| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
A clear focus is a strong point of the Model of Social Innovation, the same one that is carried out with the greatest rigor given that the participants must comply with income criteria. Having a good targeting system has allowed us to design innovative strategies that are cost effective, to the benefit of the most vulnerable population, not to duplicate the objectives and goals, and thus contribute to saving public investment and so, as Provincial Government we can allocate resources efficiently towards the poorest.
The articulation of the various sectors has also been an arduous task but it has been rewarding to make common the objectives and goals around social programs. In this way we make viable the processes of vision and management around public policies.
Finally, we have innovated the productive axe with techniques of agroecological production, through theoretical-practical workshops and support manuals, which in turn have generated scientific researches and, thus, we promote proven agroecological practices for a sustainable management of agricultural production, both, of plants and animals.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Provincial Government of the Azuay as autonomous and decentralized government; in compliance with the National Constitution, the norms guaranteeing rights of all, and with a clear focus of prioritizing attention to the most vulnerable sectors of the Azuay population; has incorporated in its strategic planning different plans, programs and projects that aim to overcome inequities, strengthen social organizations and ensure the full validity of rights, with gender and generational equity. Thus, from the Management Model called Radical Democracy that is reflected in the MULTI-ANNUAL PLAN 2014 - 2019 under the strategic component of “Soberanía Alimentaria”, we seek to guarantee the food sovereignty and develop agroproductive capacities in articulation with multilateral organizations.
• 17.800 families of the Province of Azuay, distributed as following:
11.600 families attended at lower levels of stratification and in food insecurity in rural and / or marginal urban areas receive food supplementation.
5.100 families of small agro-producers, dairy producers and consumers
1.100 families own their points of distribution and marketing of the product.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
- INTEGRALITY: From the small producer, to the care and family support.
-CO RESPONSIBILITY: Participating families, not recipients. Producers who boost their family economy.
- CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Participation of the private sector not with charity, but with participation to the sustainability of the project
Therefore, a PROGRAM that is the best expression of a "Model of Social Innovation for Food Security and Local Economic Development", which has generated PUBLIC ADDED VALUE.
In addition, a clear focus was an essential element in order to implement this program. It has been associated with the adequate allocation of resources for the target population aiming at overcoming poverty, reducing vulnerability and inequalities in opportunities.
Likewise, as has already been said, it has been necessary to articulate the various sectors, in order to make common the objectives and goals related to social programs. Hence, we consider it important to have comprehensive programs with common targeting processes so that all services can reach the neediest families efficiently.
In the case of articulation with AgroAzuay and Lactjubones, some subprojects have been born:
- Orchard Project for self consumption: To promote -into families- orchards of self-consumption according to their eating habits, promoting the availability of food in the home.
- Productive projects of food diversity: Agricultural, Fisheries, animal husbandry. This project seeks the community organization between 3 and 6 families that are articulated and can have an economically viable project for the self-consumption and the commercialization of food, guaranteeing the food security of the participating families.
In both cases, women play a key role in the development of these productive systems, given their responsibility for household food, family farming, domestic work, childcare, family health, among many other essential tasks for the promotion of food and nutritional security.
In another instance and as part of the articulation, the Food Bank has been a community space based on the public-private alliance, where food, goods and services are collected and that later can be subsequently delivered to properly targeted families. It establishes a bridge between food producing companies, trading companies and the community.
The Food Bank promotes resource efficiency, turning non-commercial food into food if consumable for solidarity purposes.
In addition, it has sought to have the network of volunteers cataloged by talents and that these can be put at the service of the community in general at no cost, such as: specialized services in psychological care, shelters, dental care, among others.
In terms of resources invested and efforts made:
- 1 It of daily dairy drink has been delivered to 9,600 families
- There are 40 thousand beneficiaries and 20 thousand children participating.
- There are 175 distribution points: in the cantons of Cuenca, Gualaceo, Paute and Girón.
- The investment since 2012 has been of $ 8,605,678.58 only in EQUIDAR, with the budgets of AgroAzuay, Lactjubones and Banco de Alimentos it easily exceeds 10 million dollars.
- 285 workshops of nutrition and social organization have been executed to more than 4,000 participants among participants of the project Equidar, distributors, leaders, promoters and community.
- We have made 25 deliveries of donated food reaching 500 families of scarce resources.
- Two "NAVIDAR" food collections were carried out in schools, universities, companies and the Provincial Government itself (Christmas season).
- In the earthquake emergency, more than 200 tons of food, water, food and supplies were sent to the affected areas.
- 61% of the beneficiaries qualify the project as excellent and 38% as good, only 1% as regular.
- Medical records of 7,000 families.
- Medical examinations for 10,000 children and 5,000 mothers.
- 2000 blood counts were performed.
- It has been detected that in 40% of households there is intra-family violence.
- Integral dental treatments have been carried out with more than 6,500 consultations. We intervene in 9 rural parishes of Cuenca (Baños, San Joaquin, Sayausi, Sinincay, Chiquintad, Sidcay, Ricaurte, Paccha and El Valle) plus El Vecino neighborhood.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
EQUIDAR - Provincial Government of Azuay: Proposal that aims to contribute to the improvement of the nutritional and growth conditions of children and the integral development of vulnerable families. It is articulated with complementary projects such as the Food Bank, and is complemented with medical, psychological and dental care as well as the accomplishment of blood counts as part of the accompaniment and monitoring of family health conditions, with prevention and training campaigns.
AgroAzuay: Promoting short channels of solidary marketing as a fundamental part of the agricultural, agroecological and fair trade production processes.
Lactjubones: Community company that seeks the active participation of its partners and suppliers. It carries out the collection, production and commercialization of dairy products.
Mikhuna – Food Bank: Based on volunteering and the contribution of people committed to fight against hunger and malnutrition. They have more than 300 volunteers.
Conagopare Azuay: Involved in the construction of the Public Policy and the Food Safety Ordinance under construction.
Universidad Católica de Cuenca: 7,000 medical records have been lifted, medical check-ups have been carried out for 10,000 children and 5,000 mothers, 3,000 children suffering from malnutrition have been treated, 2,000 blood counts have been executed, and work on rights issues to prevent intrafamily violence has been carried out as well. It has the support of the students of the Catholic University of Cuenca, where more than 500 young people (students), are involved in each one of the activities.
Pastoral Social de Turi: Social care; Human promotion and socio-political impact.
Cámara de Industrias: Strategic partner of the Mikhuna Food Bank
Telerama: Communication diffusion of the Project
Associations of small producers through Agroazuay and Lactjubones
Commercial Bureau of Taiwan: It has provided professional experts for training in food processing and agricultural practices.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In terms of nutrition, more than 8 million liters of dairy drinks have been delivered since 2012 to families in the vulnerable sectors and also more than 11,600 families have been benefited with food and preventive health programs that include medical records of 7,000 families, medical examinations to 10,000 children and 5,000 mothers, 2000 blood counts and more than 6,500 free dental consultations.
In terms of agroproductivity, there are 109 associations of agricultural producers benefiting from training, participation in fairs, direct sale of products, animal genetic improvement and fruit orchards recovery. All of them have also been oriented to increase agricultural productivity, through technical assistance, supply of subsidized inputs, technology transfer and assistance in the achievement of marketing channels within a fair trade framework, aimed mainly at small and medium agricultural producers of the Azuay province, thus improving their quality of life, promoting the development of the agricultural sector and the conservation of the environment. In addition, more than 4500 families have become consumers of fresh, clean and healthy agricultural products, also trained in agricultural production and livestock. In this context, some 2,800 temporary jobs have also been generated due to the increase in agricultural production in the province.
In terms of dairy production, there are 700 small producers incorporated into the dairy chain, selling its products without intermediaries and 1.100 integrated shopkeepers to the marketing chain of quality dairy products made with raw material purchased from small producers. This community company that seeks the active participation of its partners and suppliers carries out the collection, production and commercialization of dairy products. It promotes small and medium-sized dairy producers and industrializes the raw material, allowing microproducers to reach local and national markets.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
A limited budget but that has been solved through external financing, public, private and self-management.
Availability of human resources that we have also been able to cope with through cooperation agreements and public-private partnerships.
Political conjuncture faced through political will and putting the needs and interests of the population violated above these obstacles.
Existing intermediation with the agricultural producers, the same that we have also known to face through linkage and direct relation with agroproductores, work in situ.
Finally, the commercialization of products has also suffered difficulties that through the implementation of agroproductive fairs, product positioning, collection centers, direct and indirect distribution channels has been known to be endured.