In 2015-2016, TPI's Center for Global Philanthropy and the Haiti Development Institute (HDI) worked in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) on a project that focused on philanthropy's role in addressing a current humanitarian crisis in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (D.R.).
In 2013, the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court ruled on a citizenship statute that retroactively impacted many people of Haitian descent, some of whom had lived in the D.R. for generations. Estimates of up to 200,000 people living in the D.R. are in danger of being made stateless, with many of them being legally deported or fleeing due to persecution and violence.
WKKF partnered with TPI and HDI to help develop and coordinate a strategy to raise awareness of this immediate crisis and to make recommendations for a long-term approach that uses philanthropy as one way to address the root causes.
HDI, which originated as The Haiti Fund established to support local relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has keen expertise in local issues and deep connections to Haitian grassroots leaders, nonprofits, policymakers, and funders. HDI, now housed at TPI, is in a unique position to leverage these connections to steer the direction of philanthropic dollars being used to address the current situation in the D.R.
With support from WKKF, TPI's Center for Global Philanthropy and HDI interviewed more than 54 key stakeholders in Haiti, the D.R., the U.S., and Europe; conducted site visits and focus groups in seven border cities; executed a comprehensive review of existing research and data; and organized a full-day meeting in October 2015 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with more than 26 stakeholders working on issues related to this crisis. After this meeting, TPI and WKKF organized a strategy meeting of funders in December 2015 in New York City to examine the role philanthropy can play in responding to both the immediate crisis as well as to broader social inequities in the region.
All of this work led to a convening in Washington D.C. on March 23, 2016 at which key NGO leaders, policy influencers, and funders gathered to develop a longer term strategy to coordinate responses across sectors and geographies, and establish key partnerships to help drive a sustainable solution to this crisis of citizenship.