How one Argentinian community is forging a new path for stronger social impact

Project participants from Argentina

Beyond serving our customers and employing talented people, we embrace the opportunity to help foster communities’ progress.

Community stewardship isn’t new to us – our relationship with local communities has been something we’ve been building, evolving and improving since our founding over 125 years ago.

We want to be a part of solving specific challenges in the 31 countries where we operate. And in one of those communities – Ingeniero White in Argentina – there is something unique going on.


How do we help create inclusive, healthy and safe communities where all can thrive?

Looking for ways to better inform our Company's understanding of community needs, we seek opportunities for collaborations, bold solutions and investments to engage in transformational change. But how do you find and select the projects that will really have an impact? How can you prioritize? How can you ensure that people in the communities you’re trying to support feel involved, included and heard?


Participatory budgeting is a strategy that was developed in Brazil in the 1980s to build trust between the funding providers (often government) and the general public. Through this program, community members are directly involved in the determination of eligible projects as well as the selection of which projects are executed.

Inspired by this unique process, the Dow program in Ingeniero White was founded in 2016. We partner with the local Community Panel, comprised of community leaders and spokespeople, to source and develop impact projects. Residents can then vote to determine which projects are awarded Dow charitable grants. This gives the public a direct say in identifying the initiatives they believe will have the greatest and most needed impact on their community.

Through partnership with the Ingeniero White Community Panel, Dow leaders are providing funding, training and educational resources to help support the development of impact projects, as well as training workshops to equip project leaders with the skills needed to execute the initiatives within the community.

As determined by the Community Panel and members of Team Dow, all eligible projects must have a social purpose with community impact, as well as fit the theme chosen by the community residents prior to the beginning of that year’s budget program. Past years' themes include environmental protection, safety and security and community sports.


Ingeniero White has embraced the participatory budget program with more participation, more project entries and more interest with each passing year. In fact, in recent years, program election days have attracted more than 2,000 community voters in a population of 11,000.

"As a panelist, I am delighted to have taken part, as it encourages us to grow and achieve our goals. Moreover, we gain invaluable insights through our exchanges, enhancing our understanding of projects. I feel valued and grateful for being considered. Companies like Dow contribute to the advancement and prosperity of Ingeniero White."

- Graciela Guglielmetti

Successful projects in the community thus far have included infrastructure improvements in local schools and community centers, funding for community sports leagues, circular economy programs in the local technical college and improved community safety through updated neighborhood lighting, speed bumps and security camera systems.

“It is very inspiring and moving to hear the ideas and dreams of our neighbors participating in this program. My special thanks to the Participatory Budget team and the neighbors for allowing us to be part of these dreams.”

- Paula Woolbert, Dow Bahía Blanca site leader

As the community projects directly affect residents’ lives, increasing participation is a testament to the program’s success. In 2022, an estimated 100 residents attended training workshops, making them co-builders of the projects that directly impact their lives and that of their neighbors.

Our employees also play a key role in helping the program run smoothly through collaborations with community members. By volunteering time and expertise, Team Dow has been able to advise on projects, provide training and accompany civil society institutions and organizations in visits to help solidify projects and increase their capacity.

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