In an effort to showcase our work, we introduce you to the organizations we partner with to transform development in Haiti! Each quarter, we will profile a different organization and motivated leader, so that you can learn about how these grassroots organizations are leading the economic and social revolution in their rural communities.
As a funder, The Haiti Fund started working with Collectif de Lutte Contre l’Exclusion Sociale (CLES) around the time of the Fund’s creation in 2012. CLES is a local non-profit association whose mission is to act together against poverty and exclusion by creating synergy between social, economic, cultural and environmental actors. CLES promotes human and sustainable development with gender equity and human rights in Haiti. Its activities seek to foster the building of solidarity bonds between various development actors of society while encouraging participation of disadvantaged communities in the integrated development of the Northeast Department of Haiti.
CLES emphasizes its role as a support, implementation, and social entrepreneurship organization, through the following activities:
Identify needs within communities;
Initiate reflections and encourage the mobilization of all actors and sectors for recovery actions;
Provide support to communities in finding the technical and financial means necessary to conduct development actions;
Maintain broad participation and support communities in carrying out development programs to meet their vital needs;
Evaluate, capitalize and disseminate best practices in terms of strategies for developing economic opportunities in agricultural sectors and promising technologies;
To support the work of CLES directly, you are welcome to make a grant to them through HDI’s intermediary services. https://www.hdihaiti.org/donate. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about the work of CLES please reach out to Pierre Noel, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to connect you.
Impact of HDI Capacity Building Training
According to Program Director Albert Pierre Paul Joseph, CLES has largely and positively benefited from participating in our organizational capacity building program. Among other benefits, Mr. Joseph cited:
Access to funds for infrastructure development;
Training on various capacity building and leadership development themes;
Significant improvement of the governance and communication framework within the organization;
Support for the development and acquisition of a series of administrative and accounting tools (procedures manual, inventory management sheets, Quick Books accounting software), to ensure better control and transparent management of its resources;
Promotion of good practices of accountability and transparency in the management of funds;
Greater openness to the world with the creation of a website to improve CLES communication strategy;
Exchanges between the partner organizations for relational strategies and learning.
When we started working with CLES, they had a staff of only 12. Today, the organization has 153 employees working in various projects. Moreover, Mr. Joseph shared that « the institutional, organizational, technical and financial growth of CLES is linked to a larger vision of change on the part of our leaders. This new vision has been gradually established with the support of the Boston Foundation’s HDI initiative ». He further reported that our work has resulted in shifts along several dimensions across the organizations:
At the institutional level, CLES's capacity in managing donor funds has been developed as a result of HDI’s support to develop better management and transparency. The organization has acquired knowledge of administrative, accounting and financial procedures, and has rigorously applied those skills through adaptable management tools and increased our ability to receive funding from other donors.
At the organizational level, there has been a greater level of involvement of members in the life of the organization. The coaching model providing direct support and the frequency of follow-up visits by HDI staff have helped CLES in implementing new skills and procedures for this new structuring dynamic.
At the technical level, CLES staff have observed a better positioning of the organization in the rice sector, due to an increase of its assets because of its ability now to offer plowing and rice marketing services on the local market and thus increase its revenues. The significant increase in rice storage, processing, and packaging capacity makes it possible to look to the future with much more optimism. The organization benefited from other funds and built the largest warehouse in the Northeast region. CLES will continue to assert its local leadership in the management of agricultural sectors, particularly rice and beans, by operating in the field of agro-industry and agricultural services.
Direct Economic Impact of HDI Support
Thanks to HDI support, CLES became attractive to other partners and has become an essential player in development in the Northeast region, particularly in the rice sector within the Plaine Maribahoux area. In addition to providing technical support to producers, the organization invested in the marketing of local rice under the label "Rice Bèl Nègès", a high quality white rice. This was originally made possible with funding from the Haiti Fund. As a result, CLES has had access to market niches for rice through humanitarian agencies such as the World Food Program for which CLES has already executed contracts totaling 886 metric tons of white rice. All this has contributed to a greater motivation on the part of the members and rice producers of the region, and to an increase in the production and the productivity of the rice plots.
Currently, the organization is working on modernizing its processing site (industrial mill, electric dryer and silos, etc.) and the purchase of agricultural machinery (tractors, combine harvesters, etc.) to increase the range of its services. Additionally, CLES has been able to mobilize other funds in the form of grants and loans to increase its investments in order to create many more jobs in the region. Its ability to build partnerships, especially in the marketing of rice and the increase of local agricultural services is evident. With its own funds and the financial support of Project AVANSE (USAID), the organization will modernize its production site by introducing an industrial mill (2.6 tons/hour), an electric dryer (45 metric tons/day) and silos (150 metric tons) to improve the competitiveness of local rice. In addition, CLES will enter into a partnership with Haytian Tractor to rent tractors and thus facilitate access to plowing services for farmers.
CLES has recently acquired additional funding from the European Union, USDOL, World Bank, Oxfam, and Action Aid. Within the past few years, it went from $30,000 to more than one million US dollars of donor funds to implement food and nutrition security projects (European Union/BON), social protection of children and promotion projects, workers' rights (US Department of Labor funding through CRS) projects, and for the improvement of agricultural services and competitiveness of local rice (World Bank through RESEPAG). “While timing of these investments in the region was important, the greatest contribution was HDI’s partnership and investments in CLES over the years that ensured we were ready to catalyze on these opportunities as they became available. HDI’s partnership is catalytic to our success “says Mr. Joseph
HDI believes in the power of local leaders and organizations to transform their communities, when they are given the tools, skills and accompaniment to participate in the decision-making process about their own development. CLES is a perfect example of such approach. Today, this organization stands ready to assist HDI. Its leaders have made use of their invaluable experiences and good practices and they represent the type of tested and proven partners we need in our journey to provide much-needed training and support to countless leaders and community-based organizations throughout Haiti.
How can you help CLES?
To support the work of CLES directly, you are welcome to make a grant to CLES through HDI’s intermediary services (https://www.hdihaiti.org/donate). Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about the work of CLES, please reach out to Pierre Noel, email@example.com and we will be happy to connect you.
Work closely with the state and civil society organizations to build collective action to help people living in poverty and exclusion to better exploit resources to transform their own situation and society.
The actions of the organization are articulated around the following pillars:
A community approach of integration and social inclusion focusing on young people and women as forces of social transformation;
A sector approach to support the growth of the agricultural sector and the development of economic opportunities throughout the value chain;
A public-private-community partnership approach to stimulate the participation of local capital in the efforts of endogenous development;
A territorial development approach based on inter-municipal strategies and institutional linkages between a block of municipalities and stimulating broad consultation and participation of local actors (local authorities, civil society, private sector).
Capacity Building: So what do we mean by capacity building? Capacity Building refers to many different types of activities that intended to improve a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain its impact over time. This could mean bringing a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity. It is not a one-time effort or training, but rather a continuous improvement strategy. You can think of it as the foundation or basic infrastructure of all nonprofits, without which they could not exist.