Official launch of Innovation for Change Latin America and the Caribbean

After four years of work with partner organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, the RACI team traveled to Mexico for what was the official launch of Innovation for Change.

The event was held in Mexico City on November 15 and 16 as part of a meeting attended by over one hundred guests representing the private sector, public and civil society, from more than 30 countries.

The launch included recreational instances, trainings and co-creation dynamics that promoted partnership work and forged new collaborative relationships for the future. All the activities of the meeting remained framed in the strategic axis of sustainability traversed by philanthropic actors, companies and technology.

During the two days of work the guests were able to experience typical shows of the Mexican culture, listen to high level panelists and elaborate projects that were then presented to be financed by small donation programs aimed at innovation in the region. The topics stipulated for the development of these proposals were: Citizen mobilization for social change, new economic models, sustainability of organizations, digital security, transparency and accountability, anti-corruption, defense and promotion of Human Rights, and civic technology.

Innovation for Change is a global network of people and organizations that want to connect, associate and learn together to defend and strengthen the civic space. The network has more than 5,000 members and regional centers in 7 sub-regions of the world.

The mission is to strengthen civil society organizations and support them to be self-sustaining and innovative. Diversity is part of the essence of the initiative and, together with all the members, the center organizes different instances of collaborative work such as innovation laboratories, hackathons, digital security training, fundraising workshops, among others.


A very special visit told by Natalia

Within the framework of the visits made by RACI to learn more about its partner organizations, the Legislative Directory Foundation made a very special invitation: visit the National Congress.

But this time we do not want to tell the experience by ourselves but we asked Natalia Pérez León, a volunteer from the RACI team, to tell us how she lived this outing.

The visits organized by RACI within the framework of interns and volunteers’ program are usually held at the headquarters of the Members of the Network. But the November 2018 visit was very special: the first visit of RACI to the Argentine National Congress, with the Legislative Directory Foundation, and my first approach to parliamentary dynamics in South America.

It was an exciting journey from the beginning for the beauty of the building and its interiors – made partially by the creator of the emblematic Teatro Colón -, visiting both chambers while being guided with the double exposition of the official guide of the National Congress and the Foundation guide. This allowed to draw the details that constitute the parliamentary dynamics, making possible the discussion and adoption of laws representative of the popular will. Without it being a perfect system, it is admirable that it works today despite the ups and downs that Argentine democratic history has had.

Accessibility to the Legislative Power – either through guided or institutional visits such as the offered by the Foundation and RACI – is vital for the formation of values within the people in the territory of any country. Bearing in mind that many of the volunteers in RACI are foreigners, we must remember that we are subject to the laws of this country – whether as tourists or residents – and therefore we are also interested in the functioning of the democratic institutions of this nation.

I greatly appreciate having made this visit, not having had the same possibility in my country of origin. Thus, the exchange we make through RACI helps to reinforce those civic values that every State needs for its better future, even from the small scale of a volunteering program.

We want to thank the Executive Director of the Legislative Board, Noel Alonso Murray for guiding the whole visit and Natalia for sharing her experience with us and for the great work she does in RACI.


Civil Society accomplished the handover of the C20 to Japan

Last December 3rd, the ceremony of the handover of the affinity group Civil 20 took place in the Instituto del Servicio Exterior de la Nacion. The organization Poder Ciudadano in its role of Chair and RACI as the Co Chair of the C20 handed formally the representation of the group to the Japanese organization that will preside during 2019.

Yuka Iwatsvki, president of ACE (Action against Child Explotation), assumed her responsibility as Chair during the presidency of the G20 in Japan. On the other hand, Masaki Inaba will be Sherpa of the Civil 20, taking the lead delegated by Maria Emilia Berazategui who occupied the role in Argentina.

The event was done with the accompaniment of the Organizations of Civil Society that worked arduously during the whole process of the creation and presentation of the recommendations given to the leaders of states. Also, there was a high-level panel in which the Sherpa of the G20, Pedro Villagra Delgado, and the Deputy of the Finance Track, Laura Jaitman, evaluated the unfolding of Argentina in its most relevant international event, the positioning that the event meant for the country, and the lessons learned after a year of cross sectional alliances under the scope of the world.


Project Formulation: Some Tips to Take into Account!

The year ends and the organizations start to plan which will be the following steps in 2019. New ideas, responsibility distribution, and drafting of possible projects are some of the activities that keep the teams busy during the OSC. In this entry, we will share some tips and suggestions from the RACI´s International Cooperation guide to take into account when thinking and writing a proposal for a donor.

A project is a systematic way of offering a response to a problem identified as such and each of the projects start from the analysis of reality in order to identify the problems that affect a community or group. Once we identify an specific issue, it is important to take into account that the problem must NOT be express as a lack of something. On the other hand, it is necessary to reflect on what needs to be change, questioning and thinking of possible causes and consequences of the proposed change.

Once stated the problem, it is important to determine the general and specific goals. The general goal relates to the aim of the project: the aimed effect; the specific goals relate to the divergent effects that the projects need to achieve in order to guarantee the desire impact.

The goals must be written in plain language, be brief and concrete, be realist and feasible and be written in infinitive.

From the goals, the aims and activities of the project are detached. The aims must express the achievement that one is seeking with the implementation of the project in the given time. Thus, the fulfillment of the goals must be measurable. On the other hand, the activities are necessary to achieve each of the specific goals. In this section, it is recommendable to do a draft of the schedule of activities.

During this part of the process, it is necessary to take into account the risks, in other words, any external factor that the organization cannot control and that may affect the implementation of the project.

The expected results are the goals achieved after ending a process. They must be quantifiable and their measurement must be done using criteria focused on: quantity, quality, and time. Also, they have to relate to the activities, general, and specific goals. It is recommended to make sure that:

  • The main results to fulfill the specific goals are included.
  • The results are feasible.
  • Each result is a mean to achieve the goals.
  • The goals are defined correctly and in a verifiable way.

When talking about indicator, we are referring to the specifics steps of progress achieved during the fulfillment of the aims. There are three categories:

  • Impact indicators: they measure the expected changes.
  • Effect indicators: they measure the changes that will take place.
  • Fulfillment indicators: they measure whether the aims have been achieved or not.

Regarding the sources for verification, these are the means to know and verify the fulfillment of the stated aims. Primary (they relate to people) or secondary (they relate to data, places or documents) sources can be used.

Finally, the evaluation of the project is a programmed activity of reflection about the action based on systematic procedures of recollection, analysis and interpretation of information, with the aim to issue subjective, communicable and argumentative judgment on the activities, results and impacts of the project, and to formulate recommendations in order to make decisions to adapt the present action and better any future steps. It is extremely important to start the instance of evaluation previous the implementation of the project so one can know that the resources needed are available, whether the information needed is clear and to analyze the context in which the project will take place. An evaluation during the middle of the implementation is also recommendable as it helps to avoid any situation that may risk the project and, therefore, recalculate the process. Lastly, the final evaluation when ending the project will show which actions and process must be conserved and implemented in the future and which strategic decision must be change in order to avoid mistakes.

If you want to know more about how to submit a project, you can download the International Cooperation guide in our Virtual Library.




How Should the Official Development Assistance be distributed?

The Official Development Assistance, as grants or loans, is limited. Donors are worried about how to assign resources efficiently. How to assign resources is an issue of concern among scholars; international relations and politics have been useful for the creation of assignment models of economic assistance.

However, academic models do not answer the questions that donors face when choosing beneficiaries. For instance, some ask whether one should assist fragile or undeveloped countries… If the fragility of the state is a consequence of the government, should one help anyways?

When answering these questions a new focus on the Official Development Assistance is used. Instead of analyzing the impact of help in the reduction of poverty, the economy of goods framework is used to measure the consumer’s surplus of the beneficiary.  What is more, the surplus of the consumer is determined as the difference between the marginal price of the international exchange in the country and the price that the country pays for the help. It is possible to measure this because, contrary to previous years, the developing countries have a public credits rating.

The essay infers that the cost of international loans relates to the credit scores from the perspective of the classification agencies. Based on this, the authors build a model in order to estimate the relation between the credit classification and different economic variables.

The results of the model are used in two ways: to predict credit classification for those countries which do not have them and to infer the importance of each variable (such as per capita income, the government score, the levels of debt, and so on).

Taking into account the essay, it is possible to say that, in general, more help should go to poor countries and to those with good governments. Also, the results promote the help to small islands and under develop countries with economic volatility.

Naturally, expanding economic help to some countries implies fewer funds for others.  However, there are other loans from bilateral and multilateral institutions that may help those countries adversely affected.

If you want to read more about this topic, you can do it in


Thank you all for joining us!

Thursday 13th, December of 2018, was the day chosen by RACI to celebrate another year of projects and objectives achieved together with its partners, allies and donors.

The event was held at the British Residence in Buenos Aires where, for the fourth year in a row, it was prepared to receive more than 200 people who came to share the closing of the year with the RACI team. There they were received by Mr. Ambassador Mark Kent and the Executive Director of RACI, Guillermo Correa.

But this year, RACI had remarkable attendees such as the representatives of Global Board of CIVICUS: Jesse Chen, Anabel Cruz, Patricia Lerner, Ziya Guliyev, Sebastián Vielmas, Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, Daisy Owomugasho and Lorenzo Marsili. The fact that they shared their vision of Civil Society according to the different perspectives of the countries they represent and have exchanged experiences with our partners and allies, contributes to the construction and growth of the network.

From RACI, we thank our partners, the British Embassy and Ambassador Mark Kent and, above all, to partner organizations that work year after year in the federation to further strengthen the Argentine Civil Society.