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Haiti Local Governance Timeline

Haiti Local Governance Timeline

Since the establishment of the 1987 constitution, USAID has worked to make decentralization and accountable local governance a reality in Haiti.
Project: LOKAL+ (January 2013 – January 2018)
LOKAL+ will build off the successes of the original LOKAL project and seek to improve good governance and decentralized and deconcentrated services conducive to economic growth in 8-10 target communes located within the United States Government’s investment corridors in Haiti. The project’s primary objectives will be:
  • Strengthening the capability of communal governments to provide services;
  • Generating a sustainable increase in local revenues to pay for local services;
  • Leveraging greater access to central government funding and services;
  • Improving national-level policy and legislation in support of decentralization and deconcentrated services; and 
  • Increasing transparency, oversight and accountability of local governments and deconcentrated service providers.
Related Documents:


Evaluation: Evaluation of LOKAL (March 2012)

The evaluation examines the achievements and weaknesses of the LOKAL program and presents recommendations for a follow-on local governance support project. Written by Bertrant Laurent and Yves-François Pierre.  

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Project: LOKAL (September 2007 – January 2011)
The LOKAL (Limyè ak Òganizasyon pou Kolektivite yo Ale Lwen) project was designed after the return of democracy with the election of Preval in 2006.  The project focused on three primary areas of intervention: improving decentralization policy and the legal framework, increasing the capacity of local governments to effectively govern and provide basic public services, and enhancing transparent local governance through citizen participation and public information.  In addition, LOKAL established several models for communal participatory planning, and piloted a system for increasing municipal tax revenues in three communes.  Project implementation was interrupted several times due to natural disasters, most notably from the 2008 hurricane season and the 2010 earthquake, and the project was modified in both cases to respond to emerging needs.
Related Documents:
Legislative Framework
Communal Capacity Building
Municipal Ordinances
Revenue Mobilization
Participatory Planning
Project Reports
Study: Local Governance Decentralization Assessment in Haiti (July 2006)
Commissioned after the February 2006 presidential election that brought René Préval to power, the assessment examines the status of decentralization in Haiti and presents options for USAID support in the event that the new Haitian government demonstrates a commitment to decentralization. Written by Sigifredo Ramirez, Andre Lafontant and Michael Enders. 
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Study: Political Will for Decentralization in Haiti (May 2000)
Published at the end of the first Préval presidency and during lead-up to the November 2000 elections that saw Aristide’s return to power, the report examines the political commitment to decentralization among critical stakeholders both inside and outside the Haitian government.  Written by Glenn Smucker with support from Marc-Antoine Noël, Craig Olson, Pharès Pierre, and Yves-François Pierre. 
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Evaluation: Local Government and Civil Society in Haiti: An Assessment of Two Components of the Democracy Enhancement Project (December 1999)
Commissioned as two USAID projects, ASOSYE and PACTE, were drawing to a close, the report assesses the current status of civil society and local governance and evaluates the effectiveness and impact of USAID support in these sectors from 1995 to 1999.  Written by Craig Olson, Sara Guthrie, Marc-Antoine Noël, Pharès Pierre, and Glenn Smucker.
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Study: Social Capital and Development in Haiti (August 1999)
The study explores representative examples of social capital resources in several sectors of Haiti society, including local government, to inform Mission attempts to build on local social capital in order to increase long term sustainability, support democratic governance, reduce costs of promoting durable development, and enhance the Mission's overall impact.  Written by Glenn Smucker and Jamie Thomson. 
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Project: Civic Education Initiative (July 1999 – April 2000)
On the eve of the 2000 elections, the initiative aimed to foster greater awareness of decentralization issues and educate voters on their role in making decentralized governance work.  To that end the project sought to develop an informed consensus and a plan for implementing decentralization policy and legislation reforms through dialogue with interest groups (civil society, media, prominent opinion leaders, and the private sector).
Project: PACTE (September 1995 – September 2000)
After the reestablishment of democracy in October 1994, USAID decided to amend and expand the previous Democracy Enhancement Project, including the re-inclusion of a local governance component, later baptized PACTE (Programme Appui aux Collectivités Territoriales).  The PACTE program focused primarily on the following four elements: policy and legislation, associations of local authorities, and local government performance in management, accountability and transparency, as well as the provision of public goods and services.  However, the turbulent political situation in the late 90s caused several reevaluations of project objectives, including an extension to assist with the local elections of May 2000.
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Study: Municipal Initiative Project Assessment (April 1993 – January 1996)
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Project: Democracy Enhancement Project (May 1991 – May 1995)
After the election of Aristide in December 1990, USAID financed the Democracy Enhancement Project aimed at contributing to the development of a constitutional, stable, and open society in Haiti, including support for local governments.   Designed as a four-year project, activities suspended after the September 1991 coup d’etat, with the exception of support to civil society, which continued as until 1995.
Related Documents:
Study: Haiti Democratic Needs Assessment (May 1989)
Written by Marilyn Zak and Glenn Smucker during a time of military dictatorship in Haiti, the assessment reviews the current political situation and seeks to determine what types and level of U.S.-sponsored technical assistance should be provided to help facilitate a successful, sustainable democratic transition to civilian government in Haiti. 
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For additional information regarding USAID’s assistance in Haiti or beyond please visit the Development Experience Clearinghouse.

Last updated: January 28, 2015

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