image image image

iconKEY CHALLENGES Updated January 4, 2010

Section Contents:  Key development challenges | Capacity Building | Strengthening a Fragile State | Donors and Cooperation Agencies: An Essential Presence | Coordination

Key development challenges

The National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction (NSGPR) has become the current government's frame of reference, the strategy for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of reducing poverty in half before 2015

In order to reach these expected results in the 3 pillars of the National Strategy, it is imperative that a minimal consensus be reached with civil society. Efforts to overcome dissension within society must continue and lead to consensus-building structures from which concerted actions can emerge. The state must take its responsibilities and continue implementing necessary changes in key sectors of society, such as police and justice. The fight against corruption, insecurity and impunity is necessary in order to allow for a return of productive investments by foreigners and the private sector. The state must play its role as regulator by strengthening the private-public partnership in sectors like education.

Capacity Building

State institutions that will be at the forefront of NSGPR implementation are still quite weak. The Public Administration's diagnosis as described in the UNDAF 2009-2011 Plan, reveals its low productivity, its inefficiency characterized by poor and inadequate services, its vulnerability in terms of the political twists and turns, the non-conformity in the way the  departments currently function with regard to all things legal and regulatory, the inadequate activities for the institution's missions, a great technical loss as the highest qualified professionals have left, a poor mastery of budgetary mechanisms and poor financial management, an excessive centralization that relieves the decentralized structures of their responsibilities, the government's weakness is also shown by a lack of human resources that are often not available or are improperly allocated - which breeds a chronically under-administrated state. Certain reports state that there is a miniscule number of human resources, namely, 0.5 agents for every 100 inhabitants. In urban areas, it is 1.2 compared to 0.1 at the community level. The administration's failure can be seen in the shortage of public services and, outside of the urban centres, by the absence of community facilities. There has been a substantial rural exodus which means an explosive increase in the number of slums and a growing insecurity.

The shortage of qualified staff in public administration, the deficit in national capacities and institutional development remain crucial problems, as 83% of what was once the country's qualified workforce is no longer in Haiti. All senior executives of state institutions, the private sector and the general public should participate in discussions leading to the development of this strategy and especially to have a sense of ownership of it.

A conditiom sine qua non for successful implementation of the National Strategy is a policy of human resources management integrating a capacity building program for executing institutions, technical directorates, and sectoral programming units to enable them to absorb and manage activities.

Strengthening a Fragile State

Haiti is considered to be a fragile State. This concept describes a country where there is:  failure of the rule of law, powerlessness of the state, illegitimacy of the state, economic dysfunction, and weak society. In addition to these internal factors there are also other supranational factors.

Nonetheless, to ensure effective implementation and tracking of operations and activities planned through the NRGPR, it is imperative that Haiti strengthen its national capacities in order to absorb and manage the various activities of this strategy, to reinforce the ministerial Sectoral Programming Units (SPUs), to ensure coherence between state institutions involved in the Strategy, to assist ownership of the program by senior executives in executing institutions, the general public (civil society, socio-professional groups, political parties) and to coordinate donors.

Donors and Cooperation Agencies: An Essential Presence

Donors and cooperation agencies support the Haitian government financially and technically in the humanitarian, recovery and development areas. The UN system is involved in all sector activities, be they urgent or long-term. Through its numerous specialized agencies, it influences every action and strategy of the government. With the support of the IADB, the EU as well as bilateral and multilateral agencies these agencies are actors in policy and policy-making.

The following table illustrates loan and donation commitments of the eight largest funding countries as reflected in Haiti's national budget 2009-2010 :



European Union

$ 315 628 577




$ 298 154 560



Inter-American Development Bank

$ 216 004 500




$ 104 787 122



World Bank

$ 56 912 510




$ 42 278 193




$ 37 785 155




$ 29 658 537



Source : Ministère de l'économie et des finances, projet de loi sur les finances, exercice 2009-2010, République d'Haïti.

Sometimes, the international community leads the government in going in the same direction as itself. Financing approximately 60% of Haiti's investment budget, it remains, and will remain for a long time, a strong player able to tip the scales and to make its voice heard.



Haitian Budget, 2009-2010
$2,168,292,683 US

External resources

National resources

Source : Ministère de l'économie et des finances, projet de loi sur les finances, exercice 2009-2010, République d'Haïti. (Ministry of Economy and Finance, Finance Bill 2009-2010, Republic Of Haiti)

Considering its presence in the country, the government must respect its commitments to the international community. Every large-scale program currently running in the country is financed by the international community: in other words, the international community underwrites 60% of the billions of dollars of current and future projects.


The Haitian government, donors and partners all agreed to build on lessons learned from the past and to quickly establish activities for stabilizing the country Social, economic and political recovery is supposed to be based on solid foundations. It is thus necessary to implement measures to deal with certain constraints related to the internal operations of funding agencies, such as: lack of confidence between donors and the government, ineffective conditions, divergent donors' requirements of the government, lack of reflection on the roles and responsibilities of state institutions, and lack of communications with the Haitian people.

More concretely, attention should be focused on the way donors function, coordination between donors, disbursement procedures and technical support to Sectoral tables—a coordination and tracking mechanism used by the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation to ensure that projects being considered are consistent with national strategies—in order to establish structured, clear and consistent interventions.


image image image image image