♣ Sistematización

"♣": 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
    •  La Granja [Esta/La iniciativa]  fue la primera granja en implementar el modelo de Agricultura Sostenida por la Comunidad (CSA) en China, un modelo de agricultura sustentable que ha inspirado la implementación de más de 500 granjas y forjado actitudes de emprendimiento en varios de sus participantes (voluntarios, residentes, etc) — creando, como lo sugiere Baizigui, encargado del área de comunicación, conciencia dentro de la comunidad con respecto a “la agricultura orgánica, así como a la educación recreativa y sobre la naturaleza y sobre el papel del modelo de jardín público”.

  • Offer consultancy and advisory services to the public and private sectors, including NGOs and social movements (capitalizing on their experience).
  • [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.

  • consultancy services portfolio
  • 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
  • the participation promoted by the Children’s Parliament and the whole organizational structure of the Night Schools has probably one of the most sophisticated structures in the world. Capitalizing on the agency capacity created in those children through the Parliament’s experience could have great social effects that, ultimately, might result in sources of support for the Night Schools.
  • institutional integration that:

a. Designs and systematizes a long-term a transversal project

  • The systematization of the program’s model (done by an independent and external institution), clarifying what it offers that the public schools don’t, how is it able to resolve the problem of access to education for its children and the State is not, and why is its model more relevant to its children and their communities than that of public schools. That is, systematize the models’ contents and its results.
  • [This/the initiative]’s value chain (the organization’s inputs, means to create value, and outputs).
  • strengths (including the abovementioned systematization of its achievements, its co-management capacity, credibility obtained, and the extent of social participation with which it works), opportunities, weaknesses (including the lack of systematization of its model, the working conditions, and the management of the organization’s energy and resources), and challenges (including the lack of stability in the funding sources, the limitedness and lack of flexibility of the resources available for institutional strengthening, etc.).
  • The definition of general strategic directions (that serve as objectives) in stages, each program’s objectives, initiatives, key activities, and their indicators for each stage, that could be useful indicators for regular evaluations of the program (such as the number of beneficiaries, percentages of child mortality, etc.).
  • Once a reference model is agreed
  • a methodology that the organization is purposely systematizing with aims at scaling the project within and beyond this region.
  • [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 means that what[This/the initiative] offers to rural schools is, as its founder said during the interview, the “translation of complexity into manageable action” through technical assistance based on the organization’s experience and know-how on the adaptation of the model to different contexts, offering an educational solution to improve quality, effectiveness, equity, and sustainability of education.

From [This/the initiative]’s approach, this can be summarized as: the systematization of the school’s processes to promote stakeholders’ ownership of it.

  • 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]’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).
  • Placing emphasis on the need for connecting donors with their recipients emotionally, by:

a. Exposing clearly not only what[This/the initiative]’s programs do and how they do it but their results (with statistics – quantitative – and sponsorship testimonials – qualitative).

b. Making a one-to-one connection between sponsors and sponsored children ([This/the initiative]’s philosophy is: “connect one person who wants to help, with one child who needs it”). Phrases such as “sponsorship changes the lives of children-and their sponsors”; “an encouraging letter will mean so much to keep him or her enthusiastic about school”; “you will receive regular annual updates on his or her performance in school”; and, “your sponsorship serves as an ongoing reminder to your child that life can be different and better” (ibid.) are used.

  • connecting the donors with the beneficiaries by creating a portfolio for the donors
  • 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.

  • The inter-institutional exchange of methodological processes of expansion