♣ Demonstrative experiences creator

"♣": 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
    • Both the farming and animal care processes use ecological and novel technologies, designed from both the knowledge that local farmers still use to assist in the care of the rented lands, and from the results of the research carried out there, conducted by partner universities – who either investigate the model of the farm, or use it as a pilot area for the exploration and implementation of innovative alternative technologies and for the formation of a talent pool. The participation of all these actors then allows the farm and its processes to be always monitored and in the process of innovation.

    • [This/The initiative]  Farm also offers school trips and talks on environmental care, sustainable agriculture and food security. For this, it has set up a demonstration garden that helps it show the model to students coming from kindergarten to university.

    • The farm project is sustainable also because it benefits several actors. Researchers, students, organizations, farmers, businessmen and officials learn from its experience or take advantage of it to experiment alternatives. Participating citizens (usually middle class) have access to organic products at competitive prices, a place of rest and closeness to nature that they can share with their children, and a community dynamic in which they share their products, learn recipes, etc. The local communities benefit from the payment of the rent of the lands – whose rights they keep -, from the hiring of workers in the farm, from the products that they sell to it, and from the training that the farm offers them to pack and sell the leftover products of their household-farming production (seasonal fruits for example) and to recover and improve their cultivation techniques (most of the traditional knowledge has been lost with the urbanization process).

    • [This/The initiative]  Farm was the first farm to implement the model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in China, a model of sustainable agriculture that has inspired the creation of more than 500 farms and forged entrepreneurial attitudes in several of its participants (volunteers, residents, etc) — creating, as Baizigui, in charge of the communication area, suggests, an awareness within the community in regards to “organic agriculture, as well as recreational and natural education and the role of the public garden model”.

    • The company was created in 2016 by business students of the University of Hong Kong — now 5 or 6 of them plus vendors —, who inspired by similar initiatives that operate in the United States, England and other countries, collaborate with companies and universities to develop their model and fulfill their mission to raise awareness among citizens about the misunderstanding that exists with the best before date labeling, ensuring a more efficient and ethical use of food resources (and less waste), and reducing the ecological impact that their production and waste generate. It does this by selling these products at low cost, which its members believe will help accelerate the impact of the government campaigns already undertaken to clarify the meaning of the labels for the public, since the main attraction for people seems to be the low cost of the products. “When people see that they sell products which best before date has already passed, they will begin to change their habits. This is how we support and accelerate the government’s educational campaign”, argues one of the creators of GreenPrice. For him, what the government should do is to prohibit suppliers from throwing away products whose expiration date has not yet arrived. But the government is slow, and it is that margin of time, in what the rules change, what GreenPrice uses to boost its project, giving consumers an alternative.

    • 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.

    • Through the program, the [This/the initiative] is advancing a greater agenda of gender and caste equity, not least by the setting of an example: in addressing the particular needs of girls; in inviting individuals from the lower castes to work as Night Schools’ teachers; in seating children from different castes together; and in defending the right of everyone to drink from the same water source. Although prejudices are being overcome, traditional attitudes remain a challenge – particularly beyond the school, where other sectors of the community continue to impose traditional practices in which caste and gender influence children’s social relations and futures. Teachers deliberately hired from the lower castes by the[This/the initiative] are not easily accepted by all in the community. Because of this, the organization frequently has to hire men, given the additional prejudices against women. Nevertheless, because of their impact on the students, the teachers are, despite their caste background, increasingly valued and respected in the communities.
    • The Territorial Development Program is the basis of the social and political support of all of[This/the initiative]’s work, since it enables people to manage their own development by strengthening their self-management capacities and adapting the program to local conditions.

    The program assists local leaders seeking to ensure ownership of popular initiatives implemented by the project as a whole, and works primarily to consolidate the process of land use and land tenure…strengthening regional representations in the social control of public policies in defense of their land, and good stewardship of their natural resources for economic, social, and environmental viability (x).

    For this purpose they use participatory mapping, a methodology through which the communities sit together to draw a map of their region, and:

    a. Document the territory where they live;

    b. Gather all their information to construct geographic databases;

    c. Determine the most relevant problems;

    d. Visualize business opportunities in the region; and

    e. Use them as a basis to program both[This/the initiative]’s and the government’s developmental intervention in the region, and to manage their own lands, enable territorial regularization, and promote the sustainable use of local resources.

    The mapping serves as a “document of reality” that allows not only[This/the initiative] but also government bodies to better design their policies and programs in the region in different areas.

    • 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] started as a health delivery program, providing adapted technologies such as micro-systems for the provision and treatment of water, house filters, wells, and rustic pits.

    In the year 2006, the organization acquired a boat (the Abare Ship) that, making regular rounds from community to community, approached people with an interdisciplinary team presented as Mocorongo Great Circus teaching people means to take care of their hygiene and prevent diseases with fun and participatory games. Personnel from the boat also offered basic medical and dental attention, vaccinations, family planning trainings, minor surgeries, etc.

    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]’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.

    • Once a reference model is agreed
    • 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] mainly sustains itself by selling the model to governments, NGOs, private schools, etc. as a package of consultancy services that includes the settlement of demonstration schools in already existing schools (pilot schools), the co-participatory adaptation of its prototype guides and learning materials (their methodological structure), and technical assistance (training to different stakeholders) for the application and implementation of the model and for the community’s involvement. This way[This/the initiative] capitalizes on its know-how on the systematization of the school’s processes to promote stakeholders’ ownership of it and on the adaptation of the model to different contexts, offering an educational solution to improve quality, effectiveness, equity, and sustainability of education.
    • [This/the initiative] doesn’t get involved with the school’s financial sustainability, because they don’t implement[This/the initiative]’s model, but only provide technical assistance to already existing schools, regardless of their own financial scheme,
    • The organization of local fairs, private or public, gatherings, visits, courses, and workshops (introductory lectures and retreats).
    • The[This/the initiative] has also worked with the local government in pilot projects to adapt the program’s model into the mainstream education system to help it attract dropouts and out-of-school children (Siksha Karmi schools)
    • Para facilitar la venta de los árboles fomentan dos tipos de colaboración que aseguran la integridad del proyecto y con ella su mayor proyección y atractivo sin la necesidad de invertir recursos extra:

    Colaboración estrecha y de mutuo beneficio con otras Sociedades Anónimas (S.A.):

    -Una ofrece paseos de integración, retiros y pláticas a la medida para empresas (Coca Cola, El Metro, Coppel, etc), lo que le sirve a [Esta/la iniciativa] para hacerse de recursos extra y publicidad.

    -Otra, Hacienda X (desde 1999), ofrece alojamiento (hotel y campamentos); visitas culturales al Museo de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz y al Museo de los Volcanes, al laberinto inglés, al parque de los venados, las águilas y las serpientes acariciables; instalaciones de deportes extremos como la tirolesa. Todos estos servicios y más están disponibles gratuitamente a los clientes de [Esta/la iniciativa]. Además, la Hacienda le envía sus clientes a éste último en visitas diarias a cambio de lo cual éste les regala pequeños árboles, les ofrece pláticas sobre manejo sustentable de los bosques y paseos por el vivero y el bosque.

    -Otra más organiza visitas escolares que son reconocidas por la Secretaría de Educación Pública, pues están diseñadas de manera tal que sirvan para reforzar la enseñanza de materias del plan de estudios como ciencias, educación ambiental (manejo de basura, aprovechamiento del agua de lluvia, etc), civismo, etc. Estas visitas (van como 20 escuelas al día) tienen un costo de$140 pesos por alumno y representan un ingreso extra para [Esta/la iniciativa], quien a cambio obsequia cupones de descuento en árboles de navidad para cada alumno, un árbol pequeño del vivero y un certificado de participación. Aunque esta colaboración le es redituable a [Esta/la iniciativa] en términos financieros y de publicidad, un reto que tiene que vencer para asegurar un mayor impacto de su objetivo de sensibilización ambiental es la significativa apatía que parece caracterizar a buena parte de los alumnos y maestros que les visitan (una tercera parte según nuestra fuente).

    Además de dichas colaboraciones que ayudan a multiplicar el impacto del proyecto para la sensibilización ambiental en diferentes sectores de la población (empresas, escuelas, familias), [Esta/la iniciativa] busca promover su modelo y escalarlo a través de cursos de capacitación técnica para la instalación y mantenimiento de viveros, de sistemas de captación de agua de lluvia, etc, que ofrece de forma gratuita a campesinos y otras organizaciones tanto nacionales como extranjeras que les visitan. También ofrecen pláticas de sensibilización ambiental.

    • Casi todos los proyectos contemplan la impartición de talleres y cursos de sensibilización
    • A plan for institutional integration (which includes developing its communication means, inter-institutional agreements, methodological exchanges and consultancies, transference, dissemination, and replication processes).
    • In the long-term

    Once a reference model is agreed between the[This/the initiative] and the local ministry of education, start the scaling up of the Night Schools to all regions where the model is needed as the State is not able to ensure all children’s access to quality schooling.

    From this stage forward, the[This/the initiative]’s role would change from implementing and managing the Night Schools to creating management capacities in the communities to oversee their continuous existence and quality after being adopted by the State.