Daniela Teran


Mink’a: Facilitated Experience for the Goal of Sustainable Livelihood

Advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS), Libby McDonald (MIT), and Doris Sommer (FAS)

Women workers in the informal economy of Latin America need sustainable livelihoods. To achieve impactful and sustainable change, they need to decide on their individual and communal well-being goals with agency, which they commonly lack.

Working with the hypothesis that by supporting and strengthening their creative capacities and life skills, women will actively work toward a sustainable livelihood, formulating plans to achieve their individual and communal aspirations and well-being goals, I have designed Mink’a.

Mink’a is a facilitated community experience that proposes a process to guide informal women workers to organize through a shared identity. Mink’a supports the group’s ability to make free and informed choices toward their sustainable livelihood. In this process, women work through different activities that strengthen their creative capacities and train them in life skills.

The proposed experience has two important touchpoints: a woman from the community, trained as a facilitator for the process, and activity kits. Activity kits are composed of a series of exercises or activities for each step of the process. The main purpose of the kit is to provide the community with all the resources they will need.

Mink’a is the result of analyzing and exploring academic theory and existing methods and frameworks around the steps of the proposed process and adapting this process based on what I have learned in participatory action research collaborating with a community of artisanal gold miners in Sechocha, Peru, and small-scale milk producers in Turucucho, Ecuador.

Daniela Teran, MDE. A cardboard box with a pink and white label that says the word "MINK'A"
Daniela Teran, MDE. Mink’a development program logo
Daniela Teran, MDE. Four images of the field action research that took place in Turucucho, Ecuador in January 2020 with a group of small-scale milk producers.
Daniela Teran, MDE. Four images of the field action research that took place in Secocha, Peru in January 2020 with a group of artisanal gold miners.
Daniela Teran, MDE. Illustrations representing the four key elements of Mink’a development program.
Daniela Teran, MDE. Prototypes for Mink’a Activity Kits.