After a training and proposal design process, the winners of the Southern Cone edition of the Innovation Labs, “Strengthening transparency in the access and management of resources from different sectors in the face of the covid-19 crisis,” were announced on March 15. Among 10 participating teams from South America, a jury of four prestigious experts, composed by Clara Bosco (CIVICUS), Magdalena Saieg (Fundación Navarro Viola), Gerardo Torres (Meridian International) and Luciana Torchiaro (Transparency International), selected UNCULAB as the winner for its project “Desarrodar”, which seeks to contribute to food security in the province of Mendoza (Argentina).
The Innovation Labs are spaces for training and creative learning for organizations carried out by the Innovation for Change’s Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (I4C). Based on the principles of Design Thinking and its adaptation to the local reality, they promote the interconnection between different social actors through the co-creation of strategies to promote solutions from Civil Society Organizations. In this Southern Cone edition, led by RACI with the support of other organizations in the region, the Labs were focused on providing creative solutions to ensure transparency in the management of resources to address the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With these objectives in mind, a call for proposals was made from February 9 to 25 of this year, after which 10 teams from Argentina and Paraguay were formed. From March 1 to 15, all team members participated in a Diploma in Design Thinking to introduce them to this methodology and define their problems, in two teamwork sessions with mentors and facilitators, and had ten days to define their prototype and prepare their presentation. On March 15th, each team presented their prototype to the jury, who evaluated their proposals based on their feasibility of implementation, impact, innovation and their response to the need of ensuring that the resources allocated to COVID-19 reach the populations that need them.
Finally, the prototype “Desarrodar” was awarded as the winner of this edition of the Innovation Labs. Devised by the UNCULAB team, composed by Macarena Randis, Candela Grec, Bruno Zangheri, Marcos Mattar and Víctor Oliva, this proposal seeks to increase the transparency of the food donation chains to community dining rooms in the province of Mendoza. UNCULAB will receive a seed fund of US$3,000 to work over the next three months with local producers and local organizations to gather information and build a web platform to make donation campaigns visible and transparent.