The third big document we produced last December was our “Haiti Laptop Plan,” written with Haiti Partners, which essentially describes our hopes for 2011 in Haiti. Put simply, we’re pursuing a bottom-up approach. Waveplace sees itself as the Johnny Appleseed of laptop goodness, starting successful pilots around Haiti to serve as hubs for further expansion.

Here’s the first section of the plan:



Haiti Partners and Waveplace Foundation propose the following for the distribution of laptops to 30 locations in Haiti in 2011, partnering with 16 organizations.

Building upon our successful work in 2010 in four locations, we plan to scale gradually throughout the year, thereby helping to create confidence and lasting enthusiasm.

Critical to our plan is spreading the responsibility and effort between separate organizations with proven results in Haiti. In our view, mandated projects with a top-down approach simply don’t work in Haiti at the present time.

By distributing the work among many, we’re taking the same approach as diversifying a stock portfolio. Rather than chancing a single point of failure, we advocate using many partners, each with their own experienced personnel and fundraising sources.

With our strong focus on mentorship and guided discovery, we emphasize the laptops as tools for exploration, not rote vocationalism. With Waveplace’s 50 weeks of planned courseware in Haitian Creole, we provide an ample start for future local efforts.

Haiti Partners will provide in-country outreach, coordination, and technical support. Waveplace will focus on mentor training and courseware development.


Last month, Tim Falconer of Waveplace met up with John Engle of Haiti Partners and Adam Holt of OLPC. Over two weeks, they traveled along the southern half of Haiti, visiting twenty schools and meeting with fourteen potential partner organizations. The trip was very successful, with great enthusiasm from teachers and NGOs alike.

Witnessing our ongoing work in Petite Rivìere de Nippes and Léogâne, we were impressed with both the mentors and the children. Clearly our approach is having an effect, as any of our mentors working these last nine months will tell you.

The chief purpose of the trip was to prepare for this report. In Haiti, one must make an effort to sit down with potential partners, to visit each school in person. At each meeting, we took time to talk, tour, and share, demonstrating the laptop and our courseware. By listening to their needs and successes, by telling them of our approach and our hopes, everyone got a better sense for how to proceed.

Our strategy is to build demonstrable success in a variety of locations. Only by visiting an active laptop class can the uninitiated truly appreciate its benefits. As word spreads of the work, each location will serve as an expanding hub for nearby schools.

The organizations listed in this document have each expressed strong interest in working with us in the coming year. We believe they will commit themselves to continuous use of their laptops, spending their own resources to assure success. We feel they will be valuable ambassadors to other organizations and schools.


Our efforts in 2011 will start with 125 laptops that have already been shipped to Haiti. In January, we will conduct a training workshop with mentors from four organizations: Haiti Partners, JP/HRO (founded by Sean Penn), Restavek Freedom, and AMURT (who will host the workshop). We will also start pilots at five schools, involving 95 children. To see details on these pilots, read the attached partner accord and pilot plan, copies of which are signed by all partners.

Starting in February, we will hold as many as two workshops a month, each with four new partner organizations from the list below. Each partner will be given 25 laptops to start their first pilot. As each successful pilot completes, partners will be given an additional 25 laptops every two months until they receive enough laptops for third, fourth, and fifth grade saturation, or until there are no more remaining laptops.

By delivering laptops in a staged manner, we assure they are put to good use as we assess each location’s progress. Locations that fail will not be given new laptops. Determination will be made by Haiti Partners and its network of coordinators.

All other post-pilot decisions are made by individual organizations, with Haiti Partners providing logistics and support. Haiti Partners is fully committed to the growing needs of this laptop program, providing new personnel as conditions merit. Likewise, Waveplace has devoted the bulk of its 2011 schedule to its work in Haiti, including the completion of its 25 unit courseware, which will be first used and tested in Haiti.


Haiti Partners will provide country-wide coordination using a loose franchise model, with each partner taking full ownership of its local efforts, though relying upon Haiti Partners for support communications and periodic visits from coordinators.

Funds will be generated by individual partners using their existing donor networks. A portion of monies raised will be given to Haiti Partners, in a manner similar to a franchise, so they may pay their coordinators and provide logistics and outreach.

Haitian coordinators will be promoted from the mentors already working in the program, chosen by their peers for advancement. Such an approach assures that coordinators are familiar with both the program and the region they will oversee.

Coordinators will have authority over a wider area as they are further promoted and as the program expands. Each coordinator will manage four/five coordinators or mentors below them, providing an even distribution of effort and responsibility. Here is how a country-wide system of coordinators and mentors would look:

• L1 – 16,000 regular mentors
• L2 – 4000 team leaders (in charge of 4 L1s)
• L3 – 1000 quad coordinators (in charge of 4 locations, a “quad”)
• L4 – 250 district coordinators (in charge of 5 quads, a “district”)
• L5 – 50 region coordinators (in charge of 5 districts, a “region”)
• L6 – 10 department coordinators (in charge of 5 regions)
• L7 – 1 country director (in charge of all departments)

This ideal scenario would provide enough coordination to reach each primary age child in Haiti, roughly three million children. For each location (or “franchise”), only a small portion would have to be given to Haiti Partners to help manage this full structure. At this writing, the amount would be $60 to $70 per month per location to pay 1311 coordinators a fair tiered wage, given their responsibilities. Surprisingly, this amount remains the same whether overseeing 30 locations or 3000, which hints at the true benefit of this model. With both money and coordination, it scales very well.

Starting in August, the 17 Haitian coordinators can begin their own training workshops, allowing the project to scale at a much greater rate throughout Haiti. Given the six-month geometric progression of this plan, we could train 20,000 mentors and 1311 coordinators before August 2012, reaching three million children. Of course, conditions in Haiti will certainly cause us to fall well short of this ideal scenario.

Outside of Haiti, Waveplace will provide courseware support, including free updates, along with a network similar to the Squeakland Showcase, which will allow people from around the world to assist individual Haitian children and mentors, providing automated text translation through Google Translate. Waveplace plans to focus its outreach on the large Haitian diaspora community within North America, encouraging them to provide distance mentoring and funds to individual locations in Haiti.

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