1. Participants of a SoCCs Program
Role of Asia Initiatives
- Help conceptualize the project with the community and local partners
- Train the SoCC Manager and local partner staff and set up systems
- Work with the community to start the project
- Ongoing check-ins with the local partner and SoCC manager as needed
- Oversee the project during its operation
- Collect and analyze/visualize data to ensure that the project is continuing to benefit people, and meeting the expectations on the local partner
- Provide a starter kit with necessary tools, training, and templates for data collection
- Help create the earning and redeeming menus, and approves any changes
- Verify all SoCC data to ensure smooth functioning of each project
The objective is to create a sustainable self-sufficient system that won’t require intense participation of the NGO, especially regarding payments of partners. The end goal of the project is to make the SoCC system self sustaining, and for AI to then only be in the background, providing support when necessary.
Role of Local Partners
The Local Partners are non-profit organizations, governments, or corporations that want to use SoCCs to serve their communities. Vendors and service suppliers that agree to accept SoCCs in exchange of good or services work with the local partner. Large vendors like telephone companies may provide the goods and services as part of their CSR (Corporate Social responsibility). Smaller vendors like store owners or skilled craftsmen may exchange the SoCCs received for a predetermined cash value, or use SoCCs to get services for themselves from other SoCC vendors. The goal is for this system to approach a closed loop, where the community members provide and receive goods and services with SoCCs, thus increasing the velocity of transactions within the community, leading to prosperity without dependence on money.
Role of the Community
Users are the critical component of the program. They participate in all discussions and help in customizing the program as per their needs. Ideally all data collection should also be done by community members, possibly using SoCCs. One of the goals of SoCCs is to help create or enhance community leadership and capacities.
Role of the SoCC Manager(s)
The SoCC Manager/s is/are selected from the community or can be a member of a local partner executing the project who knows the community well. In some cases the manager is also elected by community members participating in the program. This person is trained to maintain the day-to-day activities related to SoCCs, such as to fill the SoCCs passbooks, and validate the tasks performed for earning SoCCs. The manager can also advise on menu changes based upon evolving community needs.
2. SoCCs Menus
The Earning Menu
The Earning Menu is the list of specified activities- 'the good deeds.' By doing them, a pre-determined number of credits can be earned. It is a list of socially beneficial actions by individuals that the community wants to reward.
- Care should be taken to NOT include in this menu good things that are already happening in the community, as this will detract from people’s usual generosity.
- Actions on the Menu must promote the larger social good.
- Every good deed has a SoCC value and once the activity is executed, SoCCs are earned and recorded on the earners’s personal SoCC Book or online account.
- Value of each action should be calculated carefully.
- SoCC items should be “rewarding” enough, but not be perceived as a substitute for paid work or as an employment guarantee scheme. The ethos of Social Good must be the predominant ethos.
- In most SoCC projects being implemented by AI, one CommSoCC is accrued every time a member gets 5 SoCCs. While this is generally a good mix of personal incentives and community spirit, this ratio can be altered in consultation with the local partner and the community depending upon local needs and ethos.
The Redeeming Menu
The Redeeming Menu is the list of things/ services which could be bartered for the credits earned as per the earning menu. These can be redeemed as an individual as well as a community. They are the rewards for completing the actions on the SoCCs Earning Menu.
It is useful to consider a notional value of SoCCs while creating this menu. Items should be “affordable” enough for the effort required, but within the budget that the partner NGO has made to ensure “liquidity”.
The SoCCs Redeeming Menu is divided in two categories:
The iSoCCs menu includes products or services that will help a person or a family to improve their quality of life, such as health care, education and job skills.
For every five iSoCCs earned by a community member, one commSoCCs is also deposited into the community cache, which can then be used for infrastructure projects such as a micro-sewage system, improvements to the streets or public space, or access to clean drinking water. The community needs to come together to decide how they would spend the commSoCCs, which in turn helps build leadership and social capital in the community.
3. Creating SoCCs recording system
The platform SoCCmarket.org is designed to facilitate SoCCs transactions and for capturing the data needed to measure and improve local projects. This user-friendly platform allows anybody anywhere in the world to use SoCCs. SoCC members and managers can record and track SoCC transactions using this application. The application includes SoCCs earning and redeeming menus, and in the future, will include case studies of other successful projects so that community-to-community learning and communication can also take place.
SoCC Books are an alternative to the online platform in case users do not have access to computers or smart phones. Asia Initiatives provides templates for the SoCCs Book, which is personalized for the community. The Book is a personal document for logging all the activities that one does through a SoCCs program. If the program decides to use the manual system for recording data, the SoCC manager will need to transfer all the SoCC data into the excel sheet and send it monthly to AI.