Haven is an Irish non-governmental organisation, strongly committed to empowering Haitians to build strong and sustainable livelihoods. – Haven Partnership Mission Statement
Who is Haven
Haiti is among the poorest nations in the western hemisphere, with the 2014 poverty rate (as reported by the United Nations Development Program) at 58.6% and nearly a quarter of the entire population considered to be living in abject poverty. Haven Partnership, an Irish non-governmental organization, is committed to battling the situation in Haiti with a focus on three core areas: water and sanitation, training and education, and shelter.
In 2017, Haven Partnership implemented a new business development program to encourage and enable new entrepreneurial opportunities in Haiti. The program provides 5-6 weeks’ training on topics such as entrepreneurial methodology, human rights education, independence, health and nutrition, and other topics. Upon completion, the cohort is supported through business plan development, facilitated loans, monthly monitoring and evaluation, and loan repayment.
Haven’s business development program had no way to easily monitor and evaluate the desired outcomes – the establishment of self-sustaining businesses and full loan repayment within a year. All documentation was paper-based with no standardized surveys. As a result, attempts to conduct any analysis of effectiveness of the program used to be time-consuming and cumbersome. Staff were often required to carry 30 to 50 paper files per day to support their 60+ beneficiaries across 2 locations (Ile a Vache & Les Cayes) with only 2 workers and the program manager.
With the original surveys focused on subjective, open-ended interviews, initial evaluations often resulted in incorrect assumptions regarding program effectiveness. Evaluation would be based on an emotional response to the subjective information gathered during interviews. Upon proper critical analysis of the data captured, the team would find that intuition based on qualitative data would not match the actual impact based on quantitative data analysis. Sandra Segin, Haven’s Programme Manager understood that a change was required to improve the existing monitoring and evaluation process – Haven needed better data collection and data analysis!
The modernization project consisted of two components: 1) a business process reengineering exercise and 2) a technology update to enable the new business process. Haven initially redefined the survey process to capture data in a more quantitative way, with standardized questions and answers. Because of the original process, the agency was able to capture “tons of data, but because it wasn’t standardized, it all ended up on the shelf.”
With the surveys updated and the staff trained, Sandra could now focus on implementing a technology solution to enable simplified capture of the survey data. Diona Mobile Visits for NGOs was selected as Haven’s monitoring and evaluation tool. The workers are now able to collect data as defined in the newly standardized form for each beneficiary on a mobile device, regardless of connectivity.
After implementing Diona Mobile Visits for NGOs, international offices now have access to standardized reports on demand without having to wait for a response from Haiti, where connectivity is an issue. The solution is configured to support the local language (Haitian Creole) for the workers, with reports automatically generated in English, French and Haitian Creole. Now data transparency is becoming the norm, creating a system that is more usable and beneficial for staff, beneficiaries and donors.
The solution also provides the ability to integrate locational information that allows for the analysis and comparison of selected program needs, effectiveness, and population demographics across different locations. As a result of the implementation, data analysis has already identified different needs based on the location of each project (for example, increased needs in domestic violence, different stressors and vulnerabilities on the main land).
Finally, the quantitative data captured enables a better needs analysis per service site. The Haven Partnership is now able to contextualize and customize the training, services, and business plans to the specific needs of the community being addressed.
 “Haiti boosts health and education in the past decade, says new UNDP report”. UNDP. 25 June 2014