Initiative Solicits Development Ideas from Haitian Diaspora

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(September 19, 2016)
The National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) is launching today the Diaspora Challenge Initiative (DCI), in collaboration with three partner organizations: EDEM Foundation, GRAHN-USA, and 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) program implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). This new initiative aims at leveraging ideas about potential development concepts among members of the Diaspora looking for opportunities to contribute to Haiti’s development. These ideas will be showcased at a marquee Conference scheduled for the end of January 2017 – exact date and location to be announced.

“The crucial role of the Diaspora in Haiti’s development is well established. Estimates are that, among other contributions, Haitians living abroad inject nearly two billion dollars annually in the country’s economy,” says Dr. Ludovic Comeau, a professor of economics and president of GRAHN-USA. "However, the bulk of such remittances is devoted to consumption. As we look at the socioeconomic challenges plaguing the lives of the Haitian people, it is highly incumbent that the Diaspora take a serious look at ways to impact the future of Haiti in productive, rather than consumptive ways. The DCI has the potential to help steer Diaspora involvement towards such a development-focused orientation.”

LEAD is stimulating private investment in Haiti’s small- and medium-sized businesses. This initiative will build on those results to engage the Diaspora and increase their impact on the country’s development.

“Through this initiative, PADF seeks to engage the Diaspora to support Haiti’s development in exciting and innovative ways,” says Nadia Cherrouk, Chief of Party for the LEAD program and PADF Haiti Country Director.

NAAHP and partners invite the Diaspora to submit their development ideas or proposals through a Submission Form, which will remain open through December 12, 2016. Ideas or proposals submitted will be reviewed by a jury of experts, based on DCI’s criteria outlined in the Submission Form, such as sustainability and the ability to increase economic opportunities for Haitians living outside Port-au-Prince.

A jury of experts will then select the top 10 Best-Development-Ideas will be selected by the jury. Winners will be awarded an exclusive package to attend the January 2017 conference, including air travel, hotel, and other incentives. At the conference they will have the opportunity to present their ideas and network with local, regional, and international donors and funders. Drawn from the public and private sectors, these donors and funders can help bring winning ideas to fruition.

The Diaspora Challenge Initiative is launched today, September 19th, 2016. The Submission Form as well as resources to assist members of the Haitian Diaspora with their development proposal are available at http://dci.naahpusa.org/.

About NAAHP
NAAHP is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established by a diverse group of forward-thinking industry experts, youth leaders, faculty, public and nonprofit sector professionals from Haiti and its global Diaspora. NAAHP also prides itself on its focus on fostering the Diaspora’s engagement in advocacy efforts, philanthropic and social entrepreneurship projects directly tied to promoting sustained social and economic success in Haiti. NAAHP is collaborating on this project with the New-York-based Society for Haitian Research, Massachusetts-based EDEM Foundation, and GRAHN-USA, the U.S. branch of the international Haitian think-tank GRAHN (Group for Reflection and Action for a New Haiti, www.grahn-monde.org).

About PADF
PADF operates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to generate economic opportunities, advance social progress, strengthen civil society, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2015, the Foundation reached more than 17 million people in 22 countries. www.padf.org.