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FIETS Sustainability Principles: Simavi’s Five Pillars for Building Sustainable Initiatives

Simavi’s Theory of Change lays the foundation for our work towards our vision: a healthy life for all. We first strengthen people’s knowledge about their health and bodies so that they are capable of making informed decisions freely. After understanding their needs and rights, it’s equally important that individuals are allowed to practice healthy behaviours. Hence we work with relevant parties, from civil society to local and national government, to create a supportive, enabling environment in which all stakeholders are held accountable. Finally, we ensure that people have access to affordable and sustainable services.         

Our Theory of Change ensures we deliver sustainable, long lasting improvement of basic health. In the aspect of programme implementation, we put particular emphasis on integrating five sustainability principles in all our activities: financial, institutional, environmental, technological, and social (FIETS) sustainability. We believe that in order to engender a sustainable development, it is essential that all programmes are embedded with these five principles. Below we explain what each principle means in our groundwork.

Financial sustainability

Our goal is to help communities achieve economic independence in the long-run. According to our experience, there are multiple ways to prevent structural dependency on donation, such as establishing local payment system, working based on business models, involving the local business community, and mobilising government budget locally.

Institutional sustainability

We aim to create a supportive environment in which individuals are allowed to pursue and have access to knowledge and services that lead them to a healthy life. Systems, institutions, policies, and procedures within the sector need to be functional at both local and national level. And all relevant parties should be aware of their roles, tasks, and responsibilities to meet the demand of users of services. To achieve this, we set up alliances with these parties and work with them on capacity building, policy influencing and monitoring.

Environmental sustainability

Being sustainable and respecting both people and the planet is one of our core values that drive our decisions. Therefore, our interventions lie within a wider context, taking into account of the natural environment. For all our programmes, we implement an integrated and sustainable management of (waste) water flows and resources. By recognising the connection of our interventions with the natural environment, we are able to create a greater impact on people’s livelihood.

Technological sustainability

Innovative solutions are vital for bringing fundamental change in people’s behaviour, hence we actively explore and invest in new possibilities. More importantly, we ensure that the technologies we use in our programmes really suit local needs and are adapted to local circumstances. Quality, affordability, and availability are our major concerns when identifying potential technological initiatives.

Social sustainability                              

Our mission is to empower people in marginalised communities to practice healthy behaviours based on their own informed decision. We respect people’s equal rights and advocate for all disadvantaged individual, regardless of their gender, social position, sexual preference, religion or culture. Our work responds to local needs and is accessible for all.

Download the FIETS sustainability factsheet here.

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