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Friday, June 14, 2024

These awards focus on "transformative solutions" for countries located in Latin America. Previous awards have been focused in: Guatemala, El Salvador, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Latin America Grants-- Transformative Solutions

USAID/HESN funding was matched by $1.25 million from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF), which was advanced through the original TAMU project proposal and initial agreement with USAID. The HGBF match funding was largely allocated to “Transformative Solutions” in Latin America, since USAID funding could not be used in the region. The match funding was entirely administered through the Conflict and Development Foundation (CDF). 

Additional information and links to project reports are available here:

Previous Awards

The Stabilization of Marginalized Communities in Guatemala via Food and Nutrition Security on Child Stunting: Employing Systems Thinking Tools (2015) 

This study involved using a Systems Thinking Approach in marginalized and displaced communities in Guatemala through the development of a web-based tool to aid decision makers, from mothers to policy officials, on food and nutrition options that directly impact health of children. A unique tool was developed for USAID, municipalities, and local households to track food security and water, sanitation and hygiene issues. Partners: Missouri University of Science & Technology and Peace Corps Reserve Guatemala

National Promotion of Quality Protein Maize (QPM) through Social Marketing in Guatemala (2015) 

As part of Phase II of ConDev’s Transformative Solutions Program, our project partners at Semilla Nueva worked to combat the bottlenecks to national use of QPM. They also expanded the consumption through a social marketing approach that included the release of a new brand called Fortaleza, while ensuring seed purchase and seed saving in Guatemala.

Learn, Grow, Eat & Go Program: Reducing Bullying by  Promoting Teamwork and Inclusion through Gardening (2015) 

CDF partenered with AgriLife Extension’s Junior Master Gardener program and the A&M Garden Club to use the new Learn, Grow, Eat & Go! Curriculum as a tool to promote food security and reduce bullying in selected rural schools by promoting teamwork and inclusion through gardening and physical activities.  

Enhancing Livelihood and Incomes of Rural Women through Post-harvest Technology, Phase II – Guatemala (2015) 

In this program, researchers collected data to study the relationship between women who work in vegetable packing centers using a new post-harvest technology, their decision-making ability in their households, and likelihood of violence committed against them. Partner: Alianza Agroindustrial y Artesanal Rural - ALIAR

Food Security, Migration and Conflict in Guatemala (2015) 

The Inter-Relationships between Food Security, Migration and Conflict in Guatemala study promoted focused research on conflict, food security, and migration in Guatemala, in collaboration with the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO).  Objectives included to research the relationship between food security, migration and conflict, especially phenomena that related to the types of conflict that promote displacement, and problems related to reintegration of deported persons. The research report can be viewed in English and Spanish. 

An Analysis of Youth Violence in Trinidad and Tobago (2016)  

The purpose of the study was to collect youth and violence data from local organizations to develop a comprehensive analysis of youth violence in Trinidad and Tobago, and to be able to give recommendations to develop policies and programs to reduce such. 

Texting Campaign for Adolescent Mothers in El Salvador (2016) 

An innovative approach was taken to create a short messaging service (SMS). Health tool to improve intent to and knowledge of breastfeeding among adolescent pregnant mothers. The objectives of the study were to determine if health education and support tools were effective in increasing perception, knowledge and intent surrounding breastfeeding in pregnant adolescent females ages 10 – 19 in El Salvador.  Additionally, the study sought to increase a pregnant adolescent’s perception of whether she is allowed to make decisions about the health of herself and her child. CDF funded Texas A&M University's School of Public Health to conduct this study.  

Reduction of Violence and Gang Involvement in Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador through a Hydroponic Urban Gardening Project (2016) 

CDF worked with Food for the Poor and the New Horizons for the Poor Foundation in El Salvador to conduct a study to evaluate the impact of an agricultural and nutritional innovation –the use of semi-urban hydroponic gardens to produce leafy vegetables –  in violence reduction and keeping youth out of gangs.  

Guatemala: Studying women empowerment and decision-making within women participating in the Enhancing Livelihood and Incomes of Rural Women through Post-harvest Technology program (2016) 

This study was linked to ConDev’s Transformative Solutions program. The intervention entailed testing an innovation to empower rural women through agricultural technology. Mayan women at selected fruit and vegetable packing centers used modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) for commercial quality processing of pre-washed fruits and vegetables. CDF supported the study to test whether the use of MAP technology and employment at these centers would empower women to be able to make decisions at home and make them less prone to domestic violence. Women in these communities are vulnerable due to high levels of unemployment, social and economic marginalization, and lack of education. In addition, they suffer from inequality, poverty, and hunger.

Guatemala: Examining the effect of improved family nutrition on violent behavior, stress, and anxiety within rural farming families participating in a Quality Protein Maize project (2016) 

CDF worked with Semilla Nuevaa non-profit organization that works on development of new sustainable agriculture technologies, such as the introduction and promotion of Quality Protein Maize (QPM). CDF and Semilla Nueva studied the effect of improved family nutrition (through QPM consumption) on violent behavior, stress, and anxiety within rural farming families in Guatemala.  This study aimed to measure the effects of the intervention (the shift from conventional maize to QPM consumption) on intra-familial violence and stress levels in selected communities of Guatemala.

El Salvador: Migration and Youth Development Study, Phase I- Base-line Data Collection (2016) 

CDF funded the Migration and Youth Development Study, Phase I: Base-line Data Collection. This study was developed in collaboration with the Sociology and Political Science Department at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador. As part of its efforts to create development opportunities as alternatives to emigration and generate a strong desire to “stay rooted” in their country, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) - El Salvador is working on a cacao revitalization initiative in various municipalities of the coast and valleys throughout El Salvador, benefiting a heterogeneous population, within which youth participate. Based on the above, CDF found pertinent to study the inter-relationship between youth development and migration. Collecting baseline data will allow CRS to initiate a monitoring and evaluation process for its cacao project that will allow impact measurement on the intention that youth have to migrate.

The baseline data collection had the objective of building a body of knowledge regarding five initial topics that will allow CRS to measure future impact of its cacao initiative in influencing youth intention and plans to migrate from selected municipalities: (1) Major causes of migration in the municipality; (2) Expectations before the migration and development of life projects; (3) Expectations of participation in a productive project related to the cacao initiative; (4) Interest in greater opportunities for youth leadership, participation in various community programs, and strengthening of capacity building of youth; and, (5) Social fabric present in the municipality and potential for greater establishment of “roots” for youth in their communities.

El Salvador: Reducing Gang Involvement through the Olympic Values through Sports Program (OVTSP) (2016) 

The Olympic Values Study in El Salvador aimed to research and evaluate the effects of Olympic Values through Sports Program (OVTSP) on participating youth from 12 municipalities in El Salvador and to determine the program’s contribution to reducing gang involvement. The specific objectives of the study were to: a) identify the main problems concerning juvenile delinquency in the communities in which OVTSP was conducted; b) determine whether OVTSP was effective in preventing youths from joining gangs; and, c) to determine if children and young adults’ lack of involvement in sports influenced communities with higher violence rates. The Olympic Committee in El Salvador led this effort.      

El Salvador: Youth Development Program (2018 – present) 

CDF supported Food for the Poor and the New Horizons for the Poor Foundation in El Salvador to complete a collaborative program to establish hydroponic gardens and promote youth development activities to help keep youth out of gangs. Through this program, youth participated in social inclusion and innovative crop production activities that are part of Food for the Poor's Agriculture for Peace project, which was conducted in communities vulnerable to recruitment by the 18 revolutionary gangs in El Salvador. 

Guatemala and Mexico: Play for Peace and Junior Master Gardener Workshops (2018 – present) 

CDF continues to "grow good kids" through Junior Master Gardener programs for Guatemalan kids living in coffee-growing communities. Gardens are safe places to promote inclusion and teamwork. We are now combining gardening and nutrition activities with Play for Peace workshops to help form the next generation of peacebuilders. Through collaborative play, we teach Mayan kids how to cope with stress due to insecure and unfamiliar environments, poverty, and discrimination. Through the Play for Peace model, kids can become architects and leaders of sustained peace. Junior Master Gardener programs have being introduced in Mayan villages in Guatemala and in several elementary schools in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. 

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