Relaciones Globales

Fifteen years and a new operating model


In 2009 AVINA celebrated 15 years of working for sustainable development in Latin America. Since its creation in 1994, AVINA has invested heavily in building social capital in Latin America and has expanded its knowledge of best practices and strategies to foster social change in the region. The anniversary coincided with the implementation of a new operating model designed to better achieve long-term institutional objectives.


By the end of 2012, AVINA expects to contribute with its allies to ten concrete systemic changes towards sustainable development of relevance to all of Latin America. That is why we redesigned our structure and the way we operate. We want to become a regional platform for creating a continuous cycle of identifying, scaling up and implementing what we call Opportunities of Continental Relevance. These are not intended to be thematic programs, but rather focus areas for our work with specific objectives for change formulated with our allies.


For AVINA an “opportunity” in this sense is a tipping point that we feel can produce large-scale change in the region, and that is the promise that motivates AVINA and its many allies to join forces on a shared agenda of coordinated actions. When an opportunity is identified, AVINA brings its abilities and resources to the table as a peer institution along with leaders and organizations with similar objectives, providing, to the best of its ability, skills, knowledge, contacts, resources, strategies, and tools for the common cause. At the same time, we seek to form alliances with other donor institutions to multiply the impact of these opportunities and promote long-term sustainability.


Being guided by opportunities of continental relevance alters the way we work as a team in that we have to organize ourselves differently and find a balance between the local perspective and a regional strategic framework. As a result, AVINA now forms regional teams around opportunities for transformation that are also integrated into the country structure. That makes our work more interactive, our decision making becomes a group exercise, and we can increase efficiency in the use of financial, human, and technological resources through “virtual” teamwork. We have also broadened our network. AVINA continues to work with leaders, and leadership remains vital to our approach, but we also understand that change requires collaboration among leaders, social entrepreneurs, business people, government, and local and international organizations; in other words, a diverse group of allies united by a common vision and the desire for change.


Our new operating model is the result of an intense internal participatory process, in which we sought to balance lessons learned in the past with current objectives and future potential. While operating differently, AVINA remains true to its institutional DNA: its original mission, vision and values. The legacy built and polished by AVINA and its partners over the years provides the basis for success in a new strategy aimed at the whole of Latin America.