10 Best Development Ideas from the Haitian Diaspora

Launched in the fall of 2016, the Diaspora Challenge Initiative aims at leveraging ideas about potential development concepts among members of the Haitian Diaspora looking for opportunities to contribute to Haiti’s development. 

The initiative is carried out by The National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) in collaboration with the EDEM Foundation, GRAHN-USA, and the Society for Haitian Research. Funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the initiative is part of the broader Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments program (LEAD) implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). 

NAAHP and partners invited members of the Haitian Diaspora to submit their development ideas. The  proposals were reviewed by a jury of experts, based on criteria including sustainability and economic impact. 

Among the 190 submissions received, the 10 Best Development Ideas were selected by the jury. Ten winning applicants were awarded an exclusive trip to attend a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to present their ideas to potential investors and network with their peers, as well as local, regional and international donors and funders with the potential to help promote or realize the ideas. Here are the

Top 10 Best Development Ideas
From Members of the Haitian Diaspora

Emmanuel Ronald Bertrand
City/ Country: Georgia, USA
Project: Education
A mentorship program with Haiti’s graduating college students to support the municipalities (local mayors).

Steve Chérestal and Didier Jean-Baptiste
City/Country: Florida and Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Project: Microfinance
A web platform to provide nano loans and to serve as a virtual marketplace through harnessing

Jean Conille
City/Country: Dominican Republic
Project: Environment
Ecologically-friendly gas stations for public transport vehicles (tap-taps). Empower drivers to convert diesel vehicles to propane

Michel Degraff
Cambridge, MA, USA
Project: Countrywide Education
Promoting STEM education in Haiti through technology and the Kreyol language

Scheeler Devis
City/Country: New York, USA
Project: Agro-industry
A distillery to produce alcohol, green charcoal and purified drinking water

Paul Obed Dumersaint
City/Country: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Project: Agriculture, Energy, Environment
Merging agriculture, energy and the environment using biotech and promoting cutting edge research in Haiti.

Nedjeda Jean-Paul
City/Country: Quebec, Canada
Project: Healthcare
Creation of a medical test laboratory

Marc Raphaël
City/Country: California, USA
Project: Solar Energy
A chain of affordable, solar-powered food trucks that double as Internet hotspots

Wisblaude Thermidor and Beverly Malbranche
City/Country: New Haven, CT, USA
Project: Fair Trade Development
A sustainable way to eradicate food insecurity in Haiti

Marcel Wah
City/ Country: Chisinau, Moldova, and Plainsboro, NJ
Project: Agriculture:
Bee farming to generate income from bee-related products and reverse pollinator decline

For more information, visit the Diaspora Challenge Initiative website.