model of integrated service delivery seems to help them in attracting more funding that will actually benefit many or even all areas of their activity. Although donors generally target their funding to some specific area (health for instance), if they are shown that their investment can contribute to positive outcomes in other areas as well, such as education, community empowerment, environmental protection, etc., they might be more willing to support the program (value for money approach). Integration, thus, not only can help in broadening the sources of financial support (and diminishing with that the reliance on a single one of them). It also can facilitate that financial, infrastructural, human, and other resources are more easily shared across different areas. This is of particular importance because some development areas have more difficulties than others in producing or attracting financial sources of support.Because of the above, initiatives have set different strategies to enhance the comprehensiveness of their interventions and, for those already operating in a model of integrated service delivery, to strengthen the interconnections between the different components of their programs (health, education, water facilities, etc.). These include:-Undertaking systemic interventions that address the different stakeholders’ needs and interests that either globally or locally concern the initiative • Setting up an area specifically oriented towards reinforcing institutional integration — in charge of ensuring that the different programs and administrative processes of the initiative are all designed, monitored, and evaluated in coordination, working transversally, and supporting each other (so that they can share their human, infrastructural, financial, and other resources)-Working through trans-sectoral partnerships with other initiatives operating in target communities with diverse development agendas (both public and private), in the understanding that these collaborations are designed by and subject to the control of the local people. Capitalizing and building on already existing efforts and/or establishing win-win alliances saves resources and energy, and boosts the potential of each of the initiatives involved. Moreover, taking advantage of their inputs (services, methodologies, resources, etc.) can help in  filling the gaps that the initiative itself cannot cover, expanding the communities’ access to a wide variety of social programs that, supporting one another, become more relevant to more of them-Appointing stakeholders who can better help in linking the initiative with outside support, in giving visibility and scaling the initiative’s know-how abroad (which helps in attracting further support) and in enhancing the quality of established partnerships by helping the local stakeholders to convert external inputs in a way that is locally relevant-Building structures for participation and negotiation as a transversal dimension that enables the negotiation among the different internal and external stakeholders involved and the identification of their interests and needs-Combining all funds collected for a particular program or sector of the population and using them in the benefit of the entire target community, and not only the sponsored sector or area.
    • Capitalizing on people’s ownership and empowerment, and making social participation a transversal dimension of the initiative helps in making better use of the local political and financial resources already available, which are needed to sustain the initiatives over time. Fostering them can further help in filling the gaps of the development initiative, and thus, in reducing the need of external support (dependency) — by facilitating that the internal stakeholders share their diverse products, services, and other resources, the need to acquire external funds to cover them is minimized.
    • 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 Participation in the Carbon Bond Market Scheme:

    Donations are possible to a large extent as a result of the project’s intention to participate in the carbon bond market through an intermediary. The carbon bond market is an international instrument to account the emission of greenhouse gasses which are not produced or are reduced as a result of compensatory measures such as the generation of renewable energy, improvement of energy efficiency process, afforestation, avoided deforestation, lakes and rivers cleaning, etc., to voluntarily mitigate the environmental damage caused. These bonds are translated into carbon emission certificates (CERs), each one equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced or avoided, which can be redeemed for a price set by the international market rules. The carbon bond market is one of the internationally recognized mechanisms that allow particulars and public and private organizations become conscious of their responsibility towards climate change, and participate actively by selling or buying CERs to comply with the objectives of mitigating the environmental damage caused.

    To participate in this market, [This/the initiative] hired an intermediary entity – Terra Global Capital (from San Francisco) – for the design and promotion of the project within the international carbon bond market and the payment for the services to the beneficiaries. Therefore, all red tape procedures for this scheme are done by intermediary companies like this one that budget their payment themselves.

    • The Assembly, which has (as one of its objectives) the constant evaluation of the project, is made up of Commissions that are in charge of organizing various issues related to the[This/the initiative] Project. Thus, there are Commissions on Education (to teach children new economic values such as solidarity), Communication (broadcasting the project), Distribution (which dispenses the Tumin), etc.

    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 above-mentioned directory lists all the goods and services whose purchase accepts payment with Tumin (food, carpentry, tourism, education services, etc.). These businesses are also promoted through the magazine mentioned in subsection “d” of the previous point. The diversity of the partners is a crucial factor, because it allows a balance between the needs and the supply (says the current coordinator of the[This/the initiative] Project).

    • With a well-planned strategy, the introduction of a barter/exchange system with a tool similar to that used in the[This/the initiative] Project could encourage the circulation and benefits obtained from the products currently manufactured by the[This/the initiative] (in general: solar lanterns, sanitary napkins, etc., or by the schools program in particular: the wooden toys produced by the program’s children, etc.).
    • The[This/the initiative] Project’s model is not intended to be scalable, but the local autonomous economy model that promotes solidarity and local production is. Retrieving experience from the[This/the initiative] Project and[This/the initiative] ’s initiatives (or from any other of the many thousands of alternative currencies – economies – that today are being multiplied in the world) can become a tool to reinforce the self-sustainability in the implementation, and therefore the scope, of the programs undertaken by the[This/the initiative] , by attacking the roots of dependency with a systemic, integral perspective
    • The Sustainable Entrepreneurship Program, for example, implements demonstrative initiatives for resources’ management and the acquisition of legal certifications to increase family income generation, increase food security, and reduce the impact on the environment, as socioeconomic strategic components to improve the quality of life, environmental conservation, and regional development (e.g. the communitarian ecotourism or the crafts production with local forest’s resources).
    • [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 focused 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 canceled all of its funding this year.

    • Work with partnerships both with the communities and with institutions abroad, from the public and the private sector, and with diverse development agendas. This enables the organization to expand these communities’ access not only to primary health but also to a wide variety of social programs that support one another with the transference, adaptation, and application of appropriate social technologies and also in terms of funding (x). It also benefits the foreign partners because they make good use of [This/the initiative] ’s experience, know-how, and credibility in the region to access it.
    • Based on the social technique (mentioned before) called “participatory mapping”,[This/the initiative] makes, altogether with the communities it serves, a diagnosis of local conditions, challenges, problems, and priorities and, based on them, it uses art, games, and communication as means for each of its programs. The participatory mapping not only allows the communities to visualize themselves and their context but to become agents of their own development, and define strategies and roles. The above is particularly important because the local population lacks an entrepreneurial mindset, most probably as a consequence of a governmental intervention that has not been particularly keen to include them in its development programs (x). Although it is not voluntary, the social ownership and participation created with[This/the initiative] ’s participatory methodologies functions as its model’s basis and source of sustainability, “because this way the communities become part of the projects’ developers and not only their beneficiaries” (x).
    • Searches for partnerships that not only expand the number of services provided to the communities it serves but the support of one initiative to another.
    • The circus integrates the way people learn, conceptualize, and appropriate[This/the initiative]’s initiatives because it uses different languages (dancing, singing, talking) to interrelate knowledge.
    • Articulates different initiatives (e.g. people from the craft program receive tourists from the eco-tourism program and incentivize the territorial management organization; the renewable energy program provides energy to the Telecenters; the education program supports health prevention participative activities and environmental endeavors, etc.)
    • the option of creating local entrepreneurship initiatives (like[This/the initiative] ’s communitarian ecotourism) that provide children with future options for employment, help the organization to disseminate its programs abroad, and function as parallel enterprises that not only incorporate Night Schools’ alumni into the local economy but help in the funding of the Night Schools. If programmed well, this specialized tourism could also help to diversify the Night Schools’ funding sources.
    • Consolidate a network of “multiplier” agents with the Night Schools alumni, especially those that participated in the children’s parliament
    • The model’s success in raising schools’ quality relates to its comprehensive focus on academic improvement, equity in educational opportunities, and the community’s involvement (the model counts, for example, with a Children’s and a Parents’ government that run the school).
    • highly self-sustainable because: a) it is systemic – works with teachers, students, and parents in all educational aspects
    • it is trans-sectoral – it promotes the formation of skills as the basis of entrepreneurship reducing rural children’s migration to the cities, and an emphasis is put on children’s application of their knowledge within their family and community;
    • it promotes interculturality – the national curriculum is reinforced but they place a strong emphasis on the relevance of education and the appreciation of rural life and local knowledge, which has immediate effects in the community’s life and, as a result, in the involvement of parents in the learning process.
    • [This/the initiative] promotes that enterprises invest in opening local cooperatives where an agreement is made with the participants that they will take care of their families and communities (e.g. bring their children to school) provided that a job is being offered to them and that there is already a buyer for their products (with fair prices). The cooperative’s surpluses are used to reinvest in the cooperative, cover the organization’s operation costs, pay the salaries of the cooperative’s employees, and invest in the community – e.g. on one of the NGO’s initiatives in that same community. With such a model, enterprises benefit with tax deductions (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ensure suppliers. The community, on the other hand, benefits by settling cooperatives that stimulate local production, promoting employment to the families, and reducing migration rates to the cities (as happens with the[This/the initiative] and the[This/the initiative] Project). It also benefits from the agreement made with the participants about taking care of their families and communities, and from the investment that is done of the surpluses into initiatives that help improve its overall living conditions.
    • Other strategies are specifically addressed to avoid creating dependency relations. In concrete, the community sponsorship programs are intended for a specific target: ensure the community’s self-sustainability in an agreed period of time. The money to find the partner enterprise comes from[This/the initiative] ’s main office and it is recovered from the money the enterprise provides in the sponsorship budget.[This/the initiative] is an officially registered civil organization and each of its local offices is an officially registered civil organization as well, and not a part of[This/the initiative] ’s main office. So the budget goes to increasing the community’s Civil Association’s self-sustainability through capacity building programs (training them on getting funds, managing programs, establishing cooperatives, increasing social participation, etc.). The enterprise and[This/the initiative] make an agreement where the local Civil Association (the community organized) ensures results in a certain period of time (10, 20 years), and if there are not results (periodical evaluations are made) the funding is stopped. In short: the partnership contemplates an Exit Plan for both the enterprise and the[This/the initiative] ’s main office with the intention of ensuring a decentralized development program
    • [This/the initiative] International has 75 years of experience working with marginalized children and their communities in 31 countries (approx. 17.8 million children and their families participated by 2012) subsidizing the scarce local resources to “empower a cycle of improvement that touches every member of society” and “create the environments children need to thrive” (x). They also work with local groups and parent committees to identify key local problems and possible solutions, all of them family oriented, such as:

    a. Trainings/awareness programs about child protection (e.g. for parents).

    b. Early childhood psychosocial, health, and education support.

    c. Youth unemployment skills training.

    d. Health care and sanitation (nutrition: establishing renewable resources of food and safe water).

    e. Basic education (building schools, vocational skills)

    f. Micro-enterprises/jobs for generating family income.

    g. Emergencies programs for children that are victims of wars and natural disasters.

    The funds they collect are used to support both the sponsored child (basic needs such as nutrition, medical attention, clean water, educational books, materials, teachers, etc.), and the whole community (clean water for drinking and health care). This means that all funds collected are combined and used to benefit all children and their community, and not only the sponsored children.

    • Finding enterprises whose employees match the donations collected for community sponsorship. Differently from the matching/parity schemes used by[This/the initiative] and[This/the initiative] ,[This/the initiative] usually uses this scheme with enterprises that work permanently with one particular region/population (e.g. a coffee enterprise that buys most of its coffee from one region). The scheme[This/the initiative] uses is to link the enterprises employees with the communities they work with is implementing a dynamic where each employee donates a certain percentage of his salary to the NGO’s initiative/program in the community, and the enterprise doubles that amount. This strengthens the wellbeing both of the community and the company’s employees. The employees are invited to inquire in their enterprises’ Human Research Department if their company already has a “matching gift program” and join it. The sponsorships are intended to a specific target: ensure the community’s self-sustainability in an agreed period of time. The money to find the partner enterprise comes from the[This/the initiative] ’s main branch, and it is recovered from the money the enterprise provides in the sponsorship budget. This budget is allocated into capacity building programs for the community.[This/the initiative] is a Civil Association and each of its local offices are Civil Associations as well, and not a part of[This/the initiative] ’s main office. So the budget goes to increasing the community Civil Association’s self-sustainability (training them on getting funds, managing programs, establishing cooperatives, increasing social participation, etc.). The Enterprise and[This/the initiative] make an agreement where the local Civil Association (the community organized) ensures results over a certain period of time (10, 20 years), and if there are not results (periodical evaluations) the funding is stopped. In short: the partnership contemplates an Exit Plan of both the enterprise and[This/the initiative] ’s main branch with the intention of ensuring a decentralized development program.
    • complementariedad oferta-demanda es crucial.
    • El Banco de Tiempo de [Esta/la iniciativa] fue creado en 2011 como medida para ayudar a recuperar el tejido social de la región, tan lastimado por la inseguridad, promoviendo la confianza y la creación de redes de amistad y cooperación. El proyecto además busca atender los problemas causados por la falta de dinero convencional, proponiendo una moneda de intercambio alternativa (el tiempo) que evita a la comunidad participante la necesidad de gastar el poco dinero con el que cuenta, en tanto sea capaz de identificar y atender las necesidades de sus miembros mediante el intercambio de servicios valorados en horas tiempo.
    • El[Esta/la iniciativa]busca, desde 2008, atender una de las más importantes carencias de la Universidad  x: la desvinculación que existe entre sus miembros e instituciones, y con otros sectores de la sociedad, y que le impide aprovechar al máximo el capital intelectual de su comunidad para atender problemas del país que por su naturaleza multi-factorial y multidimensional, requieren de análisis e intervenciones integrales.

    Ese es precisamente el objetivo del[Esta/la iniciativa]: catalizar discusiones pertinentes y desarrollar las herramientas estructurales, conceptuales y metodológicas que faciliten que cualquier miembro de la universidad, independientemente de su campo de conocimiento o adscripción, tenga las condiciones apropiadas trabajar de forma colaborativa (inter y/o transdisciplinaria) en estos problemas transversales, aportando sus diversos enfoques y conocimientos. Esto tanto para proyectos a largo plazo como para la efectiva respuesta de la comunidad académica a problemáticas emergentes con carácter urgente. Entre estas herramientas el[Esta/la iniciativa] ha ideado, hasta ahora, la celebración de reuniones focales y foros de análisis, el préstamo de sus instalaciones para encuentros entre la comunidad universitaria, la puesta en práctica de seminarios, cursos y congresos amparados en programas sombrilla con carácter presuntamente transversal y sujetos a evaluación periódica de pertinencia — varios de ellos accesibles a agentes externos gracias a un sistema de telecomunicaciones que permite su transmisión en vivo a través del internet, extendiendo su impacto y facilitando vías alternativas de comunicación y cooperación. Además, el[Esta/la iniciativa] propone el paradigma de la complejidad, que cuestiona la capacidad de las actuales herramientas disciplinarias de investigación, docencia y divulgación para comprender y abordar dichos problemas, y aporta nuevos enfoques, recursos, métodos, y metodologías. El[Esta/la iniciativa] también le ha apostado a una organización y estructura administrativas que buscan ser flexibles y de buen balance costo-beneficio con miras a garantizar la relevancia, integralidad y capacidad de resiliencia de su proyecto.

    • trabajo inter o transdisciplinario
    • El[Esta/la iniciativa] es un proyecto ambicioso, y por ello conseguir el cumplimiento de su misión le exige intensificar sus esfuerzos con un enfoque sistémico (integral) y sustentable. Esto es, con intervenciones en varios flancos de forma simultánea y persistente y construyendo sus objetivos sobre el ensayo y error.
    • No se trata de acaparar sino de fortalecer a la comunidad. No gallinas propias, mejor comprar las de la vecina.
    • Aunque no hay recetas mágicas para resolver este problema de fondo, a lo que quizá habría que apostarle, para mejor un poco la situación, es:

    a la confianza, porque la falta de ésta es lo que está limitando el número de donaciones e impidiendo innovaciones que den un verdadero giro al actual sistema.

    a cambiar las “creencias de filantropía de arriba hacia abajo”.

    a buscar el cambio en otros flancos además de reformas al Sistema de Administración Tributaria, que es tan sólo uno de los muchos ingredientes del problema. Esto es, a emprender una reforma integral. 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.

    a entendernos como sociedad civil.

    a volver la herramienta más accesible, como por ejemplo: ampliando el número de rubros para ser donataria autorizada  y facilitando sistemas electrónicos que agilicen el trámite (ya se ha avanzado en ello).

    • Further integrating its different development initiatives.
    • [This/the initiative] ’s development model is integrated because of the interconnections that exist amongst its various interventions, which are emphasized in the understanding that attending the communities’ needs in an integral way implies recognizing that community life is integral itself; that all age sectors have to be attended; and, that one area can support another because it is frequently the same people that are involved.[This/the initiative] ’s institutional integration process consists of consolidating each area’s relevant institutions and trying to establish a transversal project.

    However, to achieve this level of integration is very difficult, as many factors work against it: The responsibilities of[This/the initiative] ’s staff are distributed by areas and each area’s responsible has to be accountable for the programs at his/her charge, to ensure maintaining donors support. While all personnel are encouraged to be involved in all areas of work, they can only do it superficially because they have to concentrate on their own projects. Most importantly, the donors support very concrete/thematic agendas. Their funding criteria are not integral and they expect concrete results in concrete areas. So each area coordinator is generally responsible for the results of its domain and not the other.

    To counteract these effects,[This/the initiative] :

    -Ensures all its personnel are at least aware of the purpose and situation of[This/the initiative] ’s other initiatives.

    -Distributes the funding collected across initiatives.

    -Searches for partnerships that not only expand the amount of services provided to the communities it serves but the support of one initiative to another.

    -Uses participatory mapping as the departing point of all of its programs. This methodology not only enhances people’s ownership but also enables the description of people’s integral perspective about their community, its components, conflicts, resources, problems, needs, as well as the possible strategies to respond to all of them.

    -The circus integrates the way people learn, conceptualize, and appropriate[This/the initiative] ’s initiatives because it uses different languages (dancing, singing, talking) to interrelate knowledge.

    -Articulates different initiatives (e.g. people from the craft program receive tourists from the eco-tourism program and incentivize the territorial management organization; the renewable energy program provides energy to the Telecenters; the education program supports health prevention participative activities and environmental endeavours, etc.).

    -Uses PMES annual cycles (planning, monitoring, evaluation, and systematization) to ensure the organization’s initiatives are working transversally. So, for example, in January and February the organization devotes itself to define and publish its annual plan (which includes objectives, activities, indicators, expected outcomes, and funding administration and sources). In June and July, they do a mid-year evaluation and adapt the plan accordingly. And finally, in December they make an annual evaluation and plan the next cycle.

    • [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.

    • Define a program for institutional integration that:

    a. Designs and systematizes a long-term a transversal project that increases the existing interconnections amongst[This/the initiative]’s development initiatives and the Night Schools.

    b. Settles partnerships between internal and external agents for the concrete purpose of increasing the[This/the initiative] model’s integration with the Night Schools and the mutual support of its initiatives.

    c. Departs from a diagnosis of[This/the initiative]’s current intervention model, and defines a short-term pilot project area to begin the integration process using, perhaps, participatory mapping as a methodology.

    d. Uses PMES annual cycles (planning, monitoring, evaluation, and systematization) to ensure the organization’s initiatives are working transversally.

    e. Uses the already existing information-communication technologies (ICTs) in the Night Schools to integrate them into the[This/the initiative]’s other initiatives.

    • A plan for institutional integration (which includes developing its communication means, inter-institutional agreements, methodological exchanges and consultancies, transference, dissemination, and replication processes).