What’s in a blueprint?

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The Impacton team worked for over two years with non-profits and social enterprises all around the globe to get to the point of synthesizing a reference document, the Blueprint, that outlines all the key elements that allow a project to be assessed and spread, adapting it to different contexts and reaching higher measurable impact.

Currently, the Blueprint of a specific project is composed by an online summary and a downloadable document in English (Spanish optional) that includes:

  • Background material
  • Replication protocol in place (example: open-source, licensing fee, franchising, …)
  • Revenue model and fundraising scheme
  • Community engagement strategy
  • In-depth information on impact, learnings and process

The Blueprint design process is composed of two essential parts:

  1. Inclusion Criteria: all the projects have crystal-clear parameters, verified, before being considered to be a Blueprint.
  2. Structure: all the Blueprints follow a specific structure, built over time and further defined using experts’ feedback, that captures the reasons why it succeeded, and the key pieces that allow it to be replicated.

1. Inclusion Criteria

Every project is different, so it’s hard to come up with a set of stable, universal criteria to assess them. However, there are some measures that apply across successful projects. Here are the main ones that Impacton uses to select and assess existing solutions:

  • Multi-stakeholder engagement
    Does its process involve 2 or more social actors, thus generating value for a larger portion of society? (profit, non-profit, public, private, …)
  • Replicability and context compatibility
    Is the problem the project is solving universal in scope? If certain elements of its model or process are context-sensitive, is it easy to adapt these to the specific characteristics of other locations when replicating?
  • Measurable impact
    Is the project easy to quantify and measure in terms of input (time, resources, efforts) and output (number of beneficiaries, impact per beneficiary, environmental impact)? Is the project’s output large enough, compared to its input, to justify its replication?
  • Empowerment and capacity building
    Does the project closely involve its beneficiaries in the decision-making process? Does it provide communities with insights, skills and tools that they will be able to use to sustain the project in time independently?
  • Financial sustainability
    Does it have a sustainable business model that at least covers its costs, or even one that would allow return on investment?
  • Micro-enterprise potential
    Does it allow or encourage the creation of new local micro-enterprises?
  • Funding compatibility
    Does it match existing funding models in a very clear and easy-to-replicate way? (corporate social responsibility, micro financing, …).

We consider projects that cover at least 70% of these criteria.

Still, this list isn’t exhaustive, and will keep evolving over time and with people’s and experts’ contribution.

2. The Blueprint Structure

Blueprints are assessed and classified along various parameters, including: average time to completion, average funding needed, key actors to involve, original location.

Blueprints of existing projects contain the following information:

  • Background material
  • Replication protocol in place (example: open-source, licensing fee, franchising, …)
  • Time and resources needed to replicate the project (materials, funding, skills, specific permissions from Public Administration, ….)
  • Revenue model and fundraising scheme
  • Community and partners engagement strategy
  • In-depth information on proven impact, learnings and process

Get involved!

Do you know about an amazing solution that you think should be spread globally? Please let us know!

If you are you interested in knowing more about our work, check our programs here or reach out! We look forward to exploring what we could make happen together.