Our Approach

A Symbol of Our Approach

Making a beautiful and durable basket is a complex process, involving many hands. The place where the raw material is gathered must be cooperatively managed, so that it is protected. Material has to be harvested at the right time and in the right way. Old and young must learn from each other so that weaving techniques are passed to future generations.

Our approach to community development has many similarities to this process of basket weaving. We have found that the most successful development initiatives are born from authentic and equitable community participation. We, along with our partners, engage with diverse voices at every step of a project cycle, involving communities locally, regionally and globally by exchanging ideas and resources—creating and learning together—so that the best development options are considered.

The image of a partially woven basket symbolizes our emphasis on process and our belief that collective effort gives rise to results that are both practical and sustainable.

Our Unique Approach

We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

We emphasize community-driven participatory processes for prioritizing community problems and developing solutions to address them.

The key strategies of this approach include inclusive, participatory decision-making processes, building on local knowledge and culture for solutions, skill and leadership development, cross-community and cross-cultural sharing, and access to resources needed to grow and innovate.

This process starts by acknowledging and building on traditional, indigenous knowledge and the values of the communities with whom we work.  Through community “talking circles” and other participatory processes, we prioritize and examine root causes of problems.

Knowledge sharing informs potential development solutions.  This knowledge sharing takes place first among a cross section of local community members, elders, youth, women, and men.  We then facilitate cross-community exchange and learning about development innovations happening in other rural communities in and outside of Haiti.

Partners in Progress and our community-based partners facilitate planning processes through which community members work together to visualize and map out a phased plan for development.  Plans are cooperatively implemented and monitored by community.

Participants evaluate project successes and challenges and envision ways in which the lessons learned can create new opportunities following a simple but transformative model: “Learn – Do – Improve” or “Aprann – Aplike – Amelyore”.  The result is more appropriate and sustainable solutions, increased confidence in individual and collective power to create change, improved cooperative project management capacity, and a spirit of continuous innovation.

Our Unique Approach

Our work in rural Haiti is fueled by generous contributions from loyal donors like you. Please consider becoming a MONTHLY sponsor of Partners in Progress today.

All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.