FITS 2022: an invitation for dialogue

Do you know what FITS is? It is the Festival of Innovation and Social Technology organized by Wingu. The objective of this meeting is a space for debate and networking to share with leaders and promote social causes through good practices.

During the meeting there will be talks and conferences, among other things. It will be held in Colombia (Bogota and Buenaventura) and Chile (Santiago), and special transmission for any part of the world through a virtual platform; it starts on November 3, registration is 100% free and is already available.

This first edition will be focused on strengthening democracy, with technology as an ally, in a hybrid format. As previously mentioned, it is an initiative of Wingu, a non-profit civic technology organization that promotes social projects and initiatives, maximizing their impact through a process of digital transformation and the implementation of innovative technological developments.

The program has an extensive agenda, ranging from topics such as artistic interventions, data protection, public innovation and local democracy, to reflections and challenges of technology for citizen participation. In addition, networking, innovation and technology for peace building, and technological solutions for the defense of democracy in the territory, among many others, will be discussed.

Why should we organize this festival?

It is essential to hold this type of debates, since Latin America is in a transition, where citizens are expressing the need for governments to listen to their demands; the expressions of the population can be seen throughout the region, in search of reducing inequality. For this reason, the festival brings together leaders of social organizations, journalists, students and donors from different places to rethink how to strengthen the work and provide spaces for innovative initiatives.

“A unique moment to make more voices heard to build stronger, more diverse and fairer democracies” (Wingu, 2022).

To carry out this event, the meeting between organizations, public and private agencies and academia will be facilitated, with the aim of collaborating, sharing and co-creating together. Likewise, there will be a face-to-face meeting in Colombia and Chile of organizations related to these topics to promote direct dialogue and effective articulation. These will be spaces facilitated by specialists in agile methodologies, to promote conversations and group work. All of these are aimed at some specific issues: discovering a solution, developing an action plan and drafting a manifesto, among others.

The fact that the conversation is hybrid and decentralized broadens access to places that are outside the big Latin American cities and, commonly, are left out; that is what the meeting is about: broadening access.

Another way to make participation more expansive is that the entire program will be broadcast online, to ensure accessibility to the content for people from all over the region, with lectures, networking activities and panel discussions.  In this way, the festival is a unique opportunity for meeting, communication and articulation that inspires and mobilizes social initiatives through specialists from around the world, who share their knowledge with thousands of people and organizations to make them more autonomous and independent in the use of new technologies.

Wingu is a community that is looking for interact and learn more about the latest trends and developments in the digital field and, at the same time, seeks new ways to work on a daily basis, communicate, exchange ideas, raise funds, simple solutions and innovative tools, as well as dynamic experiences that allow finding simple solutions to optimize time and resources for the common welfare of all people.

We welcome the realization of this type of spaces for dialogue and debate, as well as encourage participation and diffusion.


Access to civil society resources in Latin America: obstacles and costs; inequities and inefficiencies

Access to civil society resources in Latin America: obstacles and costs; inequities and inefficiencies is an investigation, carried out by CIVICUS, that highlights the barriers experienced by civil society organizations in Latin America when seeking funding through calls for proposals and the considerable transaction costs incurred by these organizations and donors during the resource allocation process. In addition, the report highlights the impact this has on the ecosystem and highlights some inefficiencies and inequities that are frequently manifested.

One of CIVICUS’ main commitments is to broaden understanding of the resource challenges and opportunities facing civil society worldwide and to advocate for changes in the international funding and support system that underpins its projects and research. The goal is to help foster conditions that enable and promote the work of activists, groups and communities, particularly those at the grassroots level.

The CIVICUS solidarity fund (CSF) is a membership-driven and funded fund, created in 2019 to provide flexible funding and support to CIVICUS members based on their needs. Its commitment relates to constantly improving and better serving the CIVICUS membership community. Therefore, in 2021, the focus was on understanding the costs and barriers faced when applying for our grants to try to make the fund more accessible.

Also, in the words of CIVICUS (2022), the aforementioned fund is a mechanism to promote diversity and resilience in civil society, making resources and support available to CIVICUS members around the world through flexible grants. It is focused on supporting small and even informal civil society groups on the front lines of change whose mission is critical to their communities. The fund is managed and financed by the CIVICUS membership and supports about 10 individual activists, movements, organizations or groups per year.

As a solidarity mechanism, which follows a participatory grantmaking approach, the CSF has a Membership Advisory Group (MAG), composed of 10 CIVICUS members selected through an open call process. They are responsible for selecting CSF member grantees and play a key role in the consolidation of the fund by providing advice and strategic guidance on priorities and next steps to ensure a transparent, participatory and inclusive process.

“Working closely with these organizations was a transformative journey. We built truly meaningful relationships between all the people, which made us redefine the meaning of success: relationships can mean more success than any other outcome of our work” (CIVICUS, 2022).

In addition to the above, the fund also seeks to inspire other donors and civil society advocates who are willing to challenge and change the mindset and dynamics of funding. In this way, the proposal is that they invent more equitable and decentralized, trust-based, accountable and creative ways of standing in solidarity with these groups and activists.

The three main findings of the research are presented below:

  • Grassroots activists, small, less formal organizations, groups and movements need flexible, core and sustained funding; in this way, they can focus their work on the communities they serve.
  • “Beyond providing flexible funding, donors must change their thinking and their perception of time, accountability and decision-making. This change must be reflected in the solicitation, selection, reporting, and monitoring processes” (CIVICUS, 2022).
  • Donors should invest in what cannot be photographed or measured in written reports, as this can lead them to build more trust and meaningful relationships with grantees and between them and their peers and communities.

Flower of diversity

RACI was honored to participate in the event Flor Diversity Awards 2022, held by Fundación Flor (Flower Foundation), which recognizes organizations and companies that promote positive transformation through the inclusion of diversity in their environment. The event also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Fundación Flor.

The meeting took place at the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK) and was broadcast on the foundation’s website, where the recording can be found. The objective was to disseminate and recognize those organizations for which managing diversity is part of their strategy, as well as to encourage many others to embark on this path.

In this seventh edition of the awards, the members of the jury were:

  • Ana Inés Alvarez (Executive Director at Fundación Avon).
  • Kurt Fried (President of Fundación Huésped).
  • Francisco C. Ortega (President of Binden Group).
  • Laura Gaidulewicz (Director at Binden Group).
  • Gala Díaz Langou (Executive Director at CIPPEC).
  • Virginia Genovesi (Member of the Board of Directors of Fundación Flor).
  • Ivan de Pineda (actor and presenter).

Many organizations applied and the awards were divided into three main categories: NGOs, SMEs and companies.

As for the first category, among the finalists were: Asociación Civil Impacto Digital, Asociación de Ayuda al Ciego and Fundación Casaclub, and the winner was Asociación Civil Impacto Digital, for its great contribution and innovation to include diverse groups and its actions in sexual education, as well as gender, age and cultural diversity.

In the second category, the finalists were Grupo Mitre, Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum and Win & Winnow Language Services, and the winner was Grupo Mitre, which received this recognition for the cultural change they propose, through the promotion of the presence of women in traditionally male positions and for their work with people from vulnerable socioeconomic sectors. Their representative highlighted how, from their position, they managed to position women in a “traditionally” male sector, such as the construction industry.

In the third category, the finalists were Globant, Banco Galicia and IBM. The winner was Globant, distinguished for its global and local commitment to diversity as a key factor for innovation and business purpose. “We are proud to be here and to be able to share what we are doing because we are in a complex industry with a global presence of 80% men,” said part of the winning team.

In addition, there was recognition for public sector organizations and among the finalists were the Undersecretariat for the Elderly GCBA (Government of the City of Buenos Aires), the Professional Council of Economic Sciences CABA (Government of the City of Buenos Aires), the Undersecretariat of Sustainable Development SMEs and the Secretariat of Production and Economic Development (Municipality of San Martin). The winner was the Subsecretaría para Personas Mayores GCBA, which receives this recognition for its comprehensive approach and articulated work with a disadvantaged group, totally invisible, such as the elderly.

From RACI we are grateful to be part of this kind of events, which encourage and promote organizations and companies. As well as new leaders who understand the positive impact of building diverse, inclusive and equitable ecosystems in the workplace and in society.

We understand that today’s organizations are aware of the challenge of today’s world, in which, in order to achieve their economic, social and environmental results, they need to be creative and innovative. Managing diversity is the strategic key to achieve this goal, which will also provide them with the greatest achievement: to be part of the transformation to a fairer and more inclusive society.

We are happy to be part of this management, together with so many other organizations, and to make visible, together, the importance of diversity inclusion for the construction of a slightly fairer society.

We congratulate all those organizations, SMEs and winning companies, we are glad to have been invited to participate in the event and we encourage them to continue working together and networking to build a civil society where diversity is at the center.


REDD+: What is?

According to FAO (2022), this acronym refers to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), in addition to the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks, is a fundamental part of global efforts to mitigate climate change. FAO supports developing countries in their REDD+ processes, as well as in the conversion of their political commitments.

In addition, they argue that at the heart of this work are forests and the key role they play in mitigating climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in biomass and soils. This also implies that when forests are cleared or degraded, they can become a source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Through REDD+, FAO designs capacity-building support tailored to the specific needs of each country so that it is ready for REDD+. Such readiness is measured through the four key pillars set out in the Warsaw Framework” (FAO, 2022).


The origin of REDD+ goes back to a proposal submitted by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11, Montreal, Canada) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a model and framework for climate change mitigation. Subsequently, at COP 13, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – in developing countries – was expanded to include forest conservation measures, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, this “original expanded version” eventually shaped REDD+, following progress in successive discussions within the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Later, the Paris Agreement (2015) summoned the signatory parties/States (including Argentina) to submit to the UNFCCC their “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDC) with the global objective of keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C with respect to pre-industrial levels.

The NDC will be achieved through the implementation of a series of mitigation measures throughout the economy, focusing on the energy, forestry, transportation, industry and infrastructure (including waste) sectors. In relation to forests, the National Action Plan for Forests and Climate Change (future REDD+ at the national level) has been developed. The implementation of REDD+ involves the identification of the key components of REDD+, its financing, the development of national and subnational policies in accordance, the evaluation of impacts and safeguards, together with a cross-cutting approach and multidimensional and multi-stakeholder governance.

Huellas para un futuro

The Foundation Huellas para un Futuro (Footprints for a Future) implemented the REDD+ program. Design of cross-cutting strategies for the benefit of vulnerable communities, with the active participation of the Ministry of Ecology and NRR, the Ministry of Climate Change and the Missionary Institute of Biodiversity (IMiBio) of the Province of Misiones.

In May 2022, Phase II of the REDD+ Capacity Building Project for Indigenous People, Civil Society and Local Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean began through Acicafoc Centroamerica, based in Costa Rica, under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility with funding from the World Bank.

Continuing with PHASE I, carried out during the 2019-2020 period, Huellas para un Futuro Foundation executed, on this occasion, the program “REDD+. Design of cross-cutting strategies for the benefit of vulnerable communities”, with the active participation -as relevant actors- of the Ministry of Ecology and NRR, the Ministry of Climate Change and the Misiones Province’s Institute of Biodiversity (IMiBio).

After six months of work, the closing of this program was celebrated on Friday, October 14 at the residence of the Australian Ambassador in Argentina. From RACI, we encourage and promote this type of projects, and it is an honor to have been present.


IRR 2022: brave spaces for collective action

The Inter-Regional Retreat (IRR) is Innovation for Change’s main annual global event and is a central component of the network’s efforts. This is because the main objective is to nurture a global network of activists and civil society organizations (CSOs) working together to support, strengthen and sustain civil society, especially organizations working in closed spaces or in closure.

The event has been held twice since 2017 and brings together about 100 network members from different countries. Participants are selected or nominated by the hubs, due to their previous participation in regional hub planning, training workshops, network strengthening and inter-regional exchange. It is a place where regional hub incubators, grassroots staff and members meet and learn from each other to improve their work in the future and contribute to the strengthening of civic space in their regions, as well as coordinate and leverage innovative activities across regions.

This is the fifth retreat of the I4C network and the first after having gone through a pandemic that, among other things, has caused face-to-face meetings to go virtual. For this reason, the meeting harbored great expectations and eagerness to join hands in this collaborative effort to defend and strengthen civic space and overcome restrictions on our fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression.

The meeting was held in Quito (Ecuador), where the host organization, Faro, a center for research and collective action, is located. Together with the I4C Latin America and Caribbean hub, a welcome and invitation was extended to enjoy five days of collective design/creation, exchanges and encounters that will help us strengthen the network, explore challenges and opportunities for social change and build sustainable solutions.

In addition, it was composed of a global network of people and organizations that want to connect, partner and learn together to defend and strengthen civic space, as well as overcome restrictions to basic freedoms of assembly, association and expression. The focus was on ideas, methods and technologies in different sectors: advocacy, research, networking, education and training, fundraising, literacy and digital development.

Innovation for Change is working to implement innovative ways to combat civic space constraints around the world, focusing on five pillars, one of which is sustainability. In congruence with the latter, to generate the least environmental impact, unnecessary records were not printed at the event, digital media was prioritized, and what printing was necessary, if any, was done on reusable, eco-friendly materials.

The event had an extensive agenda with different topics, including: the power of the people in the world, reflections and discussion spaces, inclusion of vulnerable groups. In addition, topics such as environment, sustainability and future projects were also discussed. It turned out to be a great opportunity for dialogue and debate on fundamental issues to think about the future to be built together.

We encourage, then, to continue working for the change we want!


A new Executive Committee, a new beginning

During october, we have the honor of sharing a launch to bid farewell to the outgoing Executive Committee. This was held in our cowork for social organizations, one of our great achievements, and, at the end, we had the opportunity to review some of the milestones of the management.

Among many achievements, some of them were:

  • Institutional policies.
  • Construction of a more federal RACI.
  • Processes of dialogue and reflection.
  • Team growth: challenging context of rotation.
  • Internal reengineering and stabilization, despite the changes.
  • Creation of social coworking.

For all this and much more, in addition to having been a fundamental support and pillar for our institution, we would like to bid farewell to the members of the outgoing 2020-2022 committee, who have put their commitment and dedication at the service of the growth of the Argentine Network for International Cooperation. We are very grateful to Daniel Pomerantz (AMIA), Manuel Jaramillo (Fundación Vida Silvestre), Natalia Gherardi (ELA), Marisa Giraldez (Banco de Alimentos), Mariela Belski (Amnistía), Virgilio Gregorini (TECHO) and Diego Aguilar (Fundación León).

We also thank the alternate members for this period, who participated in the meetings and collaborated with their contributions. They are: Nicolás Rosenthal (Fundación Protestante Diaconía Hora de Obrar), Carolina Tamagnini (FUNDEPS) and Nicolás Federico (Fundación Reciduca)

We are very pleased to announce that during the last Members’ Assembly, held at AMIA -whom we thank for the space-, the results of the elections of the new members and their alternates of the Executive Committee for the period 2022-2024 were announced.

We would like to introduce the new members of the Executive Committee:

We also thank the alternate members, who are:

  • Primer suplente: Nicolás Federico (Fundación Reciduca).
  • Segundo suplente: Ariel Dorfman (Fundación Encontrarse en la Diversidad).
  • Tercer suplente: Nicolás Rosenthal (Fundación Protestante Diaconía Hora de Obrar).

On the other hand, we would like to highlight the great participation of the candidates during this 2022 election process, which highlights the diversity and growth of RACI, through the excellent professionalism and human quality of those who applied.

On behalf of RACI we thank each of the nominees for their interest and commitment to us. We are very happy and grateful that you can join us on this path, we wish you the best and hope to do great things together.

We welcome you!