1. Participants of a SoCCs Program
What We Do
- Help conceptualize projects with the community and local partners
- Train the SoCCs Manager and local partner staff and set up systems
- Work with communities to start projects
- Ongoing check-ins with local partner and SoCCs Manager as needed
- Oversee the project during its operation
- Collect and analyze data to ensure that the project is continuing to benefit people and meeting the expectations of the local partner
- Provide a starter kit with necessary tools, training and templates for data collection
- Help create the Earning and Redeeming Menus and approve any changes
- Verify all SoCCs data to ensure smooth functioning of each project
The objective is to create a sustainable self-sufficient system that won’t require intense participation from the NGO, especially regarding payments of partners. Once projects become established, AI then transitions to a background role, providing support only when necessary.
Our local partners are nonprofit 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) initiatives. Smaller vendors like store owners or skilled craftsmen may exchange SoCCs received for a predetermined cash value or use SoCCs to obtain services for themselves from other SoCCs vendors. This system will 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 sole dependence on money.
Individual users are the most critical component of SoCCs. They participate in all discussions and help in customizing SoCCs to meet their needs. As participants exchange and form resilient social networks through SoCCs, grassroots leaders emerge with the ability to empower their peers and advocate for their communities. Community members are on the front lines of data collection, recording acts of social good and redemptions in each person's SoCCs Book, which are then compiled as an ongoing source of quantitative metrics.
The SoCCs Manager is selected from the local community or from the knowledgeable staff of the local partner executing the project. 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 filling the SoCCs passbooks and validating tasks performed to earn SoCCs. The manager can also advise on menu changes based upon evolving community needs.
2. SoCCs Menus
The Earning Menu
The Earning Menu lists acts of social good - 'the good deeds' - that individuals can do to earned a predetermined number of credits, specifically Social Capital Credits (SoCCs).
- 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 SoCCs value and once the activity is executed, SoCCs are earned and recorded on the earners’s personal SoCCs Book or online account.
- The value of each action should be calculated carefully.
- SoCCs items should be “rewarding” enough, but not perceived as a substitute for paid work or as an employment guarantee scheme. The ethos of social good must be the predominant theme of a SoCCs program.
- In most SoCCs projects implemented by AI, one commSoCC, or credit that goes toward redeeming resources for an entire community to share, is accrued every time a member earns five 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 conditions.
The Redeeming Menu
The Redeeming Menu is the list of services which can be bartered for the credits earned through the Earning Menu. SoCCs can be redeemed by an individual as well as a community. They are the rewards for completing the actions on the SoCCs Earning Menus.
It is useful to consider a notional value of SoCCs while creating this menu. Items should be “affordable” to be within reach for ordinary individuals, but within the budget that the partner NGO has made to ensure “liquidity.”
The SoCCs Redeeming Menu is divided into 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 access to health care, education and skills training.
For every five iSoCCs earned by a community member, one commSoCC 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 will spend the commSoCCs, which in turn helps build leadership and social capital in the community.
3. Creating SoCCs recording system
The SoCCmarket.org platform is designed to facilitate SoCCs transactions and to collect data needed to measure and improve local projects. This user-friendly platform allows anyone anywhere in the world to use SoCCs. SoCCs members and managers can record and track SoCCs transactions using this application and the site includes SoCCs Earning and Redeeming Menus. In the future, it will also include case studies of other successful projects so that community-to-community learning and communication can also take place.
SoCCs 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 each community. The book is a personal document for logging all the activities that one completes through a SoCCs program. If the program decides to use the manual system for recording data, the SoCCs manager will need to transfer all the SoCCs data into an excel sheet and send it monthly to AI.