My favorite "secret to social innovation" was Amy Smith's last one:
"Provide skills, not just finished technologies. The current revolution in design for developing countries is the notion of co-creation, of teaching the skills necessary to create the solution,
rather than simply providing the solution. By involving the community throughout the design process, you can help equip people to innovate and contribute to the evolution of the product. Furthermore, they acquire the skills needed to create solutions to a much wider variety of problems. They are empowered."
We've all heard it before, "Catch a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life."
We cannot go around the world fixing every little thing that is going wrong, there are simply too many problems to solve. By teaching people to solve their own problems, not only are we increasing the number of capable minds at work seeking a solution, but we are also training minds that are being directly affected by the issues, and therefore they are more likely to come up with an elegant answer.
There were a couple other benefits I had in mind to go along with the two I just mentioned, but they have slipped through my thoughts, so I encourage you to come up with more reasons why teaching to solve their own problems would be beneficial and share with comments if you'd like.