The Earth Institute has begun implementing an innovative project throughout the South Department of Haiti, and has added a new partner to this critical work, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The work includes the Côte Sud Initiative, covering all communes within the South Department, and the recent launch of the first Millennium Village in the Western Hemisphere in the Port-à-Piment watershed. The Kellogg Foundation is an international leader of projects to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, particularly that of children, throughout selected micro-regions, including in the South Department of Haiti, and this partnership will serve to expand and deepen their impact throughout the region.
Through a grant for $150,798, the foundation will support the monitoring and evaluation and data components of the Port-à-Piment Millennium Village, including a baseline study, a facilities inventory, quarterly collection of performance indicators, a land tenure survey, and ongoing hydrological modeling within the watershed.
The monitoring and evaluation platform is a fundamental component of the entire Millennium Village, as it establishes the baseline from which to understand the existing situation at the start of the project, and creating a basis for measuring the impact of interventions across the variety of sectors that the MVP focuses on, including health, education, water and sanitation, business development, agriculture, environment and disaster risk management.
Within Haiti the availability of data is a consistent problem, as data collection is often inconsistent and dependent upon external funding sources. The information that the Earth Institute and partners will be collecting will provide a much needed source of validated data that will be used to not only guide the interventions at the Millennium Village level, but will also be shared and used by other organizations and the national government in order to understand the local-level realities of the specific watershed and the communes throughout the South Department.
The Earth Institute is also adding additional components to this monitoring and evaluation platform that are specifically relevant to Haiti, particularly a land tenure survey for the South Department as well as hydrological monitoring and modeling. The land tenure survey will be implemented to correlate land holdings with socio-economic data, which will lead to the creation of much needed spatial mapping around family land holding patterns. Results from this study will supply sufficient evidence on land tenure security based on information from tenants and landowners that has not previously been collected, in order to help guide broader land use management planning. This information will be analyzed and shared at both a departmental and a national level, in order to inform policy planning on land tenure and associated conflict resolution mechanisms for the government to use throughout the entire country.
Finally, the installation of rain gauges and tools to monitor rainfall and climate patterns will allow Earth Institute researchers to develop a community-based approach to manage Haiti’s watersheds within the reality of extreme environmental degradation and the serious impact of continual hurricanes and floods. This includes establishing a monitoring network for baseline data on the quantity and quality of surface water within the project area, crucial particularly with regard to the ongoing cholera epidemic that has affected the entire country. The particular stations installed and the data collected will help inform the creation of an early warning system for floods, so that communities will not be caught unprepared for these natural disasters, as was the case during the most recent serious floods in October 2011.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has also launched a series of critical projects in the South Department of Haiti to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. Their work overlaps both geographically and in broader approach with the work of the Earth Institute, and thus this partnership represents a significant step forward for collaboration and innovation in the region. Through shared work and shared goals, the newly forged partnership between the foundation and the Earth Institute will make great gains in improving the delivery and monitoring of aid interventions in a country facing great challenges.
More information on the Côte Sud Initiative and the Port-à-Piment Millennium Village Project can be found on the website of the Haiti Regeneration Initiative.
About the Kellogg Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
For further information please visit www.wkkf.org