♣ Transparency

"♣": 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 accountability and transparency in the management of its resources, [This/the initiative] has planned that its board of directors is monitored by a board of supervisors equivalent in rank and, in addition, that its activities and decisions be published on its website and social networks — which also serves to receive feedback on the initiative.

    • The administration of the project through the mentioned web platforms not only favours an efficient and transparent management (each step of the process is published online and therefore is subject to scrutiny) but also the open feedback of the users. This, in turn, allows maintaining the quality of the market and its products, because, for example, each farmer has a profile that can be evaluated by consumers.

    • Systematizing and publicizing the processes and outputs of their projects (disseminating models and innovations)
      •  Hiring independent services to audit their work
      •  Decentralizing the management of the funds
      •  Setting up resources or personnel in charge of providing relevant information to the projects’ beneficiaries and supporters (hotlines, websites, portfolios, etc), connecting the latter with their recipients emotionally, which is an important factor for the continuation of their support
      •  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
      •  Adopting schemes of parity funds, which ensure supporters that their donations are used sustainably.


    • Developing mechanisms to ensure transparency and make it easier to attract new supporters (as suggested above).


    • also ensures transparency and thus, fosters credibility and with it further participation.


    • 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.


  • 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.

    • the [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 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.


    • All [This/the initiative]’s financial and asset management is performed by its Administrative Division with the sectorial coordinators. Although[This/the initiative]’s Audit Committee, which is elected by its General Assembly, oversees all the organization’s accountability and the implementation of its agreements, an independent service audits the organization’s finances.


    • it has been careful to ensure transparency in the management of the funds to facilitate donor’s support, for which it usually hires an independent auditing service.


    • As mentioned in the[This/the initiative]’s section, donors’ support can increase if the recipient is able to convince them that whatever donation they make is going to be sustainable, which relates to beneficiaries’ ownership and participation in the projects but also to the organization’s capacity of finding means to sustain its programs, regardless of external support. Demonstrating to a donor a high capacity of fundraising certainly ensures their investment to be backed up by other’s trust on the Organization.


    • As with the cases above,[This/the initiative] has also realized that ensuring transparency in the management of the funds is a key strategy not only to ensure their effective use but also to attract donors’ support, for which they have established an informational hotline for its projects’ supporters. This transparency also helps connect donors to their recipients emotionally, which represents an important factor for the continuation of their support.[This/the initiative]d’s case also shows that this transparency, in turn, is reliant on the extent to which the organization is capable to systematize its project (its processes and outputs).


    • Offering transparency: They offer supporters a hotline where a Sponsor Care Representative offers information about the funding process and management. Also concrete details of local personnel in charge of the NGO’s financials.


    • 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. La dinámica consiste en que todos los participantes toman el rol de inversores de tiempo que registran aquellos servicios que pueden ofrecer (oferta) y aquellos que les gustaría poder recibir (demanda) y les intercambian según necesidad, registrando el número de  horas empleadas en cada transacción en su cuenta del banco del tiempo — de manera que el crédito adquirido por la oferta de servicios pueda ser utilizado para atender futuras necesidades. Estos servicios pueden ir desde la impartición de clases; el cuidado de espacios, plantas o animales; la solución de problemas técnicos; la cocina; el transporte a algún destino, etc. Lo importante, es que las ofertas que registren los inversores respondan a necesidades reales de su comunidad, de manera que la economía alternativa que están formando sea responsiva e integral. Para ello el rol del  coordinador (conocido como agente de tiempo) como observador de la complementariedad oferta-demanda es crucial. También lo es el que éste organice frecuentes encuentros entre los miembros para que éstos puedan conocerse, visualizar colaboraciones potenciales, y empezar a generar confianza entre sí. Estos eventos también sirven para sensibilizarles sobre la importancia del proyecto y las necesidades para su desarrollo.

    Si bien otrora el intercambio de servicios se efectuaba con la mediación del agente de tiempo (al que se le enviaban correos solicitando  su ayuda para formalizar acuerdos), hoy en día el proceso se lleva a cabo directamente en  una página de internet con diseño especial para bancos de tiempo, en la que aparece la lista de los servicios tanto ofrecidos como solicitados, y a través de la cual los inversores hacen sus transacciones y administran sus cuentas de tiempo.

    Como uno de los retos que enfrentan este tipo de iniciativas es que dependen de la tan socavada confianza entre la gente, los agentes de tiempo formulan un reglamento que platican a detalle con los nuevos miembros en el momento de su incorporación, en el que les piden, por ejemplo, informen  a sus clientes si alguna vez no podrán cumplir con el trabajo que acordaron, para evitar falle la red completa. Además, la página del banco del tiempo no sólo ayuda a registrar los movimientos de forma transparente (generando confianza). También cuenta con un sistema de calificaciones para los usuarios (comentarios, estrellas) que permiten identificar los nodos (miembros) de la red que pudiesen estar causando problemas.


    • 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.


    • Mechanisms such as the banking trust, the participation in the carbon bond market, and the parity funds also bring attention to the way in which local ownership can be capitalized for addressing funders’ concerns on corruption and the lasting effect of their donations without compromising beneficiaries’ capacity to negotiate their views and responsibilities.


    • Increasing the capacity of the[This/the initiative] to attract funding by putting emphasis on connecting the donors with the beneficiaries by creating a portfolio for the donors of the Solar Night Schools Program (in specific) that includes concrete information about:

    1. The problem that the Night Schools address.

    2. The[This/the initiative]’s mission, vision, and organizational scheme – personnel, programs, etc.

    3. The Solar Night Schools Program (a systematization of the model and how it works).

    4.The results obtained so far from the Solar Night Schools Program — qualitative (case studies) and quantitative (statistics) information that can connect the donors with what their funding might support and explain to them how was the region before the Night Schools started and how is it now.

    5. The organization’s financials.

    a. How does the[This/the initiative] collect money for the Night Schools, how does it use it, and how is it distributed.

    b.[This/the initiative]’s financial self-sustainability (here could be included the Community Contributions Inventory suggested in[This/the initiative]’s R1).

    6.  A “Gift Catalogue” where options are offered to the donors about means to contribute with items, activities, or services for the children and explaining how are they going to be used.

    7. Emotional connection with the donor: a conclusive text that concretely explains to the donor how their contribution is going to benefit the Solar Night Schools Program, and more importantly, the children and their communities.