Haiti: Conflict Prevention and social cohesion through Local Community Empowerment and Institutional Capacity Building
Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, already struggled with high levels of youth unemployment and violence before the 2010 earthquake, in which more than 200,000 people lost their lives, 1.5 million were displaced and crucial infrastructure was destroyed. The lack of work and the living conditions in temporary settlement camps created new vulnerabilities and security threats. The Joint Programme's aim was to tackle the immediate causes of conflict in 10 violence-prone communities by supporting violence-prevention strategies, including improving the employability of at-risk youth and vulnerable women.
To support these local level efforts and to ensure a sustainable and comprehensive response to violence in Haiti, the programme also promoted a more systematic integration of violence and crisis-related considerations into development policies and other responses by the national government.
This was helped by strengthening the capacities of local and national institutions to gather and analyze violence and crisis-related data, with a view to producing analysis which can improve the impact of programmes and policies on the dynamics of violence, including from the national government.
Main achievements included:
- The strategy of creating socio-economic opportunities helped put youth at risk in the competitive job market, supported micro-entrepreneurs, provided daily allowances to vulnerable populations through labor-intensive projects, and organized activities for the economic empowerment of vulnerable women and women victims of violence.
- More than 31 High Intensity Manpower projects in target cities helped rehabilitate community infrastructure and provided at least 15 days of daily wages to more than 7,300 people. 370 young people, including 299 women, were trained in entrepreneurship. More than 200 at-risk youth received vocational/technical training (plumbing, electrical, refrigeration, fishing, agriculture, etc.). A collaborative arrangement between three chambers of commerce and industry and businesses placed 135 young people in 3-month jobs in order to hone their professional experience and improve their access to the labor market.
- Violence Reduction Plans, developed with targeted vulnerable communities and local authorities, identified priority actions to reduce and prevent violence. These plans were based on community diagnoses produced for the target programme cities in collaboration with the National Observatory of Violence and Crime.
- Participatory workshops were held to diagnose the causes of violence as well as to offer violence prevention strategies. Twelve community projects aimed at reducing violence and strengthening social cohesion were implemented, and four local committees were set up to select and monitor community projects. These promoted dynamic reconciliation between authorities and communities, while ensuring that the projects undertaken responded to local priorities.
- The medical care of victims of sexual violence was improved through training of health personnel and the provision of inputs in hospitals and health centers in the target cities, on the basis of a detailed mapping of health services.
- Five Listen and Care centers for victims of violence were supported and served more than 1,000 women.
Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programme in Haiti.