The armed conflict in Colombia has been closely linked to rural poverty. The areas most affected by the conflict also tend to suffer greater social vulnerability and less state presence. In this context, the Basque experience in the development of socially and economically competitive territories serves as an inspiration to develop a new approach to Social Innovation in regions with high institutional weakness.
This scenario of designing a new public policy on reincorporation has the strengthening of the ex-combatant community as the main focus, so that they have sustainable life projects. It is therefore in this framework that the Basque Government supports and promotes the implementation of this territorial development initiative in collaboration with three entities in the field: the Javeriana University of Cali (along with the Institute of Intercultural Studies), the Manigua Corporation and La Cocreadora.
This approach aims to transfer knowledge related to (1) community listening tools, (2) collective interpretation spaces, as well as (3) co-creation processes and (4) large-scale prototyping.
The Platform and the entities review the prototypes developed during the co-creation phase. During this phase, 5 lines of work are developed: 1) Good livestock practices, 2) Food production, 3) Tourism, 4) Minor species and 5) Organizational strengthening within the framework of the Community Action Board (JAC) in the areas of Peace, Tourism and Food and Food Security. A total of 82 prototypes and initiatives (interconnected with the narratives identified in the listening process) were created. La Cocreadora, an entity that has been in the review and debugging phase of the productive initiatives, together with the Aguabonita community, has been involved in this process. Imago, an international community that optimizes gastronomic projects and accompanies the food industry in the improvement of its creative processes and products through the education of the commercial outlook, also participates in this process.
The entities work on refining the prototypes and during the next weeks a portfolio of interconnected solutions of various levels of intervention (community, small and medium scale, long scale, services and regulation) is presented to the community, in order to select some prototypes that have greater viability and potential in the territory. This selection of initiatives has two main objectives: the reinforcement of the productive lines of the community and the reinforcement of the cooperative and solidarity activity in the territory.
The platform is in the phase of portfolio socialization. After several months of joint work between the entities, on February 3rd, a portfolio of 82 prototypes created with the participation of about 45 delegates from the Veredas: Juntas, Cedro, Cedrito, Morros, Agua Bonita I and Agua Bonita II was presented.
These prototypes are related to the 5 areas of work previously agreed upon, which were: Good Livestock Practices, Food Production, Tourism, Minor Species and Organizational Strengthening.
In February 2022, the approximately 15 economic initiatives are socialized in greater depth. They emerged and were widely worked on by the community in previous spaces.
With all this progress, work teams are formed for each productive line for the implementation phase. There will be one representative per sidewalk and per productive line. These delegates will be the visible head of the work plan per line and will follow up on the implementation with the support of the Platform’s entities. The current work schedule is one day per week and per productive line, which will help land and provide feedback on the prototypes as initially defined. The general coordination work in the territory is being carried out by Corpomanigua.
The participants emphasize the importance of socialization in the meetings, where there is always room for consensus. This allows to generate a “wonderful work process not only for one community but for several” in addition to creating a link with the processes that benefits all of them economically and socially.
The first space for contrast and socialization of the progress of the five working groups is scheduled for Friday, February 18th. The second space is scheduled for March 2nd.