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Past ISCA-AIDC Projects

a. "Improve knowledge of poultry and small ruminant production focusing on smallholder farming economy" (Funding: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; partner: FIDA/pcH).

i. Project summary: during this project, which took place in Haiti in May 2011, smallholder farmers in the Haitian community of Fon Batis were invited to in a 3-week workshop related small scale business development in the context of smallholder farming. These topics had been identified as a priority by the cooperative, together with FIDA/pcH, to enhance the livelihoods and enrich the community as a whole. Following the earthquake in January 2010, many Haitians returned to rural communities and this has added additional burden on already resource-deprived families. Giving participants some basic tools by increasing their capacity and capability to begin small scale business ventures overall impacted their ability to deliver change. The primary objective was to support farmers in Fon Batis to progress beyond self-sufficiency, whether at the farm or the community level.

ii. With great support by our partners, FIDA/pcH, ISCA-AIDC designed, coordinated and administered the training together with external local and international experts where necessary. These were intensive weeks for everyone involved! Thirty farmers from Fon Batis, of which eight were women, listened, talked, discussed and learned. And we did the same! A special shout-out to our translator Theodore who worked tirelessly to ensure open lines of communication. Sharing in the life of the people of Fon Batis was great and the views from up in the mountains down to the sea and the Canal du Saint Marc early in the mornings were breathtaking! The workshops were very well received and we have since returned to Fon Batis on numerous occasions to continue what we have started.


b. "Enhanced Livestock Health and Production Capacity in Haitian Rural Cooperatives through Training of Trainers in Best Practices for Livestock Health and Production Management" (Core funding: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; in-kind support: ISCA-AIDC; Atlantic Veterinary College; FIDA/pcH; Cochrange Fire Department; partners: Atlantic Veterinary College; FIDA/pcH; Haiti Broilers)

i. Project summary: during this project, ISCA-AIDC focused on developing and administering a two-week customized, applied animal health care and management training course to Haitian trainers (Training of Trainers (ToT); specifically, pcH agronomists and other core staff). The project included assessment of the most economically important livestock health and production needs; assessment of the level of animal health resources and needs in cooperatives currently served by pcH; development of an appropriate training program based on these observed needs; and, delivery of the training program to group(s) of Haitian trainers (pcH staff) who are actively engaged in assisting cooperatives in expanding agricultural production and livestock health in Haiti. Livestock production (principally goats and poultry) has great potential to address some of the needs in the fertile higher-elevation regions of Haiti, but is under-utilized by most rural Haitian communities because of local deficiency of skills and knowledge of best practice; access to agricultural, veterinary and business services; access to larger urban markets.

ii. These were enlightening weeks filled with interesting encounters during which we learned a lot! Haiti is full of potential! Lloyd and Fabienne, together with Jeff and Maureen Wichtel from the Atlantic Veterinary College, initially spent 2 weeks in Haiti in April 2012 to gather all the necessary background information and to prepare the training in close collaboration with pcH. Never mind today's technology – there are some things that are best done talking face-to-face! Following these two weeks, Maureen and Fabienne, together with former AVC-grad Dr. Ashley Troncatty, developed the relevant course material, which had to be translated into French to be useful to pcH course participants. In June 2012, these three veterinarians travelled to Haiti and two teaching- and learning-intense weeks followed with six enthusiastic (and fantastic) course participants which included Benest Dorsainvil, Francisco Francisque, Legrand Charles, Martelier Paul, Pierre Jacques Louis and – we are especially proud of our female participant – Claudette Lazar. Have a look through our picture gallery and we are sure you can pick out the pictures pertaining to that training! All you have to do is look for those proud faces and delighted smiles when they were able to do in the field what they were taught in the classroom – and realized that animals actually responded to them! We would also like to take this opportunity to honor and remember Dr. Keith Flanagan. Keith has been of invaluable assistance to us in Haiti during the short period of time that we had the pleasure to know him. He contributed greatly to our training during those two weeks and he is sorely missed by all!


c. "Improved livestock raising and business management through enhanced poultry production business models" (Funding: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; in-kind support: ISCA-AIDC; Cochrane Fire Department; partner: FIDA/pcH; Atlantic Veterinary College)

i. Project focus: to properly describe the key issues addressed by this project, we would like to quote from our final report from our project in 2012 titled "Enhanced Livestock Health and Production Capacity in Haitian Rural Cooperatives through Training of Trainers in Best Practices for Livestock Health and Production Management": There are relatively few development agencies working closely with rural communities in animal agriculture. This is surprising since Haiti is recognized as a country whose economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Further, there is very little reliable information relating to the productivity of animal agriculture, health and other major constraints to improving animal productivity (Haitian National Agricultural Investment Plan and OIE PVS Report, 2010). From our meetings with members of rural communities, business people who seek to serve them, NGOs, and government agencies it is evident that there is a very important role for livestock in the economy and in the culture of rural communities. Smallholder families are very reliant on animals in their daily life as a source of income, a way of retaining equity, and as work animals. There is no doubt that livestock production (dairy, goats and poultry) has great potential to address some of the development needs in agrarian regions of Haiti. Companies such as Haiti Broilers have assessed the situation and are investing heavily in Haiti, to a large degree depending on smallholders to expand national production. What needs to be put in place to permit smallholders to tap into this potential? Enhanced access to training in livestock production, animal health care and business is required. But some basic services in support of animal agriculture and business are currently absent from most communities. Reasons that have prevented persons in these communities from establishing businesses that supply animal health and production services are both cultural and economic. Several inter-related reasons come to mind: the culture of these communities is to look at crops as a business, but to look at livestock as a way to retain equity and attain status. There is a lack of skills and knowledge of best practices in animal agriculture and business. There is a lack of visible, successful livestock business models yielding sufficient gains to support unsubsidized animal health and production services in the communities. Therefore, these are the key issues to be addressed by this project, starting with the demonstration of visible, successful poultry business models, including training in best practices and business management. The lack of training of agronomes and veterinary agents, which may seem an obvious reason for the lack of business-minded (smallholder) livestock operations, turns out to be less important than first thought. Many well-trained agronomes and agricultural technicians graduate from Haitian institutions each year, and there have been over 1500 veterinary agents trained in the past 20 years. Unfortunately very few of these individuals have been able to sustain an unsubsidized animal health and production business in their community because livestock owners cannot pay for the services and medications they could provide. Before rural Haiti can expand into a profitable, self- sustaining food animal industry, communities must first become aware of the viable animal business options available to them. We believe that communities that successfully develop enhanced livestock business models will find that these ancillary services will grow organically in response to the natural increase in demand and ability to pay.

ii. So what did we do? In short, together with Haiti Broilers, a subsidiary of Jamaican Broilers, ISCA-AIDC delivered specialized training in poultry production to pcH-staff and subsequently to selected farmers from the community of Zoranger. These farmers had been selected democratically by the community. Following this training, Lloyd, together with volunteers Jay Wieliczko and Ryan Morrison from the Cochrane Fire Department, built 5 model chicken coops with the help of the selected farmers. Each farmer then received 24 1-day old chicks and received regular mentoring visits from pcH-staff and Haiti Broilers during the approximately 42-day raising period. Broiler chickens were then sold and we are currently in the process of evaluating this project. The main question we are curious about: did the farmers make the profit we projected and will they re-invest in new chicks? What we do know from regular reports from Legrand Charles, our main contact at pcH, is that we only lost 7 chicks in total, that farmers were thrilled with the project and could not believe how fast a chicken can grow when raised in a confined, well-managed manner that is feasible within the local context. They had to be reminded not to sell the chickens too early just because they were bigger than all the other chickens in the community! Have a look through our gallery to see some pictures related to this project.


d. Capacity-building and livelihoods support through training of Haitian veterinary agents and animal health clinics in the community of Bohoc, Haiti (Funding: self-funded by volunteer partcipants incl. ISCA-AIDC members; in-kind support: Atlantic Veterinary College; Pam and Ron MacKenzie, Nova Scotia)

i. This is how it all really started... in 2005, Lloyd had the opportunity to accompany a group of veterinary students, lead by Dr. Chris Riley from the Atlantic Veterinary College, to Haiti to partner with the Haitian American Friendship Foundation (HAFF). What started out to be some basic training of local veterinary agents and community animal health support through intensive, full-day clinics during which more than 1000 different animals were seen became a yearly institution. Subsequent trainings for veterinary agents built on previously delivered workshops and the goal was to provide consistency in capacity building. Animal health clinics continued and were always very well received by the community although ISCA-AIDC members were starting to look towards a more sustainable, locally-driven initiatives believing that these 'helicopter- medicine'-like activities were not the right approach to supporting developing communities. In October 2010, Lloyd and Fabienne, together with students and faculty from the Atlantic Veterinary College, returned to HAFF to provide training to students at the Bohoc Trainig Institute (HAFF's school) and local veterinary agents. Although there was little noticeable physical destruction from the earthquake that devastated the country in January of that year, people were scarred emotionally and the lack of food and resources was grossly evident. The local earthquake relief committee, together with HAFF, had been able to purchase 50 goats to be distributed to earthquake survivors and we were honored to be asked to provide basic health management training to the recipients. Since the visit in 2010, HAFF has undergone a number of significant changes, most notably turning over the responsibility of the Bohoc Training Institute to a local committee. This process has not been an easy one and although ISCA-AIDC was scheduled to return to HAFF in the spring of 2011, the trip had to be postponed. Although a couple of years have passed since then, ISCA-AIDC is still very much in contact with HAFF and we hope to return and resume work with local veterinary agents in that area in the future.


e. "Institutional Capacity Building, Needs Assessment, and Project Development for South Sudan Project Partner" (Funding: ISCA-AIDC with in-kind support from Sudan Peace and Educational Development Program) February 2012

i. Project Summary: During this project, ISCA-AIDC focused on supported SPEDP on identifying project development focal points within the organizations mandate and objectives, developing project framework, and developing project proposal for submission to various funding agencies operating within South Sudan. Specifically, ISCA-AIDC and SPEDP identified two specific projects that met priority areas for the communities that SPEDP worked in. This was supported by earlier community assessments completed by SPEDP. Funders were approached to develop relationships with SPEDP. In addition, government department heads and other officials were approached build relationships and identify areas of collaboration.

ii. During this short but productive period, two project proposals were developed - "Conflict Mitigation in Jonglei State through Livelihood Development" and "Establishment of a Small Scale Dairy Processing Facility with Supporting Services". Each project was presented to various funders in Juba, including UNMIS, UNICEF, and the Canadian Embassy in Juba. Throughout the process of project identification and proposal development, SPEDP staffs were encouraged to participate, contribute, research, and write various sections of proposals. Several staff meetings were held with SPEDP and the ISCA-AIDC representative to share challenges and barriers to development. Specific future projects were identified where ISCA-AIDC could collaborate and provide technical support including future assistance with proposal writing and establishing a website.


f. "BRIDGE – A Course in Electoral Processes" (Funding: Self-funded by participants. Co-organized by ISCA-AIDC and CANADEM) November 2013

i. Project Summary: BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) is the industry-leading professional development program on election processes and administration. It represents a unique initiative to consolidate approaches used to build capacity around the world in a curriculum that covers the entire spectrum of election processes. BRIDGE workshops are designed to promote professional confidence, ethics, understanding of principles of best electoral practice, and access to networks of peers. It is the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package for elections in the world with the training being actively sought out for employment purposes and postings through many multilateral agencies. This was the first BRIDGE training open to public applicants in North America.

ii. Twenty four participants from academia, aid and multi-lateral organizations, United Nations agencies, and electoral practitioners, came together (November 18-23, 2013) in Ottawa for the first ever BRIDGE training program in Canada. Expert facilitators, Helena Catt and Adolfo Cayuso, led participants through 11 of the BRIDGE modules over the 6 day program. Modules covered included the electoral cycle, ensuring all voters can participate, electoral systems, electoral and party financing, electoral ethics, media, and international norms for free, fair, and incredible elections.

Learn more about this project.


g. "Assessment of an Agricultural Experts Roster for Provision of Services to International Development Organizations and Providing Island Farmers with an Alternative Income Stream" (Funding: Prince Edward Island ADAPT Council with in-kind support from ISCA-AIDC) October-December 2013

i. Project Summary: The Prince Edward Island agricultural industry, both historically and to the present day, has been a leader in agriculture technology and development. From the early days of the 19th century when agriculture study groups were established, to the rise of the fox farming industry, the development of a world class seed potato industry and the advanced technology in potato harvesting, farmers of Prince Edward Island have become known throughout the world as innovators in agriculture. The key purpose of this project was to identify the opportunity that exists for Prince Edward Island farmers and others involved in the agricultural sector to provide consultative services, technical design and infrastructure to developing nations, using Haiti as the initial pilot project development area. Through the research undertaken, it was found that the majority (50-60%) of the Haitian population focus on growing enough food to feed themselves and their families. This generally is the result of limited resources (e.g. expertise and equipment) to increase production and thus food surplus for sale. As a result the requirement for agriculture expertise is great, as it is throughout many of the Caribbean nations.

ii. Consultations with PEI farm organizations and agricultural producers on Prince Edward Island, Canadian aid organizations, Haiti based International Non-Governmental Organizations, Haiti Faculty of Agriculture, and other organizations, yielded positive responses and an interest in the Roster project. Indeed, it appears that the Roster proposal has a high degree of "feel good" aspects and received positive feedback due to the following characteristics: 1) exporting Prince Edward Island know-how to address world development issues 2) knowledge has recognized value and fits within the new economy 3) it offers sustainability in contrast to the typical "charitable" development model. The Roster Project does present some excellent opportunities, yet there are still some barriers and challenges to moving this project forward. While the business model looks very promising and our consultations show that INGO's are interested in engaging such services, and PEI clearly has the agriculture experts who are willing to offer that expertise, seed money is required to "shop" the service to large aid organizations, both in the US and Canada. Offering those services in formal packages (for example including assessment, project development, monitoring, and evaluation) may be more appealing to organizations which recognizes the need for agricultural components in their programming.