How is CODEP Organized? The real leaders of the organization are the 12 animators (meaning to excite) who ‘energize’ the work of CODEP. There are 30 working groups representing 30 or more communities. Each is headed by a team chief and there are 15 inspectors who typically work with two teams apiece. The 30 groups are divided geographically among 10 of the animators with two of the animators responsible for carrying out all administrative functions and delivery of materials to the project. The twelve animators meet twice per month and the CODEP director and logistics animator meet with them during one of these meetings.
This team sets objectives, measures performance, plans for exigencies, and allots work assignments. Two committees help control and measure the work of CODEP. The inspection committee, made up of animators, has the responsibility to evaluate and determine overall performance of work groups, team chiefs, and inspectors. A marketing committee is charged with determining pricing for Mak CODEP products, and allocations of profits to various recipients.
How is Leadership Development Accomplished?
Professional School: Many of the CODEP people have little education yet are very bright and want to have the opportunity to improve their personal skills. In order to accomplish this, we are starting the CODEP Professional School for those adults who desire to learn more skills and thus enable them to qualify for expanded career opportunities. Planning for the school is underway, with classes to be in agriculture practices (CODEP method), computer skills (classes in using WORD and EXCEL), bookkeeping, and business planning. Classes will be taught in Kreyòl plus some use of English as a way to increase language skills.
Leadership Skills Training:
Several techniques have been implemented with the animator management group during the past two years to develop leadership skills. The management group now sets the budget and objectives and incentives, as well as planning for project execution.
In addition, the two administrative animators (logistics and administration), Clement Tercelin and Edvy Durandisse and John Winings, the Executive Director of Haiti Fund, Inc. share the responsibility for the position of director of CODEP in a managing style called the Office of the Director. The other animators are involved in ratifying or modifying decisions. A major benefit is that both Clement and Edvy are growing in their understanding of the breadth and depth needed to think through the process of making decisions.
Continued Skills Development: There are two major thrusts underway – skills development of second level leaders, and training in marketing Mak CODEP products. The Professional School will train adults, specifically the 45 people in middle management positions in areas which will significantly enhance both their skills and more importantly, their perspectives. With movement toward marketing CODEP products, everyone is learning hands on case-by-case management of marketing decisions in real time. Grounding in the basics learned in the Professional School of planning, doing spreadsheets, costs, pricing, and the effects of all these when operating together is of great importance. We are confident that the people of CODEP have such high motivation to learn these skills that the results will be very good.
Entrepreneurship Training: We will begin a training program, taught in Kreyol, to teach successful entrepreneurship. Initially, we will train animators, and later, other promising entrepreneurs from inside and outside CODEP. An existing donor/strategic partner has indicated strong interest in partnering in this venture.
Movement toward Sustainability:
The ultimate objective of any sustainable development project is to reach the day when the supporting organization no longer needs to infuse cash into the project. After 23 years, CODEP is beginning to make progress in this area. CODEP collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to provide seedlings for planting in nearby communities. This was the first time CODEP received funds in Haiti for work from within the project.
It was decided to reduce the number of work days for all groups. This both reduces need for outside funding, and leads to increased dependence by the communities on their own home-grown produce for sustenance. This is a significant change but the communities know that this is a first step toward total independence. Communities can continue to earn the same cash and award incentives as before, only the stipends are lower.
Several communities have petitioned to join CODEP. The animator team, while considering these applications believe that that one way to allow them to join is to require new members to achieve sustainability sooner than in the past.