The Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Communities (MICT), in conjunction with the Territorial Communities and the National Federation of Mayors of Haiti (FENAMH), has initiated a policy to strengthen Haitian municipalities and is implementing several measures to strengthen local governance. This approach is based on the training and professionalization of municipal staff and the gradual establishment of a genuine territorial civil service, factors that guarantee the sustainability of local public policies.
It is in this context that, at the request of local elected officials in certain departments, there is a need to support the creation of departmental local technical agencies (ATLDs) so that municipalities in the same department pool their efforts to have a pool of high-level sectoral skills enabling them to face the various challenges encountered locally: urban planning, sectoral development, taxation, legal support, project management and fundraising.
This need has been particularly identified in the three Departments of the Far South (Grand’Anse, Sud and Nippes), which were hit hard in October 2016 by Hurricane Matthew. The affected municipalities have encountered great difficulties in meeting the challenges of rebuilding their respective territories as actors in the latter and not as “beneficiaries” of the actions of others. The concretization of the first three ATLDs is the result of this observation. These agencies must now be able to structure themselves according to a mode of governance and operationalization to be defined.
Unite Caribbean, an agency supporting regional cooperation and development projects in the Caribbean, has been mandated to support the structuring of these ATLDs. This involves structuring the legal, technical, financial and operational elements; defining with stakeholders, the governance and implementation elements of the ATLDs. Unite Caribbean has partnered with IFOS to carry out this mission.
The first stage of this work, carried out from 28 May to 1 June 2018, consisted in organising a mission to capitalise on experiences in Guadeloupe and Martinique with technical agencies dedicated to strengthening local authorities. The objective is to capitalize on exchanges and good practices, to draw inspiration from legal, administrative and financial models, to design their own governance system and to lay the first foundations for the structuring of sustainable, effective and efficient LDTAs in Haiti.