AJWS is in a strong position to fund and lead the promotion of sustainable livelihoods in post conflict and emergency areas through work that is grounded in a grassroots and human rights perspective. With its commitment to listen and respond to the expressed needs of grassroots organizations, AJWS allows for a grantmaking strategy that is flexible in response to changing needs and emerging initiatives. AJWS's partners are community-based organizations whose projects are designed, implemented and managed by the organized poor and those affected by post conflict and emergency situations. AJWS's relationships with this core group of grantees, in-country consultants, and program officers, all of whom understand the landscape and context of local issues, enable strategic and effective long-term grantmaking and solutions.
In its assessment of grantees, AJWS's approach is one that is fully committed to helping community-based organizations succeed. AJWS applies a rigorous process of due diligence in determining which grantees to support and in monitoring their process thereafter. In addition to requiring each grantee to submit final financial and narrative reports, AJWS also evaluates grantee progress through its in-country presence and site visits. AJWS program officers, responsible for defined regions, are in constant contact with partner organizations via email, phone, and site visits, whenever possible. Seventy-five percent of grantees are also visited twice yearly by AJWS's U.S.-based grants staff or in-country staff in order to observe activities on the ground and build a relationship of trust between the grantee and AJWS.
For example, with a grant from AJWS, the Haitian organization Oganizasyon Gwoupman Peyizan pou Devlopman 8eme Seksyon Kominal Akaye (OPD8) assists 732 refugees and 200 hosting families, including 150 refugees in the Montrouis camp. OPD8 helps them not only to meet their immediate basic needs, but also to rebuild their infrastructure and reestablish their livelihoods. Due to its proximity to Port-au-Prince, the town of Ivoire was one of the first places to receive refugees after the earthquake. OPD8 activities include creating jobs for host families and refugees, supplying food, improving road conditions, building latrines and water filters, buying school supplies and providing microcredit to women.
AJWS also provides support to the Committee for Peace and Development (COPDA) for economic recovery and peacebuilding efforts in Liberia. COPDA works with a war-affected populace in rural Nimba County looking to co-exist peacefully and meaningfully improve their lives following the civil war. The project promotes food security by organizing small farmers in Nimba County and provides support for the economic empowerment of war-affected women and girls through microcredit and skills training.
With support from AJWS, the Sri Lankan organization, Centre for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CPPHR), promotes and protects human rights in Tamil minority communities affected by war in Trincomalee district. Through this initiative, CPPHR will provide livelihood grants to 40 women-headed households that will allow women whose husbands were killed during the war to purchase necessary items for their small household enterprises.
Starting in 2011, AJWS will commit ,500,000 over three years to promote sustainable livelihoods in areas of post conflict and emergency in Haiti, Liberia and Sri Lanka. AJWS will provide support to approximately 10 - 15 grassroots organizations, affecting over 14,000 people. The partnering grassroots organizations described in this initiative are AJWS's current grassroots partners (refer to the Current Partners section of the application). AJWS is dedicated to providing on-going and steady support to its partner organizations as well as promoting their sustainability through the provision of capacity-building grants and funding for evaluations. While most of the grantees will likely remain AJWS partners, AJWS is committed to providing support to organizations based on emerging needs and changing issues. Therefore, AJWS funding shifts with changes in the grassroots organization's capacity, the priorities of affected communities, and developments regarding country conditions. Due to this commitment, AJWS is unable to guarantee that all of the organizations presented as current partners will remain so throughout the term of the commitment. The deliverables will vary depending on the individual strategies and objectives of participating grantees.
The earthquake in Haiti, civil war in Liberia, and military campaigns in Sri Lanka impacted affected populations in different ways, unique to the differing political situations, climates and timeframes of each event. While AJWS's focus on promoting sustainable livelihoods is relevant to Haiti, Liberia and Sri Lanka, plans for recovery for the individual countries vary, as do political cycles and election schedules. The phases of the CGI commitment will depend not only on the country and issue being addressed, but also on its grantees - individual grassroots organizations, whose plans reflect the varying needs of the particular communities they serve. For these reasons, defining general benchmarks for the initiative is difficult. That said, in general AJWS first approaches post-conflict and disaster areas with a focus on providing basic needs, especially for those who are often left out of relief efforts, such as women, farmers, youth, and people with disabilities. The next phase is to meet ongoing immediate medical, housing and psychosocial needs, as well as to enable community-based organizations, particularly women and people with disabilities to actively participate and benefit from international and national response efforts, including relief as well as long-term development. Finally, AJWS supports communities to 'build back better,' including the implementation of disaster risk reduction and building the capacity of local leaders to ensure that everyone's voice is heard at all levels of decision making in the relief and reconstruction process, as well as in long-term development.
Recent conflicts and emergencies in Haiti, Liberia and Sri Lanka have threatened to destroy the livelihoods of local communities through massive displacement, collapse in local economies, and a lack of access to basic needs for many of those affected. AJWS will provide programmatic and capacity-building support to grassroots partners to promote sustainable livelihoods among the affected populations in the target countries.
In Haiti, the 2010 earthquake caused an estimated 600,000 Haitians to flee for the countryside, and approximately 1.1 million individuals to take refuge in camps for internally displayed persons (IDPs). The displacement placed tremendous strain on rural communities already faced with limited resources. As much of the urban population continues to migrate to the rural areas and the country becomes more decentralized, AJWS will provide support to local partners in order to carry out rural development, sustainable agriculture, and income-generating projects.
While the Liberian civil war officially ended in 2003, in its aftermath, Liberia faces a lack of basic infrastructure and social services in many of its rural areas. Targeting marginalized and vulnerable populations affected by the war, AJWS's grantees will work to advance sustainable livelihoods for Liberia's population through the promotion of women's rights, girls' education and poverty reduction initiatives.
Over recent years, the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has significantly deteriorated with human rights groups documenting hundreds of enforced disappearances, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and torture. The military campaign of 2008 and 2009 further caused a humanitarian crisis that resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of nearly 800,000 civilians, many of whom were forcibly held in military-run centers. With its unstable political atmosphere, Sri Lanka is struggling to meet the needs of its communities in this post conflict situation. In the conflict affected areas, AJWS partners will work to improve access to income and employment through microcredit, vocational training and support for sustainable agriculture.