America’s Development Foundation

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America ’s Development Foundation (ADF) "is a U.S. nonprofit private voluntary organization (PVO) established in 1980. ADF is dedicated to the international development of democracy. ADF’s overall approach is based on the belief that a strong civil society, comprising a diversity of autonomous economic, political, social and cultural institutions, provides the indispensable foundation of a sustainable democracy. ADF has a successful record helping thousands of civil society organizations (CSOs) strengthen democratic values, institutions and processes in their countries and develop their communities. ADF has experience working in over thirty countries in Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa." [1]

Highlights of Selected Country Programs

  • "In Iraq, ADF's "Civil Society and Media Support Project"- a $42 million USAID funded program promotes the development of an informed, sustainable, and active Iraqi civil society that participates within a democratic system of governance. ADFactivities includes the following: establishing Civil Society Resource Centers to serve as regional hubs for the delivery of training and technical assistance for capacity building of Iraqi CSOs; providing training, technical assistance and grants for Iraqi CSOs engaged in civic education, women's advocacy, anti-corruption, and human rights in order to have a positive influence on Iraqis emerging democratic processes and institutions; assistance in the development of a professional independent media sector in Iraq through technical assistance, training, and other resources support."
  • "In Serbia, ADF's Community Revitalization through Democratic Action (CRDA) program - a five-year $40 million activity funded by USAID/Serbia - is working in 70 communities of 12 municipalities throughout the Vojvodina Region to engage communities in improving local conditions through projects in civic participation, infrastructure, economic development, and the environment. (" [2]

Iraq Civil Sociey Program staff


ADF Programs in Haiti

"ADF initiated its work in Haiti in 1985, shortly before Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc") Duvalier was deposed as "President for Life." Since that time, ADF has provided assistance to the Haitian people in their struggle for democracy without pause. Over the years ADF, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID/Haiti, and several private foundations, has provided assistance to numerous Haitian NGOs promoting the development of democracy. ADF’s diverse programs have addressed civic education, organization of grassroots democratic networks; human rights education and protection; legal assistance and education; support for an independent media; and voter education and participation in electoral processes." [3]

"ANTHONY FENTON: Well, after the coup, Ira Lowenthal reentered Haiti. Now, he had had to leave, I believe, in 2002, because he was getting too hot. He was up to some activities that were being scrutinized by the Haitian government. Now, he joined and helped create the Haiti Democracy Project in 2002, in late 2002, and then he supported the emergence of the Group of 184 shortly thereafter, which is basically the Haitian version of the Haiti Democracy Project. I mentioned the Boulos family. Rudolph Boulos is a board member, founding board member of the Haiti Democracy Project, as well, and he's actually running for Senate in the area of Haiti where they plan to develop free-trade zones and open up a whole swath of sweatshops.
"But Ira Lowenthal, he was working for the Americas Development Foundation, which is one of the key organizations implementing these so-called Democracy Enhancement projects prior to the coup. After the coup, he had a brief stint with them, and then he moved on to this other organization called the United Nations Office for Project Services. Now, it's a very interesting organization that does reconstruction work, and they're working -- they're called the self-financing arm or management services arm of the United Nations, very obscure and little known, but Ira Lowenthal became the director of this organization in Haiti just after the coup, and he helped set up registration centers for the elections, and he's played an integral role in the sort of infrastructure of carrying out this election process. " [4]

"In his later text on U.S. intervention, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony, Robinson described the NED as being “organically integrated into the overall execution of US national security and foreign policy…The NED has operated in tandem with all major interventionist undertakings of the 1980s and 1990s.” The NED structure, which consists of an “interlocked core of political warfare specialists” makes it “an exact mirror of the institutional structure of power in the United States.”(10) Robinson is referring to the four 'pillar’ institutes that receive funding from the NED. These include the international wings of the Democratic and Republican parties—the International Republican Institute (IRI), and National Democratic Institute (NDI), respectively. The remaining pillars are big business representation through the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and big labour is represented by the by the Solidarity Centre. The four institutes, along with an alphabet soup mixture of other overt operators–for example, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the America’s Development Foundation (ADF), Creative Associates International, Inc., (CAII), Development Alternatives International (DAI), Management Systems International (MSI)–receive the majority of their funding from USAID. According to IRI spokesperson Christopher Sands, the most recent combined NDI and IRI budgets were almost $200 million.(11), which eclipses by more than double the NED’s annual budget of $80 million." [5]