ICTs and social networks
for a new Caribbean governance and the reconstruction of Haiti 
CARDICIS III Programme

[es] [fr] [ht]

 

CARDICIS III
Project Summary
Etude GHRAP [FR]
Cardicis 3 Meeting
Compte-rendu de la session de travail du 4 mai 2010 à Port-au-Prince [FR]
Presentation of the Project Cardicis3 (Haiti, 04/05/2010)
Meeting products
Meeting Evaluation
Post Meeting Phase
Medias

 

METASITE

CARDICIS COMMUNITY

PROJECT SUMMARY

OUTLINE

CARDICIS III proposes using the potential of social networks on the Internet - which played a notable role after the recent earthquake in Haiti - by improving their interaction with civil society networks on the ground. The project, with the help of ICTs, will make a contribution to more effective citizen participation in the reconstruction process in Haiti in the perspective of better governance and a vision that is more focused on the Caribbean region and its integration.  

The objective of CARDICIS III is to contribute to coordinating the efforts of civil societies in Haiti, the Caribbean and the rest of the world in a reconstruction process where the cultural aspect plays a role commensurate with its importance. It will also seek to limit the organizational difficulties linked to the sheer number of initiatives of solidarity. CARDICIS III will focus its work on three complementary levels: support for Haitian civil society networks; support for coordinating social networks on the Internet, and coordination of those two levels.

CARDICIS III is a project of the Latin Union, supported by UNESCO and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), which calls upon the Networks and Development Foundation (FUNREDES) with the supportive collaboration of GHRAP; it is a coherent series of activities conducted by FUNREDES under the name of CARDICIS ( http://cardicis.org) since 2004, with the backing of OIF.

The operational implementation of the programme will take place in three phases:

1) an initial preparatory phase aimed at: (i) listening to Haitian civil society and compiling its requests in a meeting organized by GHRAP in Port au Prince, (ii) identifying partners (a first group of actors involved in themes consistent with the project and highly motivated to implementing it), (iii) preparing a working meeting with these partners, and finally (iv) designing a coordinating website with a first level listing activities to support reconstruction on the ground and on the Internet.

2) the second phase will be the holding of a meeting-workshop in Santo Domingo from 21 to 25 June 2010, involving the partners identified, to determine concrete lines of action consistent with the aim of coordination. The meeting should in particular lead to the establishment of a follow-up group for the participation of Haitian society in the reconstruction process and in monitoring governance.

3) the third phase, of actual operational implementation, will involve the operationalization of a specific website to contribute to the coordination of the different networks and the start of the practical work of the follow-up group, as well as other activities identified in the conclusions of the meeting-workshop.

 

Background

Starting from the premise that the Caribbean is still marked by a partitioning of ideas that is counter-productive in terms of human development – despite the numerous economic and institutional moves towards integration under way in the region - the CARDICIS [1] (Caraïbes, Diversidad Cultural & Information Society [2]) programme was launched in 2004 by the Networks and Development Foundation (FUNREDES), with backing from the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) and the participation of the Latin Union. The purpose of the programme, which functions in the form of workshops for reflection, was to make international bodies and those involved in civil society aware of the importance of taking into account the region’s linguistic and cultural diversity in the construction of a shared knowledge society in the Caribbean. The proceedings, conducted always bearing in mind balance between region, language and gender, enabled participants to better perceive the identity common to the Caribbean, and the need for proactive participation in projects to use information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D).

The programme organized two meeting-workshops:  CARDICIS I (Saint Lucia, 30 August to 1 September 2004) and CARDICIS II (Dominican Republic, December 2005), with the participation of key actors of civil society and many international organizations (UNDP, European Union, UNESCO, IDRC, …) and Caribbean organizations (CARICOM, OECS, ACS, ACURIL, …).

The proceedings concluded [3] that there was a need to support the construction of civil society networks using ICTs so as to foster the emergence of multicultural shared knowledge societies and the involvement of the networks in the development strategies under way in the region, in particular to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The momentum set in motion by CARDICIS has proved hard to maintain in an autonomous way without the support of the institutional actors. The Latin Union, wishing to take up the baton, prepared in 2009 a third phase of the project targeting political decision-makers in the region in order to encourage them to adopt the recommendations of CARDICIS II and introduce them directly into public policies. The tragedy caused by the earthquake of 12 January 2010 in the area around Port au Prince led to a rethink, and inevitably to the reorientation of the project.

Many of those involved in international solidarity familiar with Haiti have been struck by the extraordinary role played by social networks and the Internet, informal and informal, in the hours and days following the disaster. These networks were present in all fields (emergency, assistance, search for survivors, debates about reconstruction, and above all regional [4] and international mobilization). Furthermore, issues of governance and the participation of Haitian society in the daunting and vital reconstruction process have occupied centre stage for all those concerned by the region and the place of culture in development issues.

This is how the CARDICIS III project came to be redesigned in order to take into account the core CARDICIS process in the new context in Haiti and focus on ICTs and social networks so as to foster a new Caribbean governance and Haitian and Caribbean civic participation in Haiti’s reconstruction process.

Overall objective of CARDICIS III

CARDICIS III aims to contribute to the reconstruction of Haiti by encouraging the effective and informed participation of Haitian civil society, the precondition for better governance, through its interaction with national, regional and international Internet social networks, with the involvement of the Haitian diaspora being an essential cross-cutting factor in the mechanism.

Specific objectives of CARDICIS III

1. Contribute, through ICT4D, to the establishment and organization of a network of Haitians and Caribbeans involved or interested in the physical, social, political and cultural reconstruction of Haiti.

2. Implement, with ICTs, the coordination of this institutional and human network with the relevant Internet social networks around the themes of reconstruction [5].

3. Provide effective tools to improve the organization and coordination of the networks involved, so that the surge of international solidarity can be expressed in a concrete and productive way and that the Caribbean elements can be prioritized in line with the cultural aims of the project.

4. Establish a specific methodology, and the instruments and mechanisms necessary to the exercise and monitoring of new forms of governance characterized by the proactive participation and commitment of the various social sectors concerned, with the support  of ICTs and social networks (in particular those of the region).

Institutional set-up

CARDICIS III is a project of the Latin Union which will complement its own funding by contributions from UNESCO (Participation Programme requests submitted by Benin, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Venezuela) and OIF. For its implementation, the Latin Union is calling upon the Networks and Development Foundation (FUNREDES – http://funredes.org – international NGO based in the Dominican Republic and originator of the CARDICIS project). The Groupe Haïtien de Recherches et d'Actions Pédagogiques (GHRAP, a research and social action institute with extensive experience in conducting the participatory process, and partner in the initial stages of CARDICIS) makes the involvement of the Haitian civil society easier, organises the first working meeting in Port au Prince, and is responsible of the studies about the Haiti rehabilitation.

Justification

The people of Haiti are today facing a situation of human and material destruction which requires the implementation of specific, concrete lines of action aimed at facilitating and promoting an inclusive reconstruction process of benefit to all, in particular the most vulnerable, and marked by the proactive participation of many social sectors in Haiti and beyond (especially in the Caribbean).

Expected results

They involve seeking to influence the reconstruction process in Haiti by means of ICTs as a way of strengthening the governance of organized civil society (of Haiti, its diaspora and the Caribbean) as well as the exercise of governance of bodies and forums for reflection and action outside of that community.  The initiative will seek in particular to facilitate greater cooperation and interaction between the State and non-State actors in public and private joint decision-making networks. The programme will be implemented respecting and promoting the region’s linguistic and cultural diversity and based on the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination.  The shared knowledge society is considered in this project as the subject-object of a reconstruction process which concerns not only material aspects but takes a holistic approach where means are just as important as ends, and the outcomes of the reconstruction will be institutional and societal as well.  

Methodology and main components of the project

Preparatory phase:

This phase will bring together, at a working meeting coordinated by GHRAP in Haiti to be held in early May 2010, key individuals in Haitian civil society and, after the CARDICIS III project has been presented, enable their comments, recommendations and specific requests as regards the project to be gathered.

It will involve identifying and bringing together actors at the intersection of social skills and ICT4D who are motivated by the project’s objectives and prepared to bring their experience and know-how to bear in building organizational support solutions, and then to implement the outcomes of the working meeting in follow-up.

The list of participants in the working meeting will be drawn up on the basis of criteria both individual (skills and motivation) and collective (balanced representation of gender, sector, tendency ...). This group will be made up of individuals from five categories:  Haiti-local, Haiti-diaspora, Dominican Republic, Caribbean, and international.

This phase will also involve activities to prepare the working meeting, in terms of logistics, methodology and content.

Lastly, this preparatory phase will be used to produce a design of the coordination website responding to the proposed objectives and whose content will be the product of initial work to list and classify initiatives, all with a view to setting up the reference site planned under phase 3. This site for monitoring the action and materialization of support for reconstruction will include, among others, a directory of projects and their funding, the intellectual contributions of various sectors for the reconstruction of Haiti, and the background to the solidarity expressed after the earthquake. The site, which will serve as the basis for the coordination of relevant social networks, should be at one and the same time a reference site (due to the information it will provide) and a practical site (through the communication opportunities it will offer).   

Working meeting

A workshop-meeting will be held from 21 to 24 June 2010 in the Dominican Republic, which should be attended by persons identified in the previous phase who will be accompanied by various international bodies, economic actors of the region and the decision-making authorities of the States concerned.

The workshop will focus on analyzing the following themes and make specific recommendations in the context of using ICT4D and an action plan to be implemented in the following phase with the committed support of international organizations:

Involvement of Haitian society in the public policies which will be adopted for the reconstruction of Haiti and in the priority projects which will be defined.

Conservation of a historical record of the solidarity effort and the search for strategies and resources to limit the organizational obstacles arising from the proliferation of initiatives of solidarity.

Contribution of ICT4D to improving coordination of initiatives, between themselves and with Haitian civil society.

Strategies and resources to ensure that the reconstruction process takes into account citizens’ perceptions of needs and fits coherently into the Haitian and Caribbean context.

The workshop will have the following elements as a starting point:

Background to the CARDICIS project

GHRAP project proposals for coordinating Haitian civil society concerning:

1. The implication of the Haitian civil society to CARDICIS III during the rehabilitation stage.

2. The studies raised regarding the refoundation

Summary of the partial listing of initiatives

Presentation of the website design

Brief presentation of initiatives present or represented.

The meeting will have the following format:

Plenary to define the methodology and organization of the working groups

Separation of the participants into four working groups

Summary of and debates on the findings of each working group

Production of consensus documents

Meeting for results and conclusions, and to prepare the elements for transmission to the review meeting.

The workshop will be followed by a formal review meeting on 25 June 2010.

The expected outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

Recommendations and an action plan

External specifications for moving from the proposed website design to the Internet site of monitoring, coordination and synergy for the reconstruction process.

Establishment of a group to follow up the action plan

Financial commitment from the international organizations.

Implementation phase

The definition of this phase and its operating procedures will be one of the main outcomes of the meeting; it should start immediately after the meeting if financial resources are available.

The roll-out of this project for coordination, seeking synergy and acting as a catalyst for existing initiatives should mobilize only a very small fraction of the resources committed to reconstruction, in return for a significant expected result on the cultural and organizational levels.

 


[1] http://cardicis.org

[2]The term shared knowledge societies is preferred in project documents to the term information society, although in order to obtain a meaningful project acronym the latter is still part of the title.

[3]See the results of the second meeting: http://cardicis.org/r2.php?lan=en&pg=r2Productos

[4]The solidarity of the countries in the Caribbean region, and in particular the neighbouring Dominican Republic, has been striking and the international media, more interested in the surge of feeling from the United States and Europe, have not done justice to an event that has shown hope for the future of the region. It may also be noted that the surge of solidarity had particular resonance in countries sharing Haiti’s heritage, such as certain African countries and Brazil.

[5]In particular the theme of natural disaster prevention, a problem shared by all the countries of the region, which should benefit from this experience.