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Straight talking from Haiti: the earthquake changed history, says Fr Kawas Francois

On 10 January 2010 when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Fr Kawas Francois led one of the first emergency response units to be on the scene, helping to rescue people and relocate them to safer places along with fellow Jesuit priests. The Jesuit house also became a distribution centre for water and food as well as medical teams meeting the basic needs of those caught up in the destruction that the earthquake caused.

Election monitoring in Somaliland: Lively and enthusiastic elections with some lessons to be learnt

With results finally confirmed in Somaliland’s local elections, held on November 28th 2012, the international election observation mission assembled by Progressio, DPU and Somaliland Focus (UK) congratulates the people of Somaliland and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on a lively and enthusiastic election campaign and voting process.

However, in advance of writing our final report, to be released in mid-2013, we must also report a number of substantial concerns.


Poverty reduction goals: Let's listen to the people who know

What do we mean when we talk about getting people’s voices heard in the places where decisions are made?

We had a chance to do just this in November when the UK hosted a high-powered UN panel who’ve been asked to kick off the planning process for developing new poverty reduction goals. Progressio was lucky enough to get a last-minute invitation to the sessions that panelists as diverse as the activist Tawakul Karman from Yemen, South Africa’s Graca Machel, and Unilever’s Chief Executive Paul Polman held with civil society organisations.

Somaliland elections: Congratulations not without concerns

Update 13 December 2012: A small presence of IEO members has remained in Hargeisa following the elections. Disputes around results are currently being investigated by authorities in Somaliland. The IEO team is awaiting more news about this process before making any further statements regarding the conduct and results of the election.

The new global development agenda must have grassroots participation

This week the High Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda is meeting in London. Each of the Panel’s co-chairs will host a meeting discussing a particular theme, which will inform the Panel’s final report, to be published in May 2013. First up is David Cameron who will host the HLP in London between Tuesday and Friday, when discussions will focus on ‘household poverty’.

Timor-Leste: The village with a woman chief

Lacoliu village (or ‘suco’, as it’s called in Tetum) is unique – because as long as anyone here can remember it has had a female village chief.

Women just happen to have been elected here because they have been the best candidates with good policies. Other villagers have seen the good that the women in their community do and trust them to make good decisions for them and their families.

Batista Ximenes

Thinking local in Haiti

New report highlights the importance of devolving decisions to local level in Haiti

A new report published by Progressio, in partnership with CAFOD, International HIV-AIDS Alliance, SCIAF and Tearfund, calls for the international community to encourage increased decision-making at local level (or “decentralisation”) in Haiti. Haitian civil society voices argue in the report that taking decisions at local level whenever possible is key to successfully tackling Haiti’s reconstruction and development challenges for the long term.