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.