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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Services can be offered remotely and in person.
- The types of services can be consultancy, training or the development of a product.
- 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: http://comunidas.org/and thus the region will revolutionize the collaborative economy for Civil Society Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.