Work plan

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The “Apreciando lo nuestro”  project comprises a methodology composed of a series of structured steps, starting form careful selection of Project officers, going through analysis of local money flows and ending on continuous delivery and improvement processes of coaching sessions and community workshops.

STRO provides technical advisory, training and follow up throughout the development of the work plan of APLN, which looks like this:

  1. Hiring project officers/staff: Selection of staff that will be in charge of the project according to a desired profile.
  2. Initial training for project officers/staff:training on the concept and philosophy of APLN, workshops delivery, baseline and local money flows surveys, and other basic tools of APLN.
  3. Institutional dissemination of the approach and its methodology:Newly trained staff socializes the APLN concept, methodologies, work plan and expected results among their co-workers.
  4. Definition of institutional intervention and streamlining strategy:Institutional managers study and define how they would like the APLN methodology to support other institutional areas of work.
  5. Analysis of local money flows and initial attitudes evaluation baseline:surveys are ran to find out how much money is entering the economy, how much it is staying inside it and how much is flowing out, and the reasons why this is happening. Also, appreciation of already existing assets and endogenous potential for development is surveyed.
  6. Local mapping:Main actors influencing the local economy are mapped, in order to later promote networking to enrich local sources of support for development of new business ideas.
  7. Training on the “coaching for regeneration” technique for projects officers/staff:Training on coaching for regeneration, which allows for project officers and staff to promote and accompany local entrepreneurship towards establishment of new local businesses that increase local money flows.
  8. Community workshops:Delivery of community workshops by already trained staff, spreading out new economic literacy, promoting the maximization of local money flows through a change of attitude towards spending and investing patterns, and offering coaching of new business ideas for voluntary local people attending the workshop.
  9. Coaching sessions and follow up:Development of new business ideas by local people, supported by coaching sessions delivered by project officers, who adapt further workshops to specific situations found.
  10. Final attitudes evaluation baseline: surveys are run to find out changes in people´s behavior towards local spending and investing, as well as self empowerment and belief, networking and other aspects.

Community Workshops

This is one of the most exciting phases of the Apreciando lo Nuestro methodology. This is where the unchaining of local potential for economic development starts.

Image from: http://www.neweconomics.org

Image from www.neweconomics.org The workshops convey the message that the problem might not be that there is not enough money going into the community, but that the problem is what it is done with that money. If the money is spent mostly outside the community, it is as if we were picking up water with a leaky bucket, the water will always flow out, no matter how much we pour into the bucket. But if we think of ideas to plug those leaks, then the water, meaning the money stays within the community for longer, circulating more times, bringing local economic development.

Participants are invited to go through an itinerary, where firstly, basic principles of economic literacy are explained through a role play game, where they reflect on how spending and investing outside the community affects the local economy, and how changing our individual behavior in that respect makes a real difference, bringing also powerful results for community cohesion and solidarity. Afterwards, participants are given data on local money flows, analyzing the potential of local demand for each sector of the economy that has not been locally attended yet. At the same time, they are asked to look into themselves and think of ideas to maximize local investing, fostering an entrepreneurial attitude based on their own passion, dreams and ideas for development of new businesses. Finally, participants are offered services of coaching for entrepreneurial development, to start implementing their business ideas.

Coaching for regeneration

Coaching for regeneration is a methodology devised by New Economics Foundation (NEF), as part of the “local alchemy” approach (www.neweconomics.org)

Coaching is about accompanying a client during the process of identifying and materializing a particular idea for his or her own development, following his or her own ideas, under the premise that nobody is useless and needs development imposed from the outside, but from him or herself. Clients find a space where they can be heard through a series of sessions, analyzing their dreams, ideas, assets and hindrances towards the set up of a new business idea.

Image credited to: NEF

Coaching is based on an assets based approach, building on already existing assets and resources, such as family, networking, etc., instead of relying on other resources such as loans, great amounts of money, etc. It then happens that clients achieve to start new business ideas relying little on money, but mostly on other already existing resources.   Coaching departs from the assets, attitudes and abilities that a person has, turning them into action for his or her own development.