This profile was prepared when Andrés Randazzo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Andrés incorporates appropriate technologies for bettering basic living conditions into the existing health infrastructure of Mexico’s poorest rural areas. His organization, SANUT, has created cisterns, ovens, and houses that are 70 percent cheaper than their regular counterparts and can be easily constructed. SANUT is engaged in the continual re-design of products and the development of new products. Results are effective because rather than using simple prototypes to test models, SANUT engages users in the creation process. Andrés is harvesting the potential of these technologies as a tool for community development. Traditional health programs in the Mexico’s rural areas gather women for workshops to preach the importance of clean water and other basic necessities, but Andrés promotes practical, community-based strategies for realizing these ends. In the case of cisterns, for example, a single SANUT molding allows a community to build 100 cistern units; SANUT also provides follow-up mechanisms for continued community involvement. Even with modest pilot projects, SANUT has involved nearly 100,000 people in many rural communities. Andrés is spreading his model through health-related citizen organizations around the country, which have a deep community presence that allows them to integrate appropriate technology into community development efforts. He is also replicating though government agencies such as the Integral Family Development Agency (DIF), and the Ministry for Social Development (SEDESOL) to reach a much broader group with a simpler set of services.