Get to know our Partners!

This year, we inaugurated a new segment, in which we aim to interview and learn more about the RACI’s partners. This is why we interviewed them so they could tell us about their organization and how they work with RACI.

This month, we interviewed to Carlos Persini, Founder and President of the Huellas para un Futuro Foundation, which has been part of the Network for several years.

Carlos, very kindly, told us about the objectives and the function of the foundation. He said that “Fundación Huellas para un Futuro is an NGO that deals with social and environmental problems within a 100 km2 area of in the province of Misiones. The region belongs to the buffer zone of the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve (Reserva de la Biosfera Yaboti) where local people of diverse origins (Brazilian, German, Ukrainian, Creoles) and four Mbya guarani communities live together. Our challenge is to put into practice concrete actions and synergies on the ground between Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change, in line with Agenda 2030 and the 17 SDG. In parallel, we have adhered to the Global Compact, emphasizing our commitment to encourage the active participation of the private sector in order to raise awareness and broaden the range of financial resources required for the effective implementation of solutions that concern humanity as a whole.”

On the other hand, he explained that what encouraged them to join as RACI partners was “the articulation with the whole spectrum of actors involved in the diagnosis, approach and resolution of local and global problems in all aspects”. He also added that what they value most about the networking they find with RACI is “in principle, the growth that the Organization has had, the appropriate role it plays and its progressive, coherent and seamless positioning. The contribution they make to our sector, today through the form of Federation, is unquestionable. The heterogeneity of its members guarantees a broad and inclusive outlook that, coordinated by RACI in an impeccable manner, bodes well for a solid and ideal representation of our sector. It is no coincidence that their presence at the G20 co-coordinating the C20 has been a credit. This is just the beginning.”

To conclude, Carlos made a small assessment of his organization in the years they have worked as Partner of the Network. He explains that: « We consider RACI as a strategic partner. They have enormously facilitated the research and the access to funds, being aware what they represent for us in our sector. In our case, it opened the doors of the international cooperation, but the most important thing, is the permanent partnership in order to consolidate these opportunities in the future. I am certain that, in the medium-term and through a strategic vision, RACI will culminate in positioning the CSO sector as a relevant actor and with the appropriate interference and within a transversal model in which society, the state and international organizations will responsibly execute their role, without overlapping or squandering their ever-scarce resources. Time is our nonrenewable resource, more scarce than the one that runs with a vast humanity plagued with necessities and inequalities as the environment is progressively deteriorating. We need action and I consider that RACI is the tool which allows our sector to raise our voice and acquire the visibility that our organizations need. »

We appreciate Carlos for taking the time to join us in this space. If you want to know more about the Huellas por un Futuro Foundation, do it here.


Merging organisations: a tool for growth

In the world of associations, the merging of organizations is often frowned upon. Uncommon and unknown, they tend to be associated with a poor financial health. Worse still, as the author and consultant Thomas McLaughlin points out in his book Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances: “For some in the non-profit field, the idea of mergers is scandalous and tasteless. In a way, it is not surprising that mergers have so few supporters in the community. They are often associated with leadership failure, financial difficulties and rarely good intentions.

But now, it is time to change our point of view. The mergers of CSOs are very promising, as demonstrated by the recent Estudio Metropolitano de Investigación de Fusiones sin Fines de Lucro de Chicago (Metropolitan Chicago Nonprofit Merger Research Study). Nonprofit organisations can and must consider the use of the mergers as an effective tool to achieve its objectives, advance its mission and and augment its impact.

This study is based on a partnership of the Kellogg School of Management, Mission and Strategy Consulting of Northwestern University and eight foundations of Chicago. Together, they completed an analysis of 25 mergers of nonprofit organisations from different sectors which took place in the Chicago area between 2004 and 2014.

The result is definitive. In 88% of the cases, the acquired organisations reported that its organisation was in a better situation after the merger, defining « better » in the sense of achieving the objectives of the organisation and increasing its collective impact. Moreover, the result showed other interesting figures: in 80% of the cases, there was a previous collaboration between the merging organizations; in 85% of the cases, the president of the council of administration or a member of the council of administration of one of the organisations became the main supporter of the merger.

Through this Study, we discovered that the associations that were merged hastily have much less possibilities to achieve a a successful merger than associations that plan their mergers well in advance. Once merged, organizations that claim to be in a better position generally have better financial health. But it is is not just the change in the scale of the market which makes a merger a good thing. This transformation allows the merged organisations to grow to a completely different rhythm than before.

The example of the UCP Sequin Chicago is surprising. In 2013, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a nonprofit organisation of $9 million, merged with Sequin Services, a $27 million company, to create UCP Sequin Chicago. For this merger to be successful, a comprehensive, deliberate and particularly thoughtful approach was adopted. It is important to understand that UCP and Seguin knew each other through previous collaborations, and that their partnership spanned more than five years. UCP and Sequin operated separately during more than 60 years in the area of the disability services, with similar offerings and both in good financial health. Despite these similarities, it was their differences that brought them together. UCP has promoted independence for children and adults through a multi-state company called Infinitec. Seguin Industries has pioneered integrated community living in group homes. Therefore, when UCP approached Sequin, it was not difficult for management teams on both sides to see that by negotiating these core competencies through a merger, they would be able to achieve greater organizational strength and industry growth.

So, in a ever-competitive world, it looks necessary today to promote strategic mergers between nonprofit organisations to permit economies of scale, give access to another level of action, and to be an efficient strategy to succeed.



ComuniDAS: a path to the collaborative economy for civil society

In recent years, the internet and new information technologies have promoted alternative forms of consumption of services and products . The collaborative economy model is based on lending, renting, buying or selling products in terms of specific needs over economic benefits, demonstrating that money is not the only exchange value for transactions. This has allowed the construction of communities of exchange and has strengthened the capacities of entrepreneurs, business people and individuals.

This model has awakened the interest of the Civil Society to be able to exchange services and products for their own empowerment. From this initiative, COMUNIDAS, a collaborative economy platform made up of social organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean which promotes the exchange of services, products and knowledge that allow them to enhance their skills and abilities, was born. The platform has been designed and made available to CSOs as an online ecosystem that mainly seeks to solve three problems:

1.The lack of solidarity in Latin American and the Caribbean. In the latest study from the organization Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) on levels of solidaroity called the World Giving Index, there is no country from Latin America and the Caribbean on the top 20 countries showing the most solidarity. This proves a weak civic and philanthropic culture predominating in most countries of the region and in all sectors of the society, including the civil society.

  1. The need to strengthen the volunteer culture. Recent studies conducted by the Latin American Volunteer Center showed that, for civil society, the recruitment of new volunteers and the continuity of participation of the current ones continues to be a major challenge, which affects the impact of the projects implemented by the organizations of the civil society and diminishes its credibility.
  2. The lack of financial resources. According to data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Latin America and Caribbean region has reaped the least amount of benefits of official development assistance (ODA) relative to other continents. This, coupled with the lack of solidarity and limited financial support from the private sector, makes the development of civil society organizations complicated.

For the first phase, ComuniDAS has two interactives modules. In the first one, organizations can register by giving basic information to join the initiative. The second one is the service registration and exchange module, which allows organizations to add new services for their exchanges under the following considerations:

  1. Services can be offered remotely and in person.
  2. The types of services can be consultancy, training or the development of a product.
  3. The thematic areas can be communication, institutional strengthening, advocacy, research and volunteering.

If you still have not joined the initiative, the Regional Center of Latin America and the Caribbean invites you to do so at: thus the region will revolutionize the collaborative economy for Civil Society Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.



The C20 Working Groups are already in discussion

After great anticipation from Civil Society Organizations, both local and global, that work year after year on the development of the C20, the official discussion forums for each topic are now open.

The website representing the Civil Affinity Group 20 (C20) is already receiving users from all over the world involved in the production of proposals that will be presented by the Civil Society to the political leaders that make up the G20 Summit.

Seeking to influence a variety of topics, the topics chosen ones by the third sector were: “anti-corruption”, “Architecture of the International Financial System”, “Gender”, “Education, Employment and inclusion”, “From local to global”, “Investment and infrastructure” and “Global Health”. For each one of these working groups, a discussion forum has been created where the organizations, with a coordinator as a moderator, will discuss ideas and proposals of high technical content in order to promote changes toward the end of the Argentine G20 mandate.

It is important to emphasize that the topics supported by the organizations promote a certain continuity with the ones chosen during Germany G20 Summit from last year. Besides, the content of each discussion is the decision of the members of each group.

Be a part in the conversation now! If your organization isn’t already registered, go to and make your contribution.


Innovation for development

In the past few years, crowdfunding has become relevant as a facilitation tool for financing innovative projects as it allows people and organizations to invest directly in projects that they’re passionate about. This allows us to imagine that people would bet on and finance the most innovative projects.

However, an article published by the World Bank explains that in a study conducted with approx. 50,000 crowdfunding projects, the results were not as imagined. On the contrary, the study showed that those projects identified as innovative – defined as “useful and novel” – had a decrease in their funding opportunities. On the other hand, projects qualified only as “novel” experienced a 200% increase in funding, and the ones qualified as “useful” increased upon a 1200%.

The conclusions of the study show that despite the fact that the world is searching for innovative proposals for development issues, the results indicate that people choose to finance those projects they consider useful, despite the fact that the proposal itself is not innovative. The author of the article states that this is because the masses are not always able to identify and support projects that are novel and useful (and therefore innovative).

Instead, to identify these projects, the author proposes to take the specific sources of capital and investment, such as investors, as a starting point. It is a growing necessity in the developing world to consider the relevance of strengthening the investors networks to allow a greater interaction and synergies, increasing support to innovative projects.  For that,  online platforms are a good tool for strengthening this network.




The RACI Yearbook 2017 is now available!

Once more and in accordance with efforts to build transparent work spaces in the Civil Society, RACI publishes its Yearbook 2017 presenting activities, milestones and accountability from the last financial year.

After a 2017 full of challenges, the federation reflected in a brief document a summary that highlights: the projects developed by the Network, its latest publications, its participation as Co-Chair of Civil Affinity Group 20 of the G20, and achievements such as recognition of the workshop cycles that RACI provides in the different provinces granted by the Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the City of Buenos Aires.

As a federation, RACI is committed to promote and maintain internal transparency to their partners and with allies, donors and potential member organizations. This is why the new Yearbook 2017 is made available. Please enjoy it!


These are the winners of the New Zealand Fund

During 2017, RACI was the organization chosen by the Embassy of New Zealand to co-manage the fund granted to organizations in Argentina and Paraguay.

The Network received 80 proposals of projects between the two countries, where 52 projects were produced by Civil Society Organizations from Argentina, and the remaining 28 came from 13 of the 17 departments in the Republic of Paraguay.

From the closing date of the call for entries, RACI evaluated all the proposals under the same objective scoring system which is based on the analysis of the following categories: profile of the organization, viability of the project, characteristics of the project, rigor of the project and evaluation of the budget.

The four topics proposed by the Embassy were: “Education and youth”, “sustainable development”, “democratic strengthening of institutions through innovation” and “renewable energy”. In both countries, the most discussed topics were the first two, which were present in the winning proposals.

Based on the results of the evaluation of RACI, the organizations selected by the Embassy of New Zealand were: Pedemonte Foundation, Huellas para un Futuro Foundation, Lengua Franca and Yvy Porá Foundation. All are Argentinian institutions except for the last one based in Paraguay.

The proposals selected were diverse and innovative. In the case of the Pedemonte Foundation, the organization proposes a trail located in the province of Mendoza, more specifically in Villa El Challao, marked with information about the ecosystem, landscape values, its environmental and patrimonial components, and its role in alluvial control.

For its part, the Huellas para un Futuro Foundation presented the second phase of a project started in 2015 which aims to strengthen and expand the reproduction capacity of the stevia plant in order to multiply the number of beneficiaries in a shorter time.

The Lengua Franca project seeks to contribute to the inclusion of adolescents and young people with intellectual disabilities in regular schools by creating books with stories of Argentine authors adapted to the Easy Reading (ER) system. The ER is a strategy of democratization of reading based on internationally agreed standards (IFLA) that spans the lexicon, grammar, content, illustrations, design and edition. With this material, the organization seeks to equip school and public libraries in the City of Buenos Aires.

Finally, the project of the Yvy Porá Foundation aims to develop a self-sustaining model of production and marketing of poultry in the Y’ary Mirĩ Indigenous Community, which after years of living as waste pickers on unproductive and flooded land, decided to move to a more productive and healthy area for the development of their families and community.


One year in seven key points

The next 10 months will be marked by a global agenda of development that will be interesting for all of us. Read about the 7 most important events in 7 minutes.

  1. Changes in the United Nations

With a year of working as the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres proposed reform, prevention and peace as the main topics that will govern his mandate.

While the changes are not easy or fast, it is understood that the transformation Secretary General can make are aimed at generating greater flexibility and efficiency  by various UN actorson issues with highest priority for the world and for the organization. The accomplishment of the SDGs, reduction of conflict-related risks, and the prevention of issues related to climate change and natural disasters are ranked as among the processes to be improved.

  1. Accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The year 2017 left us with a positive balance on many aspects where different variables proposed by the Sustainable Development Agenda yielded encouraging results for 2030. But if there is something that experts agree on, it is that all sectors must commit to work and contribute to accelerate the current rate of progress. Some of the efforts that should be included to make 2018 a prosperous year should be: global and local partnerships, the use of data and quantification, and sustained action in both developed and developing countries. The results of these efforts will be decisive for the meeting of Heads of State that will happen next year at the UN in order to evaluate the progress of the agenda so far.

The G7 Summit in Canada and the G20 Summit in Argentina, both during the current year, will be other stages for the international community. Inclusive growth and employment, climate change, security, food, new technologies and infrastructure for development and equality are the topics to be developed.

  1. Accelerate action on climate change

This year will be crucial since  actions related to the Paris Agreement made by the states and the private sector can be seen at the first World Summit on Climate Action, in California. There, the leaders from all sectors will evaluateprogress through a process called the Talanoa Dialogue and will be able to lay the groundwork for setting the next national goals related to greenhouse gas emissions to be set in 2020.

  1. Greater compromise by the private sector

This year’s keys to the private sector are in follow up of the initiatives carried out during 2017. Some of them are: Principles for the Positive Impact on Finance from the Environmental Program of the United Nations, the new Platform of Financial Innovation for Action in favor of the SDGs of the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Alliance for Comparative Analysis. These initiatives will be relevant towards the end of the year, when the Secretary General’s summit on finance will take place and the global efforts needed to mobilize the volume of financing that contribute to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals will be assessed.

  1. The 70° Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In a world where more and more threats are restricting the Human Rights of people around the globe, this year we celebrate the 70° anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the chance of incorporate the 30 articles of the Declaration to various lines of work. This goes from the reform of United Nations to the maintenance of the momentum of the SDGs through the central role for conflict prevention migration and refugee pacts.

  1. Pay attention to emigration and refugees

As it can be seen to this moment, 2018 will be a key year in various aspects and emigration and refugees are not an exception. The international community will negotiate the first Global Compact on Refugees in order to generate inquiries and make progress with a Pact for Refugees. This opportunity is truly significant because allows all voices to be heard, their safety and rights to be protected and, above all, nobody will be left behind.

  1. Gender equality and progress on women’s rights

2017 led to the emergence of various measures to promote gender equality and protect women in all their rights. From the United Nations, the Secretary General urged all offices to generate progress in relation to gender parity.

Taking into account the projections that are being studied, there are chances that it will take 200 years to close the economic gender gap. That is why the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and the United Nations Foundation will publish a report with the objective of disseminating access to financial products and services, as well as expanding its impact on the achievement of gender equality.

On the other hand, in March, the Commission on the Status of Women will meet, which will focus on the empowerment of girls and women in rural areas. Gender will be an important topic also in the G7 and G20 summits as well.

Although the 7 previous points do not express hundreds of events and activities that will be developed during the year, the work to be done from here to 2030 is arduous, expensive and requires the joint work of all the actors involved.