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Development Principles

Although there is no one model for sound development, Students for Haiti principles serve as guidelines for individuals looking to support, improve or launch new development projects.

Having lasting positive impact anywhere is complex since there are always many stakeholders, values, community factors, and cultural differences to consider.

These complexities are important to know about! So check out our principles below!



1) Knowledge

An in-depth understanding of the groups or individuals you are working with.


2) Communication

Constantly seeking and acting upon feedback from stakeholders, in order to evaluate and improve your interaction with them.


3) Role

A commitment to playing a supportive role as opposed to a managerial role in the developmental process.


4) Diversity

Ensuring that diverse stakeholders are involved in decision-making (especially those most rarely heard from).


5) Independence

Support projects that build independence instead of projects that make stakeholders dependent on your organization.


6) Empowerment

Focus a significant amount of time and resources on educating and building the capacity of stakeholders so they gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively maintain projects on their own.


7) Ownership

Ensure stakeholders are the ones deciding their own priorities and choosing the projects to be implemented.

local resources

8) Local Resources

Give preference to (and utilize) resources already present in a community before using resources not found locally.

root issue

9) The Root Issue

Support projects that address root issues and long-term needs instead of short-term fixes.


10) Collaborate

Don’t be overly competitive- work towards common goals and seek partnerships with like-minded groups whenever possible.

Ready to start helping with others?

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