All Hands on the Pot




Metropolitan Municipality of Lima


March 2019 - ongoing

Type of experience



environment and climate action new social movements and associativism


SDG 11 SDG 13




Community building.


How have you achieved this objective?

The initiative is relevant for citizen advocacy and community strengthening because, through Manos a la Olla, we involve citizens in reducing food waste and make them part of the solution. Manos a la Olla generates relationships between neighborhood leaders, young local volunteers, merchants from nearby wholesale and retail markets, and the benefited population.

The Metropolitan Municipal Government is the facilitator of this development process that positively impacts the life of citizens and the ecosystem. Volunteers participate in the processes of citizen awareness, transforming food for human consumption, therefore being a protagonist in reducing the amount of food that is wasted. Manos a la Olla plays a decisive role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Manos a la Olla trains citizens, who learn to be empathetic, conciliatory and proactive, seeking to promote a message of sustainability, circular economy and the use of food in favor of the neediest. All those who make Manos a la Olla possible in its multiple formats are agents of change that improve people's quality of life, generating short- and long-term impact on citizens.


To what extent has this objective been achieved?

Manos a la Olla has a traveling format, by means of a fair whose priority is neighborhood interaction to raise awareness. This is how a space of articulation is replicated in each district of the city, working with the local government and taking a message and nutritious food to the neighbours. The Manos a la Olla initiative has repeated fairs in 6 districts of Lima (Ancón, Ate, Comas, Lima Cercado, San Martín de Porres and San Juan de Miraflores) and in 40 soup kitchens in 12 districts of Lima (Ancón, Carabayllo, La Victoria, Lurigancho-Chosica, Pachacámac, Puente Piedra, Rímac, San Juan de Lurigancho, San Juan de Miraflores, Santa Anita, Villa El Salvador and Villa María del Triunfo).




How has the experience been coordinated with other actors and processes?

In terms of citizen participation through volunteer roles:

  • Research and planning volunteers

The mission of the research and planning group is to obtain valuable information regarding the places where the Manos a la Olla initiative will be developed. 

  • Awareness and collection volunteers

They have the responsibility to visit the establishments and the workers in the markets and shops. The visits are intended to raise awareness of food waste and resource maximisation, and to explain the action plan. 

  • Menu planning and preparation volunteers

The volunteers are in charge of checking the collected food, designing and preparing the menu and making the most of what is collected (including shells, leaves, etc).

  • Volunteers for the arts programme

We called for the participation of artists from the same municipalities and, through them, we sent invitations to youth organisations so that they can also share their performances. 

  • Volunteers for neighbour outreach

This group has a double function: encouraging people to participate with information and materials and, on the day of the event, communicating with the guests as well as sharing with them data collected from previous events or similar ones in Peru and abroad.


What has been the level of co-responsibility?

As for the strategic alliances for the development of Manos a la Olla replicas, it is articulated with the following actors:

  • Wholesalers and retailers

They have been made aware of the problem of food waste and have been able to recover the food that has not been marketed for aesthetic reasons.

  • Universities and higher education institutions

Partnerships have been established with universities and institutes linked to the specialities of nutrition, gastronomy and tourism. In this way, the initiative is articulated to the study programs and allows to complement higher education.

  • Cooperation of social organisations

We rely on the participation of the United Nations Volunteers Program, through Companies that Inspire, with the aim of positioning the initiative in the private sector and being able to join forces.


Which is the most innovative aspect of the experience?

Design thinking: For the design, validation and implementation of Manos a la Olla, an adaptive design process was carried out. For this process, several members of the municipal volunteer corps, promoters of the municipality's Youth Sub-department, allies of social organizations linked to environmental sustainability and other actors were convened. Through this process, it was possible to empathize with the problem of food waste. After designing, creating, prototyping and testing, the implementation and improvement of the initiative was launched. This has been constantly iterated, generating visible improvements and achievement of objectives.

  • Design phase
    • Action(s)

  • Empathise

    • Search for secondary information on the current situation linked to hunger and food waste

    • Knowledge surveys on food waste in wholesale and retail markets

    • Focus group with wholesalers and retailers

  • Define

    • Definition of intervention formats (canteens, shelters, and public squares)

    • Definition of volunteer profiles and training workshops

    • Definition of stakeholder involvement

  • Conceive

    • Planning the processes and procedures to execute the intervention formats

    • Planning of the training workshops (syllabus, strategic allies, and other logistical aspects)

  • Prototype

    • A meeting of stakeholders (shopkeepers, volunteers, neighbours, chefs and others) was held. They were explained the designed proposal and asked for feedback, which was recreated on storyboards.

  • Test

The first Manos a la Olla event was held in March 2019 in the district of Ancon. In this event we could test the procedures that were prototyped. Some were validated, others were removed from the chain of functions and some were merged.


To what extent is the procedure transferable?

Instructive and methodological guide:

An instructive guide has been designed so that this experience can be replicated in different spaces: municipalities, academic institutions, social or grassroots organisations, among others. The guide is intended to provide a precedent in the execution model for future municipal management, thus seeking its sustainability over time. In the same way, the instructive guide allows the diverse local actors to replicate the initiative in favor of citizens. This guide explains the formats used in the initiative, the different roles and functions of the volunteers, the degree of participation of the strategic partners and a protocol of Good Practices in Food Handling.

Management resolution:

The Metropolitan Municipal Government has the political will to strengthen the initiative through the necessary regulatory frameworks with the aim of promoting replication in other local governments in the country. The Neighborhood Participation Management, through a management resolution, has issued the creation of the Manos a la Olla initiative as a strategy for citizen participation. This resolution allows the initiative to be continuous over time, through budget allocation, management and impact indicators.


Why do you consider that the experience is feasible?

The feasibility of implementing the initiative took into account two main pillars. Firstly, the socio-economic aspect was considered. When the Manos a la Olla initiative was designed, metropolitan statistics on poverty rates and the presence of State-sponsored social programs were considered in order to determine the initiative's place of influence. Secondly, citizen involvement was analysed. Information was crossed with respect to the presence of neighborhood leaders or organized groups with whom to work. With this information, actions were designed to work together with citizens in order to promote the replication of the initiative. These actions included training workshops, raising awareness and active participation in the processes of food collection and transformation.



Which evaluation and accountability mechanisms were used?


A matrix of indicators has been constructed in order to achieve the objectives set and to generate quarterly reports. 

  • Volunteers participating in the initiative: 324 volunteers
  • Beneficiaries for the delivery of food: 19,491 beneficiaries
  • Awareness of wholesale or retail traders: 845 merchants
  • Food collected in local markets: 18,868.9 kilograms
  • Prepared dishes: 58,894
  • Soup kitchens that received collected food: 40


  • Web Notes: there have been 13 web notes in different media in Peru, including La República, Publimetro, Perú 21, Radio Nacional.
  • Social media: 7 publications on social media have been made through the institutional fan pages of the Municipality of Lima.
  • Videos: 6 videos have been made to inform the public. 
  • Fairs: We participated in 3 university fairs where the initiative was presented to the students of the respective houses of studies. Likewise, within the framework of the Volunteer Day, we participated in the Patria Festival organized by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
  • Community presentations: 8 editions of travelling fairs were held in 6 districts of Lima.

Returns to citizens

A field survey of 207 participants among shopkeepers, volunteers and community leaders was conducted before and after the activity. The aim was to validate knowledge linked to food waste in two moments and to analyse the impact of the initiative on citizens' knowledge. The development of the initiative strengthened the knowledge about food waste in more than 80% of the respondents.

Citizens have been given new knowledge about the circular economy and sustainability through the presentation of an initiative that can be easily replicated locally. This initiative showcasts the relevance of the management and participation of citizens in changing habits in the face of food waste. Once aware, they become agents of change that replicate what they have learned in their daily practices and in this way contribute to the reduction of the problem.


  • This innovative initiative in the public management of Peru has allowed the collection of more than 18,000 kilograms of food and the preparation of nearly 60,000 food dishes. The promotion and spread in different territorial spaces of the country is managed through the replica guide.
  • Dialogue is a key factor prior to the implementation of an initiative that sets a new trend in citizenship. As the activities progressed, we learned how essential it was to generate spaces for interaction with the various leaders.
  • Subsequent visits are necessary to validate the trader's learning and awareness. Although the development of the activity is celebrated in the first instance, the sustainability of the practice in the people whose awareness has been raised must also be assessed. Subsequent visits were scheduled in some selected markets.



Comments of the jury

This is a very well-articulated initiative capable of activating a strong ecosystem of innovation, collective intelligence to foster public policies in the territory, leverage partner communities and support the most vulnerable communities.


The initiative was very well organized, built with a solid methodology and with the accuracy of testing, impact assessment and results. It has the capacity to generate more benefits, but it is important to strengthen the regulatory framework and institutionality.


Note: this experience was drafted by the institution which presented the candidacy for the 14th IOPD Award.

Name explanation: "All hands on the Pot". Original: Manos a la Olla (pun: "Manos a la obra", meaning all hands on the deck + "Olla", meaning pot)



Video I

Video II

Annex I

Annex II

Annex III

Application Form