Throughout Haiti’s long, proud, and troubled history, several localities have become incubators for conflict and violence. Due to a combination of demographic and socioeconomic risk-factors, as well as institutional policies, these zones' lack of security have actively undermined the political stabilization process, perpetuating conflict and adversely affecting the efforts of reconstruction and national development.
In order to reverse this trend of conflict and chaos, the Urban Project for Participatory Development (PRODEPUR) was implemented by PADF in 2009. Funded by the World Bank with support from the Japanese Social Development Fund and the Caribbean Development Bank, and in partnership with the Haitian BMPAD, PRODEPUR actively works to build the capacity of community organizations, encouraging them to define their own local priorities and assisting them in implementing critical interventions in the areas of health, education, micro-enterprise, and infrastructure. In this respect, PRODEPUR fosters accountability and transparency while building a social capital that alleviates the problems of violence and conflict that have previously hampered development.
PRODEPUR currently works in Cité Soleil, Bel-Air, Martissant, Carrefour-Feuilles, Simmonds-Pelé, and Delmas 32. Each zone has an Urban Project for Participatory Development Management Council (COPRODEP), which works with PRODEPUR to manage and implement community projects.
These COPRODEPS and PRODEPUR actively engage with the community, including over 900 representatives of community based organization (CBOs) as well as municipal councils, government officials, and other development entities. This gives everyone a stake in the development process, allowing for transparency and truly inclusive proceedings.
As of June 2012, over 260 projects have been implemented through partner CBOs, as well as six larger community-wide interventions. Furthermore, PRODEPUR has been at the forefront of disaster response in the slums, and was one of the first-line responders when the earthquake and cholera hit Port-au-Prince in 2010. In total, PRODEPUR's interventions directly affect 10,000 people per month, with an additional 60,000 indirect beneficiaries.
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
PRODEPUR actively seeks to strengthen the capacity of community organizations and development bodies. In that vein, PRODEPUR has trained the COPRODEPS, as well as over 40 representatives of CBOs, in financial management, accounting, project management, micro and small enterprise development. Using the project management technique of SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats), PRODEPUR works with the COPRODEPs to improve the project implementation process; by facilitating exchanges of experience and sharing of accumulated knowledge between COPRODEPs, PRODEPUR allows for best practices to be established and community interventions to be improved.
Furthermore, PRODEPUR facilitates interactions between COPRODEPs, CBOs, the private sector, and the government to build strong partnerships that allow for a truly effective development process. This additionally strengthens the capacity of elected officials to perform their duties and responsibilities in communities targeted by PRODEPUR.
By strengthening the capacity of community institutions, PRODEPUR is able to improve the effectiveness of the community interventions, implementing projects that are thus effective, durable, and sustainable.
Already, PRODEPUR has seen an improvement in the provision of basic social services and higher incomes for people in the project’s target zones. Additionally, communities are now able to better organize themselves to address their needs in a cohesive atmosphere. As PRODEPUR continues to work with these communities, the democratic foundations for local development, good governance, and transparency and civic responsibility will continue to be reinforced and strengthened.