Research and Engagement Supporting Poverty Elimination in Haiti (RESPE)

RESPE: Boston's Projects

Current Projects

  • Impact evaluation: All of RESPE's projects came out of community-expressed goals, so the group would like to establish a sort of impact evaluation to ensure that the projects are achieving what the community considers success, in particular, in the maternal health initiatives from the summer of 2010. This involves working with a member of RESPE: Balan to identify benchmarks and an appropriate way of evaluating them, as well as outside organizations also in the area.
  • Collaboration: Tufts Medical School already has evaluating measures in place for maternal health inititatives, so collaboration with them will help RESPE to learn from their existing tools as much as possible. RESPE: Boston is currently talking to students at the Tufts Medical School who are involved with the Medical School’s new permanent rotation program at a referral hospital at Milot. RESPE: Boston has spoken to them about extending their initiatives to balan and using their initiatives in the community RESPE: Boston works with, as well as sharing data.
  • Research rigor: Research is not only part of RESPE's name, but also a part of our theoretical foundations. RESPE seeks to be the "gold standard" of what undergraduate community development research can be. This means: 
    1. Participatory
    2. Strength-based
    3. Accountable
    4. Useful to the community

    In order to maximize our efficiency during our time on the groundRESPE: Boston is arranging a series of research trainings for members to take place next semester. Not everyone is studying participatory research methods and theory in their course of study, and few undergraduates have prior experience with fieldwor

  • Translating prior research: Accountability to the Balan community is of the utmost importance. However, having English-language-only materials and findings has been an unintentional byproduct of having too few Creole speakers and too few members within RESPE: Boston to task the group with this. However, it is critical that RESPE: Boston gets creative, reaches out to whomever, and go the final step of making RESPE research legible and useable to the community.

Possible Future Projects:

  • Vocational training: A lot of people in focus groups and conversations talked about the lack of professional training in their area. This is a project RESPE: Balan is considering as well. While a technical school is out of the scope of RESPE, the group could look into sponsoring trainings for a variety of trades, like the agricultural trainings in collaboration with existing farmer training groups in Haiti.
  • Experimental garden: One resident of Bois Caimon proposed an experimental garden, which RESPE: Tufts could sponsor.
  • Trail maintenance: Members of Port Francais, the mountain community, suggested assistance in maintaining their trail. With help from trail maintenance groups, RESPE: Boston might assemble a picture-heavy informational packet or lead a training session on trail and road designs to limit erosion and weathering, thus enabling more people to easily transport their goods.
  • Creole classes: As for projects for those in Boston, RESPE is looking at the possibility of Creole classes, maybe even get an Ex-College class in the future, to facilitate communication.
  • Collaboration: RESPE: Boston hopes to have more extensive collaboration with other partners in Boston, such as the Haitian Coalition and Partners in Health.