Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Benedict DeDominicis


Women represent more than 50% of the population of Haiti and embody the poorest group due to their lack of socioeconomic development. Numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) including diaspora NGOs (DINGOs) have engaged in the fight to reduce poverty in Haiti by enabling empowerment programs to help women become self-reliant. The programs appear to be ineffective because the level of poverty remains high and there has been little research on the relative effectiveness and sustainability of the programs implemented by the DINGOs. Using the feminist theories of DeBeauvoir and Friedan in conjunction with the empowerment theory of AlMaseb and Julia as the foundation, the purpose of this research was to assess the role of DINGOs in empowering Haitian women and to determine the effectiveness and sustainability of their programs. Research questions focused on the perception of participants of the notion of empowerment and strategies implemented by DINGOs. Data were collected from a purposive sample of 17 participants utilizing e-mail interviews. Interview data were coded using Rubin and Rubin's seven steps for analysis of responsive interviews. Findings indicated that (a) all participants shared similar views that the empowerment of Haitian women is a winning strategy for poverty reduction; (b) Participants believe that DINGOs' programs are effective, but they lack government involvement, partnerships with larger NGOs, and necessary resources to remain sustainable. Implications for social change include using the findings to inform policy creation and implementation of more women-friendly empowerment strategies capable of reducing the level of poverty in Haiti. Policy makers, the country, and Haitian women would benefit from the reduced poverty.