Teresa Matus: "One of the great virtues of Colunga is that it is a foundation to which people, institutions, academia and different governments have confidence"

October 24, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

The Director of Social Work and the Research Nucleus of Social Systems and Sociocultural Complexity of the University of Chile challenges Colunga to promote light solutions in social innovation and reflects on the importance of multisectoral articulated work to deal with social problems.

How does your link with Colunga start?

We began to talk to put together an innovation for Colunga. That is, not only that Colunga innovates, but that Colunga innovates. And therefore we made a plan for the teams to dialogue, talk and reflect on what they have done in Colunga and where they are going. From there emerged four major axes in which Colunga recognizes itself: inclusion, innovation, interconnection and the ability to influence. What we call the four "I" of Colunga.

How would you explain Colunga to someone who does not know her?

In Colunga, this network connection power has been developed. A place where you can meet, where rules and projects are built together. And where you have the confidence to work with people from other territories: universities, civil organizations, academia, government, whatever the government may be. Colunga promotes projects but can also be the depository of networks of network of good and new ideas.

What is the project you are developing in child protection with Colunga about?

In childhood policies we have a gap between what citizens expect from childhood protection systems, and what happens today with these children and those families. And obviously a kind of timely response has been lacking. From the project, we believe that if we want to serve children and families, we should focus on the public and private childhood care systems, and find an alert mechanism among all of them. We have to anticipate because if we do not arrive very late.

We will work with SENAME, with Chile Crece Contigo, but also with twelve programs from different foundations that have already made innovations. Several of them are organizations that have already worked with Colunga: Project B, Catim, Football More, Childhood First Y Grow with All.

We want to put the best of the experience of the foundations, with the best of the government's attempts, with what the academy has thought, to transform this into a light digital prototype. Make a kind of platform where someone can say what is failing, and we can see how it is corrected.

With this project financed by Fondef we want, in the first two years, to call all these actors, find solutions, propose a statute, a logic and an intelligent digital system of anticipation. Here Colunga has a very important role. One of the great virtues of Colunga is that it is a foundation to which people, institutions, academia and different governments have confidence, and that is a tremendous value.

If you had to define a characteristic that Colunga has, would that be, trust?

Colunga has to keep his spirit of generating light solutions. In this sense, all its processes have to be carried out in a good way, in an effective way, where the things that Colunga puts behind, really are made.

How can civil society learn to systematize its work?

Never alone. I am one of the biggest enemies of the systematization of practice because it seems to me that one thing is to discover knowledge and the other is how to integrate it. Civil society will not achieve it alone, and the academy will not either. The development of expertise of universities is completely encapsulated if it does not answer the most latent questions of foundations and civil society.

What you say challenges civil society organizations to give good answers, not to be livianitos with the data.

Of course. But on the other hand, from the academy several platforms have been generated that are empty platforms. I work in research 25 years ago, but I had never won the first place in Fondef. That is only possible because we work together. So, it is the conjunction that virtue gives you, and I believe that this is a lesson and a system, an ecosystem of learning, of interconnection that Colunga gives it.

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