System mapping with the Financiera Sustentable team.

Financiera Sustentable, Mexico

Preparing to Scale with Financiera Sustentable

Financiera Sustentable (FS) started operations in February 2013, with a team of two people, supporting public transporters to acquire new trucks by using natural gas vehicles. Today, FS is a team of 80 people and with a diversified portfolio of products, still specializing in public transportation micro-entrepreneurs. The organization’s long-term focus is on small businesses and micro enterprises that support the base of the pyramid. These types of business are often excluded from access to traditional financing structures but have the potential for greatest impact.

After five years of operations and rapid growth, Financiera Sustentable is collaborating with IMAGO to collectively take stock of their potential for the future. A primary focus of IMAGO’s initial work with the organization is to forge a strategic direction for the next phase of Financiera Sustentable’s growth. This work includeds supporting FS staff and board to coalesce around a shared vision of how Financiera Sustentable can prepare to become a bank by 2030.

The PCIC team contemplates the beginning of thier system map during IMAGO workshop

Patient Care Intervention Center, USA

Improving Healthcare Safety Nets with PCIC

Patient Care Intervention Center (PCIC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve healthcare quality and costs for the vulnerable at the community level through data integration and care coordination.

PCIC identifies the gaps in care coordination and provides a framework for measurable outcomes, improvement and cost reduction. The organization works across disciplines and creates a more effective safety net system for Harris County (Texas) patients.

IMAGO’s work with PCIC began in 2016, collaborating to help enhance the system-wide organizational infrastructre to measure and meet the needs of the High Needs Health Care Patients. IMAGO’s continuing work with PCIC will include support in creating the conditions to sustainably scale up PCIC’s unique health systems intervention to reach more frontline health care workers and patients.

Poverty Stoplight Family

Fundación Paraguaya, Paraguay

Participatory Poverty Alleviation with Fundación Paraguaya

Fundación Paraguaya is a self-sustainable NGO that has spearheaded microfinance and entrepreneurship in Paraguay for the last 30 years. It works with practical innovations to eliminate poverty including: a micro-credit program that serves nearly 90,000 micro-entrepreneurs, a program for entrepreneurial education for young people, and a program for self-financed farming high schools in Paraguay and the rest of the world.

One of its most recent innovations is the Poverty Stoplight, which is powerful tool in overcoming one of poverty’s toughest challenges — behavior change at the individual level .

IMAGO has been working since August 2016 with the Poverty Stoplight on a scaling up strategy that should make the Stoplight a global reference of choice for participatory poverty analysis and action. This five year strategy defines the specific steps that are needed to make the Stoplight’s methodology translatable across different cultural and economic contexts as well as financially self-sustaining across the world.

The Poverty Stoplight, and the amazing and hard-working people behind it, sparks the capacity to change the world one step at a time with the poor at the center of the diagnosis and in charge of deciding actionable plans to change the many dimensions of poverty.

Transform Rural India

Seeking Equal Opportunity with Transform Rural India

Transform Rural India is a civil society organization working to bring equal opportunities to India’s poorest, supporting them in their journey to prosperity, dignity and a better life.

TRI supports NGOs working at the grassroots, bringing together multiple partners across civil society, government, public sectors, and commercial enterprises on a single “impact platform“, to promote and foster collaborative relationships among communities. Their work includes preparing communities to drive their own change process, accelerating rural prosperity, building strong market linkages and developing market solutions, and mobilizing support from state governments.

IMAGO’s work with TRI began in early 2015 to help the organization scale their impact, support their efforts at engaging diverse stakeholders and affecting collective impact. This engagement includes co-creating an organizational theory of change, supporting their development of a results framework, cultivating their partnership development with rural partners and the thematic NGOs that are a part of their network and collaboratively developing training modules for key actors in the system. IMAGO is excited and challenged by our continued engagement with TRI as the organzation strives to exand equal opportunity to rural India.

SEWA sisters working to package spices

SEWA, India

The Self-Employed Women’s Association is a union of poor women in India’s informal sector, deeply grounded in Gandhian values, that has grown to 2 million members over the past 40 years. SEWA plans to scale to 4 million members in the next 10 years. Imago has been working with SEWA for nearly two years to prepare the organization for this rapid growth with a focus on building the necessary pre-conditions for scaling in a way that is consistent with their values. The work has included strategy work, capacity building, advice on IT, preparation for data integration and livelihood surveys. IMAGO has also worked with SEWA’s profit centers, including RUDI (rural marketing), TFC (handicrafts), and Geetanjali (stationary), on their business practices and plans as social enterprises.

Photo of children laughing curtosey of OPHI

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Index, UK

The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) is an economic research center within Oxford University. Established in 2007, OPHI aims to build and advance a more systematic methodological and economic framework for reducing multidimensional poverty, grounded in people’s experiences and values. OPHI works towards this by broadening poverty measurement, improving data on poverty, building capacity and impacting policy. OPHI’s work is grounded in Amartya Sen’s capability approach, creating real tools that inform policies to reduce poverty. OPHI’s team members are involved in a wide range of activities and collaborations around the world, including survey design and testing, quantitative and qualitative data collection, training and mentoring, and advising policy makers.

After 10 years of pioneering work on multi-dimensional poverty, OPHI has many active clients around the world, with interest from national governments, donor agencies, and private busiensses. But the organizations has found itself at a pivotal crossroads and will work with IMAGO to think strategically together about what should be the main focus for OPHI in the next five years.

Workshop participants engaging in how to scale up Early Childhood Development in Brazil

Crianca Feliz, Brazil

Scaling Children’s Health with Crianca Feliz

Crianca Feliz is a program established by the Fundación Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal to support early childhood development. It has been implemented by the government at the municipal level in Brazil. However, the program’s success and its integrative approach, which pulls in health, education and social welfare stakeholders, has resulted in an interest in scaling the program throughout Brazil.

IMAGO worked with key stakeholders and policy makers to apply the scaling up framework to the Crianca Feliz program and understand the key actors necessary to for the program to succeed as it grows.

Dance Place workshop contact improv

The Dance Place, USA

Thriving Through Transition with The Dance Place

The Dance Place builds a community of artists, audiences and students, committed to enriching the field of dance locally, nationally and internationally and the thriving arts campus serves as an anchor in the evolution and development of their neighborhood in Washington, DC.

IMAGO worked with Dance Place as the organization began the transition from their founding director to new leadership, supporting the Dance Place board members and staff in the cultivation of a sense of place that extends beyond the iconic and charismatic leadership.

El Sistema Orchestra performing with G. Dudamel conducting

El Sistema, Venezuela

Changing Lives Through Music, El Sistema

El Sistema is a publicly financed social program founded more than 40 years ago in Venezuela. The program promotes the values of citizenship and fosters access and social inclusion for children and young people across sectors and social classes through the instruction and collective practice of music. Today, El Sistema reaches approximately 700,000 young musicians across Venezuela, it’s youth orchestra travels the world performing and its ideas and methods have made inroads in countries and communities around the globe.

In the summer of 2017, El Sistema worked with IMAGO to explore the potential for growing its international reach and brand, while holding on to the passion and mission of the founding movement — to touch the lives of young people from all walks of life. IMAGO’s work with a core group of staff and stakeholders collaboratively examined the the El Sistema’s programmatic essence, business model, and theory of change in the global context.

IMAGO co-founder Isabel Guerrero with Maasai Solar Sisters in Tanzania

Solar Sister, Tanzania

Solar Sister: Building Livelihoods, Women’s Empowerment & Energy Access

Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. The organization combines the breakthrough potential of clean energy technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to remote communities in rural Africa. IMAGO started working with Solar Sister in the fall of 2017 with the shared goal of discovering what is required to take Solar Sister’s innovative business and distribution model to scale. We had the amazing opportunity to work with both the organization’s highlighly talented country managers and staff as well as their passionate and committed board.

The business model that Solar Sister is testing offers a new and wonderful approach that could unleash the potential of women on the frontlines of poverty and help turn around the traditional view of aid dependency. Solar Sister makes the poor agents of change by providing capacity, income generating opportunities, a network of women that build on each other’s strength, and an example of how the sun is a positive and sustainable way to bring light to the poorest of the poor.