Haitian Peasants Cash Flows and Felt Needs: Integrating “Process” and “Product” in Project Design

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The following document is presented to Save the Children in fulfilment of a contract for consultation on the design of a project in rural Haiti. It will begin with an identification of the two competing approaches to project organization in the rural areas that have surfaced as controversial discussion points between SCF and the USAID mission in Haiti. This controversy should be seen in a positive light. It permits a rethinking of these issues in light of SCF objectives and philosophy, and the design of a compromise approach which permits effective work in rural Haiti. I will propose what I believe to be a conceptual. vehicle for integrating the two approaches. I will then identify ten programmatic points which could be addressed in the proposal, and give brief statements of my own position on these matters in light of my familiarity with the literature and my personal field experiences.

Competing Approaches to Rural Development
The exchange of memos between SCF and USAID/Haiti was generated by less than enthusiastic comments on the part of one USAID employee to certain aspects of the proposal which SCF had submitted for activities in Maissade. Rather than focus on the specific comments and rejoinders, it might be productive to short-circuit the debate by pointing out that the disagreement was generated by what appears to be two different approaches to the organization of rural development projects.



Haitian Peasant Contour Ridges: The Evolution of Indigenous Erosion

In these pages I will describe and analyse the recent emergence, in a mountainous region of rural Haiti, of a locally unique but technically effective erosion control strategy which, though unknown some two decades ago, had by the late 1970’s become an essential, universally adopted element in the agrarian repertoire of peasant cultivators in the research community.

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