USAID's Local Works program works in partnership with local organizations to actively listen and better understand the complex dynamics and barriers to development progress in the border region. These efforts are used to identify community needs and priorities and support groups in the design and implementation of locally-driven initiatives. Community assets, including youth networks, cooperatives, private sector entities, non-profit and community based organizations, are harnessed to inform and lead this process. Individuals respected in the community by an array of groups, known as “bridge leaders”, play a key role in convening and ensuring buy-in from communities that have often been divided by differences in language, culture, and politics.
USAID's Local Works team will help facilitate this process by providing partners with the tools and support needed to identify and address the sectors and needs of greatest concern. The team will also assist in strengthening existing networks and helping organizations connect with one another, while also linking local networks and priorities to national-level decision-makers.
These efforts, focused in a priority geographic area along the DR/Haiti border, will produce innovative programming. The process and lessons learned will also inform future programming for USAID/DR and other donors interested in investing in different sectors in the border region.