Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT

A million-user online platform is strengthening Latin American DPOs

The POETA Social Franchise Platform is an accessible online tool focused on building the capacities of local organizations working with people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The POETA Social Franchise platform replicates and expands the POETA Model – an accessible vocational toolbox for training people with disabilities in the use of life skills, technology, and job readiness.

“The POETA Social Franchise aims to provide tools and know-how to organizations that promote social and economic inclusion in the Americas.”

Maria Liliana MORThe Trust for the Americas
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:POETA (Partnership for Economic Opportunities through Technology in the American Social Franchise)
Organisation:The Trust for the Americas
of Implementation
Latin America and the Caribbean


  • To date, 1 million people have benefited from access to POETA Community Technology Centres.
  • 95,000 people have been directly trained.
  • 20,000 economic opportunities have been created (jobs, internships, educational opportunities, entrepreneurships, etc.).

Vocational Training Platform_PRA_Photo1


In Latin America and the Caribbean, people with disabilities lack access to economic and educational opportunities. Further, organizations that support people with disabilities often have too little resources to adequately provide them with access to vocational training and economic and educational opportunities.


The POETA platform offers resources to strengthen and develop organizations working for people with abilities through a sustainable approach in five areas: economic, social, political, organizational, and technological. In addition, the platform provides these organizations with the necessary strategies, tools, and content in the areas of comprehensive training, economic opportunities, advocacy, awareness, visibility, and monitoring and evaluation. These include, for example, manuals, guides, and courses in the areas of ICT, job readiness, and human development; and most of the content has been made available as a manual for trainers and participants. The last element in the strategy is to build upon the use of The Trust Information System whereby an organization can track the participants’ training, work done with partners, success stories, and periodic reports to analyse the work in the field. Currently, there are 36 courses and 7 consulting products (manuals and guides) available for free to the POETA Social Franchise members.


The POETA Social Franchise documents best practices and experiences from past projects and systematizes them so they can be easily replicated. The platform is also transferrable to new organizations wishing to be part of the POETA Social Franchise Network. In 2016 the project is expected to intermediate 12,000 more economic opportunities. This work could be supported by a network of inclusive businesses, such as the one formed in Costa Rica in 2009. In that instance, national and international companies agreed to work with the project. The intermediators ensure that persons with disabilities were being employed, able to complete internships, and have access to educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.


Ms. Maria Liliana MOR
The Trust for the Americas
Tel: +1 (202)-370-0758