Message from
the CEO

The Best Way to Celebrate a Milestone is to Continue Meeting Goals

Gabriel Baracatt

If I had to define what 2014 represented for Avina, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was the year that we strategically consolidated our work in Latin America as well as the year that we started to expand certain areas of this work on the global level.

The fact that we exceeded our projected outcomes for the year is a clear indicator of the significant value we were able to add in the two dimensions (Public Goods and New Economy) that form the framework of our 2013-2017 five-year strategic plan.

We will only be able to overcome poverty in Latin America if our society incorporates innovation with purpose. We cannot keep applying remedies that we know are incapable of solving the problem at its root. This is why we have decided to invest our resources in innovation that can favorably impact the base of the pyramid. For example, we have launched pilot projects to bring potable water to the most vulnerable sectors of society using prototype technology that purifies water by converting it into plasma. Through the Global Water Alliance we are planning to expand the use of this innovative technology, which we installed in several communities in Chile last year, to other regions where it is urgently needed.

Through these means, Avina is making a more profound contribution to addressing the challenge of inequality in Latin America, a scourge that has made the region the least equitable on the planet. The collaborative processes in which many of our allies serve as both protagonists and leaders have helped to bring potable water to two million people, include thousands of recyclers in residential waste collection systems, reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon and the South American Chaco, and promote mechanisms for citizen participation in urban planning and management.

In addition to consolidating our impact in Latin America, for the first time in the life of our organization we started a South-South exchange with Africa to learn from our peers across the Atlantic and to share the knowledge base we have built over the past 20 years. Avina intends to function as a conveyer belt for innovation and learning between these two regions of the planet that face many similar challenges. What lies behind this effort is not only the conviction that we have accumulated knowledge and experience that we can share with our international allies, but also an openness to being enriched in turn by their knowledge and experience.

2014 was also a very special year for Avina because it marked 20 years since our founding in 1994. We celebrated this milestone in different ways in each country where we work, by gathering with our long-time allies who have maintained a relationship with the organization since the beginning, holding public events, and highlighting the results achieved over the past decades. These creative celebrations drew attention to the causes that social leaders and entrepreneurs are leading with our support, affirming that the best way to celebrate this milestone is to continue meeting our goals.

Overall, our 2014 Annual Report reflects how we celebrated our 20th anniversary: consolidating our work in Latin America, exchanging knowledge with Africa, and creating the conditions to exceed our projected outcomes for 2017.

2015 promises to be even more challenging and innovative than last year. Over the past 20 years, Avina has experienced organic growth, reflected in the the development of new opportunities and alliances, the undertaking of joint initiatives, and collaborative work with like-minded organizations.

The collaboration that these dynamics have made possible has naturally given way to a type of institutional ecosystem. Starting in 2015, we will be promoting with even greater energy the collective action carried out by our network of thousands of diverse allies, in order to lend strength our combined efforts and to accelerate the achievement of results.

This renewed Avina network will become a platform that brings together services, systems, methodologies, experts, and new allies to bolster opportunities for impact on both the continental and global levels.

In closing, I would like to thank our wonderful team of colleagues who, with great commitment and devotion, contributed to making 2014 a milestone in the institutional life of Avina.

Gabriel Baracatt