CECI Change des vies

AlterPresse :: Haiti : Progress in local development despite challenges

Read the article online (in French)

Port-au-Prince, June 14, 2012 --- The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) estimates that operations carried out in the Local Development Program in Haiti (PDLH) have produced successful results despite observed limitations.

The Local Development Program in Haiti (PDLH), a consortium of some 6 organizations formed 6 years ago, held a seminar on June 14 and 15 in the East of the capital to bring its activities to a close by taking stock of various actions implemented in 16 communes (in the departments of Nippes/Sud-ouest, Artibonite/Nord, Nord-ouest and Nord-est).

Among the workshop’s goals were discussing the pitfalls encountered and the good practices that helped to achieve positive progress in different areas of intervention.

Gérard Côté, director of the consortium, estimates that “worthwhile and significant progress” was made with regard to goals set by PDLH.

Yet these efforts “fall short of significantly improving the lives of the majority of Haitians living in communes where the program operates,” admitted Roger Roome, CIDA representative in Haiti.

All the same, they are convincing arguments for “the urgency to provide basic services and economic opportunities to populations with greater efficiency through a legal framework and customized planning tools,” explains Roger Roome.

The program gave logistical support to governmental offices such as the ministry of the interior and local government (MICT), the ministry of planning and external cooperation (MPCE) and the ministry of agriculture, natural resources and rural development (MARNDR).

The production of meat-producing chickens and honey, construction of fish processing and storage centres, support for livestock operations, strengthening of the fishing industry, modernization and optimization of the sugar cane industry, fruit processing and building of a dairy are just some of PDLH’s accomplishments.

Approximately 15 local organizations (from participating communes) also received support proportionate to their respective needs.

Program achievements include communal development plans (CDP) devised using community-driven analyses explains Gérard Côté.

Also, with training citizens from affected communes received, they are now “able to think, analyze and act with regard to local problems associated with social infrastructure, education, health and sanitation,” affirms Côté. Projects received 30 million dollars in funding (US$1 = 42 gourdes in local currency).

PDLH’s overall approach falls within the framework for a process of decentralization, local economic development and land-use planning set out by the Haitian Constitution. [srh gp apr 14/6/ 2012 15 :00]