Image sources: Center for Community GIS
Community planning workshop, Community and Natural Resources + Agriculture sector group, October 17, 2017.


















Sainton Neighborhood Strategic Development Plan

Location: Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, 2017

Client: Build Health International

Local partners: St. Boniface Hospital, Association for the Development of Fond-des-Blancs


Build Health International (BHI) is a recognized leader in healthcare infrastructure planning and construction in Haiti. With its local partners in Haiti, BHI is departing from the traditional models of international development which have too often resulted in unsustainable dependencies upon outside actors, the undermining of local institutions, and reliance on master planning documents which are time-intensive, costly, inflexible, and prone to rapid obsolescence with limited long-term applicability.

A healthcare infrastructure planning process will avoid these unsustainable approaches, using the opportunity to instead catalyze a community development strategy for the Fond-des-Blancs Commune in southern Haiti, and, more specifically, the community of Sainton.

Health care services will function as the lens through which the needs of the community is viewed.


First, Fond-des-Blancs is characterized by relatively strong local institutions and low dependency upon on outside actors. Second, Fond-des-Blancs may be considered being ‘off the radar’ in comparison to other development poles in Haiti prioritized since the 2010 earthquake – port cities such as Cap Haitien or new economic development zones such as Caracol – but which allows for a degree of relative freedom of self-determination. Third, in the absence of strong national or regional government, and without the pressure to development from multilateral lending agencies or international non-governmental organizations, Fond-des-Blancs will benefit from community-driven and privately-financed capital improvement and infrastructure development projects which, again will reduce dependencies and increase the likelihood of tailoring to local needs. Finally, in contrast to post-earthquake Port-au-Prince, community development in a non-post-disaster recovery mode – especially with the already strong regional healthcare presence St. Boniface Hospital – reduces the constant time and cost pressures of emergency recovery and humanitarian response, allowing for a more measured and comprehensive planning process.


re:ground llc is providing consultation services to:

  • Use risk assessments and environmental impacts as guides to identifying community strengths rather than emphasizing weaknesses.
  • Increase local adaptive capacity to meet the challenges of a changing environment.
  • Reduce the dependency on outside actors by using participatory planning processes and community-driven development.
  • Strengthen existing local relationships, institutions, and assets.
  • Work with local partners to leverage the healthcare and community planning process to produce a Neighborhood Strategic Development Plan

Further reading

As Hurricane Matthew Hits Haiti, Health Care Advocates In Mass. Prepare To Help‘, WBUR