October 16, 2018
From private project to public policy, how to scale a social initiative?
Many companies develop social responsibility programs that generate a positive impact on Argentine communities. Some of these initiatives are replicated with the help of the State in other territories.

In a context where alliances between different sectors are promoted to achieve sustainable development, policies are not designed only in the public sphere. It is possible to see corporate social responsibility programs that are beginning to be applied in municipalities or NGO ideas that are replicated in different territories of a country. Another possible option is the co-creation of policies between the different sectors.

Public policies are a set of decisions, initiatives and actions of public interest aimed at the promotion of the common good, which seek to solve problems or address manifest needs and public interest, and which are defined, designed and implemented by government entities. The processes of defining the issues that are relevant may have more or less involvement of other actors in society.

Silvio Dal Buoni, executive director of Potenciar Comunidades, a methodology for implementing collaborative strategies for social investment, territorial development and collective impact, suggests: "Public policies can be created and public goods created from the private sector, from the social sector and also, from the creative interaction of the three sectors".

"As a result, it is also possible that spaces for innovation and multisectoral articulation are created that are much more powerful, with greater capacities and possibilities to solve problems and take advantage of development opportunities".

In principle, the initiative developed by the private sector must be able to respond to a relevant problem of public interest and be effective when providing concrete solutions. In addition, it must be applicable on a larger scale and at a reasonable cost.

Another challenge, according to Dal Buoni, has to do with the possibility that the programs, which are intended to replicate or transform into larger-scale policies, achieve the results by overcoming bureaucratic barriers, adapting and adapting to the State's administrative processes, which are very different from those that exist in a company or a civil society organization.

"The possibility of getting involved in the definition and design of public policies from a multisectoral perspective brings, in my opinion, an extra benefit, which is related to the process: Enables the emergence of initiatives that take advantage of the interfaces that exist between the actors , the interests and rationalities of the public, private and social sectors, generating synergies and increasing the opportunities to achieve triple impact results ".

"Moreover, from an experience of participatory or collaborative planning of a public policy or a well-designed and well-implemented articulation program, in addition to expecting a greater impact, better organizations, better companies and better governments should be expected to emerge. None of this is possible without planning and without investing time and resources so that the intentions are transformed into viable policies, programs and projects that can be implemented and achieve results ", develops the executive director of Potenciar Comunidades.

Dal Buoni makes an important clarification to take into account in relation to companies. He says: "We are not talking here of lobbying actions, but of the possibility of assuming specific responsibilities for the joint creation of development environments that promote, encourage and crystallize policies, decisions, actions and shared investments that are oriented towards the common good".

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Automatic translation from spanish.

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