Proyecto Lumen (Despertando la demanda de salud visual a través de la participación comunitaria)

Proyecto Lumen (Despertando la demanda de salud visual a través de la participación comunitaria)

ANZOATEGUI, APURE, BOLIVAR, AMAZONAS, VenezuelaCaracas, Venezuela
Year Founded:
2009
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

For Lumen the vision is a fundamental right for the human being
It is a novel, eclectic, cost effective and socially acceptable project.
Lumen fights untiringly to surpass the blindness related to poverty.
Nobody knows that sees badly…
Lumen puts the community at the front of the visual health. I see, I see. What do you see? I see the world changing in front of my eyes…

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

If we took as it bases 7000 million inhabitants, we will have for today that there are 366,1 million people with serious visual deficiencies and not corrected refracting defects in the world. 90% of them live in developing countries. Without including corrected presbyopia, the number ascends to 670 million people. According to the WHO, (Program 2020 for the blindness’ prevention) this number will be duplicated in 2020, if the suitable measures are not taken. If we consider that the tendency of demographic explosion in the PEVD is the major of the planet and that Latin America is part of this Geo-economic context, we will have a high incidence of not taken care visual morbidity causes

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The planning of a solution to services of visual health problem, having as the axis articulation the sensitization and the education, aiming at the ametropia not corrected as social problem derived from the loss or null access to visual health services, constitutes an innovative conceptual valuation in Venezuela, that allows a best understanding of the situation and will surely produce a different result until now. LUMEN developed a simple but effective methodology so that through devices of low technology and low cost, designed and validated by the technicians of the project, teacher will be able to detect visual deficits. LUMEN developed a simple but effective methodology so that through devices of low technology and low cost, designed and validated by the technicians of the project, teacher will be able to detect visual deficits.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

That Venezuela at least assumes as state policy the visual screening applied by teachers in their role of Primary Agent of Visual Prevention, which will generate pressure on the health system, causing a sustained transformation towards primary health care. To consolidate and refine the methodology by the acquisition of experience and constant revision of the project’s management indicators to obtain major effectiveness and repeatability, with the idea to turn it into a Health model. To create the first indicators (non-epidemiologists) of “Visual Health” in the region to be able to measure its behavior in normal and anomaly conditions. To generate a viral phenomenon of replication in the entire community, using the School as the epicenter.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In its first two years, our program of visual health in rural schools has been implemented in the region of the strip of the Orinoco, specifically in the Monagas municipality of the Anzoátegui State, with the support of Total Oil and Gas Venezuela, within the framework of the agreement of “Local Human Development”. In collaboration with the mayor ship of this municipality, the project has been taken to the populations of Mapire, San Diego de Cabrutica and Zuata. Also, in alliance with the Foundation Maniapure Project, we took care of the populations of Urbana and Maniapure, Cedeño Municipality of the Bolivar State and with ASOPICA to the population of Pica, Pedro Camejo Municipality. During year 2011and what goes of 2012, we have trained and certificated 60 students of final year of optometry as LUMEN’s Facilitators, 144 teachers as Primary Agents of Visual Prevention, taken care of 2.044 children at school only in the Monagas Municipality of the Anzoátegui State. To the previous achievements it adds 65 children and adolescents in the population of the Goad, Pedro Camejo Municipality in alliance with ASOPICA and 440 in Maniapure and the Urbana, Bolivar State. Being installed 6 Round Tables of Visual Health in these places.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Centered in the plan of annual growth of one team per year, it esteems that the capacity of the project’s influence will be duplicated once a year and we could infer that in five years we will have a capacity to affect more than 12,500 people per year. Nevertheless, an infinite matrix of growth would not represent a practical approach due to the logistic challenges that this represents.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The more relevant initiative undertaken by the Venezuelan State regarding Visual Health, is the so called “Mission Miracle”. This operation or mission started in 2005, as “a project to fight against blindness and other ocular deficiencies” which does not make emphasis in the not corrected refracting defect, thus are not considered a threat for the project.
Team

Founding Story

My thesis for the postgraduate of Health Management at the UCAB was the project that today we know as Lumen. In 2007, I had contact with UNESCO Chair Visual Health and Development, which helped me to canalize the idea conceptually. Right now I am Regular Professor of this Chair in the IUO and two of my students read my work and developed the stage 1
Organization Name

Proyecto Lumen

About You
About You
First Name

Martin

Last Name

Guzman

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Innovation
Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?

The LUMEN Project assumes the deficits of quantity and quality of vision as a social problem. That’s why it considers the necessity to give access to visual health care for traditionally marginalized communities of the public policies. It considers the education as a central aspect. Being a health project, it is not a welfare approach, since it goes beyond the techno-centric to an anthropocentric perspective; it is cost-effective and has a high coverage. The innovation focus on the training of basic education’s teachers, as primary agents of visual prevention so that they can detect problems of vision among their students, and conform, coordinate and implement an inter, multidisciplinary and multi-sector social network to guarantee its viability, sustainability and permanence. In that way they also are able to obtain communitarian involvement by generating a permanent social phenomenon in primary visual attention. This network involves the academy sector, through optometry’s students working as promoters, teachers as natural leaders of its communities, the community, the specialists, during the decisive stage and the State as the principal manager and natural channeling of initiatives that lead to guarantee the preservation of the human vision. All of which it will promote the community’s organized specialized services, the blindness’ prevention and the frontal struggle against “blindness related to poverty.”

Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?

The approaching solution to services of visual health problem, having as the axis articulation the sensitization and the education, aiming at the ametropia not corrected as social problem derived from the loss or null access to visual health services, constitutes an innovative conceptual valuation in Venezuela, that allows a best understanding of the situation.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

The approaching solution to services of visual health problem, having as the axis articulation the sensitization and the education, aiming at the ametropia not corrected as social problem derived from the loss or null access to visual health services, constitutes an innovative conceptual valuation in Venezuela, that allows a best understanding of the situation.

How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?

To consolidate and refine the methodology by the acquisition of experience and constant revision of the project’s management indicators to obtain major effectiveness and repeatability.
To finish all the stages of the project in the strip of the Orinoco and, if it is possible, to arrive at the Delta, where lives the majority of indigenous population without access to the services.
To strengthen the alliances with other projects of public or private health service, focused on the prevention helping in the collective achievement of a more preventive and less care attendant vision. Additionally, to create the first indicators of “Visual Health” in the region to be able to measure its behavior in normal and anomaly conditions.

Organization Country

, A, Caracas

Business Model
The systemic challenge you are trying to overcome (select one)

Realign the incentives in the public healthcare system in mature markets, or

Health area (target market) where the need is [select only one]

Primary healthcare services

Categories along the health continuum you are covering [select all that apply]

Prevention, Detection, Intervention, Follow-up, Long-term care, Social integration.

Stage that best applies to your solution [select only one]

Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)

Core strategies of your business model [select all that apply]

Approaches to behavioral change at the individual level, Patient-centered design, Redesign of the public healthcare system for more efficiency (in terms of processes, structure etc.), New/redefined roles for healthcare service provision, Unconventional partnerships (between traditional healthcare players and players outside healthcare).

If other, specify here:
Most relevant tools you are using to implement the strategies outlined above [select only two]

New skills, Education/training, Others.

If other, specify here:

ejercicio del liderazgo comunitario

What is your value proposition?

From the local point of view, it has a multiplying character since the individual object of the project (the school’s teacher), which in the promotional capacity and leadership role, as a APPV, will begin to create, often unconsciously, a replication phenomenon. In our experience, we have noted that teachers do not leave the kit at school, they take it to its house and screen their relatives. Those relatives understand that there is an easy way, known by teachers, to detect visual problems and tell other people awakening an expectation regarding visual subjects in the community. It encourages the primary care phenomenon in the community. It improves human and material resources and lowers the social costs.

Who is your customer(s)?

They are children of basic education between first to sixth grades, teachers’ community and the staff of scholar institutions in rural zones. Nevertheless, the project is easily adaptable to other types of social organization like “communal councils”, and other economic Geo-partners contexts.
The LUMEN’s object age group of action is from 4 to 15 years, which represents approx. 11 million inhabitants, in the national population of 29.718.357 for the year 2012. That represents the 37% of the total population of the country. Nevertheless it is necessary to consider that for the effects of the coverage this proportion must be extrapolated to 13% of the rural population focused initially by LUMEN.

What approaches to you use to reach your customers?

From the Public Health perspective, we work in the solution of a specific problem, the not corrected Ametropia sensitizing to the community regarding a particular matter of Health and stimulating it to also work in the solution. From the social point of view it address the structural components of poverty that is the low accessibility to Health services in this visual case. At the same time, it empowers the community with tools that were traditionally used by technicians and which by means of a simple methodology and easy understanding provide them with capacities that can directly reach the problem.directamente sobre la problemática.

What are your primary activities?

For stages I and II, there are workshops, one for the students of optometry and one for the teachers to be certificates as APPV. The result of this activity is the beginning of “waking up” of the demand of services of visual health, through the action of the Academy as a “starter engine”. Stage 1: teachers as “primary agents of visual prevention”. Stage 2: Screening performed by the teacher with support of LUMEN’s technicians (only for the first time), Installation of the Visual Health round table (construction of the demand), Beginning of Welfare Stage (Screening of opthalmopathy, made
by technicians). Resolution Stage (Delivery of corrections and reference to other levels) Measurement of Impact

What other challenges - individual, organizational, or environmental – are you currently facing or might hinder future success of your business, and how do you plan to overcome those?

The main threat for the project not managed by the government, is that at any time they can be interpreted as hostile and disturbed it activities. That situation has never impacted the Lumen Project Lumen since it has the support of the local government, especially from the logistic point of view.

Briefly describe your growth strategy going forward

To create a new team per year (conformed by 7 people) to increase the operational range of action, since at the moment we are working with a single team which can affect more than 2500 people per year. With strategic alliances with another NGOs as Fe y Alegría or Maniapure Foundation, we can increase the geographic area of the Project.

What dimensions for growth are you currently targeting for your innovation [select all that apply]

New regions(s), New market(s)/country(ies).

What makes your business "ready" for growth?

A developed and validated methodology. At the moment, we are in the region of the Faja of the Orinoco and the goal is that the Project has national influence, through of strategic alliances with Private enterprises and another NGOs to create a social network around the matter of Visual Health.

What are your key growth objectives?

To wake up the demand of Visual Health Services and to generate the possibility that communities construct them. To bring about the modification of the state policies regarding the matter of Visual Health, in the particular and general scope, so that it has an approach more centered in the primary health care.

Organization's Country of Operation

, M, ANZOATEGUI, APURE, BOLIVAR, AMAZONAS

Social Impact
What methods for quantification of social impact are you applying (if at all)?

At this moment we are only quantifying raw data, such as number of screenings per year, number of trained teachers, amount of trained promoters, etc. We are also refining the method and the processes of work. At the moment, with the contest of an investigating team and one tesis expert, we work in the identification and validation of he indicators of management of the project. These results will serve us to consolidate the methodology and to guarantee its replication in other places.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

Yes, the Lumen Project is totally replicable, I would start by Latin America, for cultural and idiomatic reasons, but we have already received requests of India and Africa for the project to be implemented there.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

To create a new team per year (conformed by 7 people) it would increase the operational range, since at the moment we are working with a single team that reaches to screen more than 2500 people in one year 1, trains 144 teachers as APPV and 60 students of optometry as promoters (present capacity, 1 team) In the second year it would reach 5000 screenings, 288 teachers APPV and 120 promoters, 7500 screenings, 432 APPV and 180 promoters in year 3. With strategic alliances it is desired to increase the geographic area of the Project. With the bancomunales is also anticipated we will be able to increase demand of Lume’s intervention, economically sustained by the own community.

Sustainability
Elaborate on your current financing strategy

We are currently designing the Businesses Plan of the Project, with the main premise that the project must be of low budget and high impact, Until now the strategy has been that the directors have identified organizations that potentially can be allied of the project with vision at medium term, and with which can be obtained funding for their execution; having them for donations of equipment, optical devices and their processing, based on criteria of maximum economy, efficiency, transparency, honesty and sustainability, An annual budget with horizon is formulated to take care of at least 3 places for team which involves coordination and transportation expenses of volunteers and professionals, acquisition of equipment and its maintenance, administrative materials for the Kit of training and controls, snacks, managing expenses and Law taxes.
Se formula un presupuesto anual con horizonte de atender al menos 3 localidades por equipo, el cual comprende gastos coordinación, de movilización y viáticos de voluntarios y profesionales, adquisición de equipos y su mantenimiento, materiales para el Kit de capacitación y controles, refrigerios, gastos administrativos e impuestos de Ley,

Share of revenue generation in total income of organization (in percent)

Companies 58.86%, Foundations 35.62% and donations 5.52%, based on the distribution of year 2012

Direct sales to patients or other beneficiaries (in percent)

No contempla ventas directas

Of the possible sources of these sales listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Licensing fees, e.g., for technology/franchise model (in percent)
Of the possible sources of these licensing opportunities listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, NGOs, Private businesses, Regional government.

Service contract with organizations, e.g., government, NGOs (in percent)

94,48%

Of the possible sources of the service contracts listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, NGOs, Private businesses, Regional government.

Explain your revenue generation strategy in more detail

Our strategy of income generation is based on a conservative scheme of alliances and funds of programs of enterprise social responsibility. By means of formal agreements with companies, local governments and Ongs, obtaining the resources for operating of the project. We also incorporate the request of donations in money, equipment, materials, uses of physical spaces and logistical support to companies of the optical branch.

Share of philanthropy in total income of organization (in percent)
Philanthrophy strategies you are using

Diversified strategy.

Explain your philanthropic approach in more detail

In order to achieve Lumen’s goals, we need to build a large social network of support composed by universities, private enterprises, professionals, teachers, the State, students of basic school and their relatives. The idea is to generate a permanent social phenomenon towards the visual health as a social problem and to empower all the actors, at each level allowing participating them as key actors in the solution. With this, we try to generate a multidimensional social matrix that helps in the solution of a particular problem whose global impact resides in poverty overcoming.

Expand on your selections; explain how you will sustain funding over the next 1-3 years.

Socializing and spreading the results of the projects in diverse public places.
Tying the project at least to 4 companies of diverse branches, and 3 of the optical branch. Improving relationships with community organizations for the presentation of health initiatives’ proposals to different financial organizations.

Years in Operation

Operating 1-5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

His founder and general coordinator, was chosen fellow of Ashoka 2012, as well as Fellow of MMH(Making More Health Initiative promoted by BI)

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