Support for a Stronger Haitian Parliament

Overview

To achieve long-term stability and economic growth, Haiti needs a strong government that delivers public services transparently and with accountability, administers justice efficiently and in conformity with the Haitian Constitution, provides security to the Haitian people, and protects the most vulnerable.  USAID’s Parliamentary Strengthening Program (PSP) aims to improve Parliament’s ability to conduct the business of the Haitian people in a transparent, accountable, and professional manner, with the objective of increasing popular support for democratic political processes and supporting greater stability in the country.  Building on accomplishments from a prior USAID-supported legislative strengthening program, PSP activities are working to ratchet up the Haitian Parliament’s ability to work for and with the country’s citizens for improved democracy, rule of law, protection of basic rights, and delivery of services. 
 

Objectives 

The objective of PSP is to work in partnership with members and staff of Parliament to improve their ability to perform their constitutionally mandated roles as legislators and elected representatives.  PSP will help Parliament improve its own internal processes, law-making abilities, and interactions with constituencies and the public.
 

Activities 

Through USAID’s support, DAI, USAID’s implementing partner, anticipates working along three intersecting axes during the life of the project:
  • Encouragement and support of strategic planning through continuous engagement.  Long-term strategic planning will be used as a process to bring members and staff together to capture their vision for growth and change. It serves not only as a basis for the project, but also as a larger action-oriented roadmap for reform and development of the institution.
  • Greater, clearer, and more consistent interaction with the public, both through town hall and other face-to-face interactions between members and their constituents, as well as the continuation and expansion of the full range of mass media outreach currently underway through the website, television program, radio, and YouTube channel.  Through these interactions, the public will feel part of the political process.  The project will also work with a number of local non-governmental organizations to increase their interaction with the Parliament.  
  • Better internal processes through streamlining of procedures, staff professionalization, expert analysis of pending legislation, and development of rules and regulations, therefore improving the day-to-day functioning of Parliament.   

Results 

  • Sponsored two key stakeholder workshops on a draft bill that sanctions money laundering and terrorist financing. The key goals of the workshop included raising awareness among parliamentarians about the importance of this legislation and the consequences to Haiti's international banking and financial institutions' transactional operations for failure to act. PSP also provided expert analysis of a Senate bill on Adoptions, which harmonizes Haitian law with Hague Convention guarantees. Both bills passed in the Senate and will be voted in 2013 by the Chamber of Deputies.
  • Installed equipment to electronically record plenary sessions and committee meetings in the Senate, upgraded the previously installed equipment in the Chamber of Deputies, and provided training to technicians on its use. The equipment upgrades were important to ensure accuracy of the proceedings and legislative texts to be voted on. Cameras and screens were also installed in 2013 to improve the presentation of the acts to be voted on.

Additional Information

Budget: $14.6 million 
Life of Project: September 2011 – September 2016
Implementing Partner: Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI)
 
 

Last updated: February 14, 2014

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