Haiti Development Institute is the first independent institution in Haiti committed to long-term sustainable and equitable development.
The Haiti Development Institute (HDI) is a legacy of The Haiti Fund, a five-year fund founded at The Boston Foundation, following the devastating 2010 earthquake. The five-year Haiti Fund was established as an expression of the Greater Boston community’s concern for the people of Haiti and their local Boston friends and relatives. The Haiti Development Institute (HDI) was created to address the deficiencies and inefficiencies in the deployment of philanthropic capital and to increase the intended impact of grassroots organizations in Haiti.
Our mission is to build sustainable communities by supporting local leaders, strengthening organizations, and connecting sectors to achieve transformative systemic impact. Through HDI’s work over the past six years, we have come to the conclusion that for too long aid has generally failed Haiti; instead of building local capacity, it has largely supported donor-driven short-term projects. As a result while the nonprofit sector provides tremendous value to communities, it is unable to help local communities outpace poverty and overcome crippling social inequities. Building a new Haiti will only be possible if strong civil society organizations are at the forefront of that change increasing civic engagement, leading communities to take part in and/or lead their own development.
HDI is built on the belief that an integrated approach to development is necessary to usher in real social change in Haiti. We know that local leaders, civil society organizations, and social entrepreneurs have the potential to bring about transformative changes to benefit local communities and engender systemic change throughout the country.
HDI operates by acting as a:
Major investor in nonprofits through our organizational capacity building program for leaders and mission-driven Haitian-led organizations;
Philanthropic intermediary and advisor for philanthropists and foundations looking to invest in Haitian organizations or guidance inform their grant making;
Open-sourced warehouse for research and data for implementers and funders alike; and
Civic leader, connector, and convener, leading cross-sector conversations to help identify and drive levers of change.