Centro de Innovación Social (Centre for Social Innovation)

‘One Laptop Per Child’ by Ryanne Lai is licensed under CC by 2.0
Case Study

“Focused on social innovation to benefit the most vulnerable people in Colombia.” 

Natalia Currea Dereser, Centro de Innovación Social

  • Resources
  • Team
Location in government

National government

Where it is based

Bogotá, Colombia

Mission statement

“The Center for Social Innovation of the National Agency to Overcome Extreme Poverty (ANSPE) works with partners inside and outside of government to generate innovative and scalable solutions for those living in extreme poverty across Colombia.“

Annual spend

£2.3m (2013) (£1.4m from government, and £0.9m1 from other sources)

Size of team


Example of impact

One project involved the Centre developing computer games to empower children aged seven to 12 to make positive changes for their families and communities. The games focus on specific issues such as health, nutrition, or issues in their family life, such as preventing child abuse, and were downloaded more than 40,000 times in 2013.

The Centro de Innovación Social (Centre for Social Innovation) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people facing extreme poverty across Colombia. Drawing on government data and through leveraging resources from private, public and international partners, the Centre works directly with communities across the country to develop and scale innovative solutions.

What it does

The Centre for Social innovation was created in 2011 as part of the National Agency to Overcome Poverty (ANSPE). The Centre’s work is driven by data. It develops projects that respond to the priorities identified by ANSPE’s  poverty indicator database.

The Centre is currently developing 33 pilot projects in areas of housing improvement, nutrition, health, income and employment, family life, and banking and savings.

Interesting features
  • Team: to inject a new dynamic into the government, part of the team was explicitly recruited from the private sector. It also brings diverse skills, many of which are unique to the Colombian Government, including an anthropologist, a sociologist, and a designer who work alongside lawyers, public managers, and business managers.
  • Resources: The Centre for Social Innovation leveraged 60 per cent of its government budget in external funds in 2013 and 76 per cent in 2012.2 This was achieved by the Centre being part of the Pioneers for Social Innovation Alliance, a partnership of about 15 companies contributing to a dedicated social innovation fund.


  1. Budget confirmed via email with Natalia Currea Dereser, Centro de Innovación Social, 9 May 2014. Total budget of £2,283,037 in 2013, comprised of £1,425,459 government funding, and £857,578 leveraged externally, converted from US$2,346,790.27 and US$1,411,864.19 respectively, converted using $(US)0.607408 to £1, as exchange rate on 21/01/2013, taken from: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/full/
  2. Budget confirmed via email from Natalia Currea Dereser, Centro de Innovación Social, 9 May 2014

Photo Credit: ‘One Laptop Per Child’ by Ryanne Lai is licensed under CC by 2.0

This page was last updated on

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 16:19