The New Ground Rules

The New Ground Rules: Ending the politics of international doublure

Haitian Development Authority Plan 2020-2030

Policy Briefing for the Office of the President

Walter Adler, Ministry of Planning   

Republic of Haiti

“The NGO sector in Haiti is best described as an uncoordinated mass of organizations de facto unaccountable to any governing or regulatory institution, i.e. no accountants, no auditors, no reviews, and no publication of poor or dishonest performance.”-Schwartz Report

Introduction and Background 

We submit a policy package designed to restore our national sovereignty, assert control over our resources, ports and airspace, and forge a pathway whereby the citizens of our nation will know dignity, human rights, hope and opportunity.  The aim of our proposed policies are to dismantle the ‘Republic of NGOs’ and restore in its place an empowered, socially, environmentally and economically sustainable Republic of Haiti.

A series of human and environmental catastrophes have befallen the Republic of Haiti since the moment of her independence. It has repeatedly been stated that Haiti bears a certain ‘uniqueness’. We assert that this ‘uniqueness’ is artificially enforced to the detriment of all our citizens and must be corrected by political action. We are the most disaster casualty prone nation in the Americas (UNOHA, 2014). We are the absolute poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and second only to India the highest perceived ratio of NGOs/to population on earth (Clinton Global, 2012). Perhaps more striking is that our income inequality is seventh most unequal on earth (2012 GINI is 0.61). We are also the only nation on earth with a peacekeeping operation presiding over our military jurisdiction without a ceasefire in place between warring factions. 

There are now 10.32 million citizens now living in our Republic and they are living with daily existential threats to their welfare. Currently our HDI is 168 (0.417). Haiti has an adult life expectancy of 63.1. A full 50.16 % of our population is living in multidimensional poverty (UNDP 2014). A 2012 World Bank survey places 6 million Haitians (59%) living below $2 (90 HTG) a day while 2.5 million (24%) are living below $1(45 HTG). Therefore 83% are below our own domestic poverty line. Adult literacy is at 48.7% (UNDP 2014). Only 5% of the population can functionally comprehend our language of education and administration (MIT, 2014).

This proposal will recommend policies in the following strategic arenas; State Capacity, NGO Regulation and Investment.

Literature Review 

On State Capacity: Only 10% of the population are employed in a taxable sector (WB, 2014). Our state does not currently have the capacity to exert full sovereignty (Farmer & Schwartz, 2014). This is derived from a combination of stressors; a) having no substantial tax revenue base; b) donor circumvention of state structure in delivery of aid via NGOS; c) the sensitive nature of our domestic politics; c) ongoing MINUSTAH presence; e) our lack of an armed forces and underdeveloped police force; d) and NGO proliferation (Schwartz, 2014)(CFPS, 2014). If we examine USAID development policies ranging from HAVA to subsequent newer incarnations, we observe not only several generations of clusters that paid only lip service to the authority of the state, but also demonstrated non-coordination facilitated by USAID subcontracting to both NGOs & Beltway contractors (Schuller, 2012).

A range of capacity building priorities will require both management training and eventually take over of NGO facilitated services (NORD, 2014). MINUSTAH policies which once urged ‘clusters’ now suggest a firmer hand in regulation of NGO actors in Haitian soil. On either end of this extreme are polices of India v. NGO policies of Sudan (Oxfam, 2012). UN OCHA 2014 policy recommendations involve development of command and control over NGOS, public-private partnerships, extension of microfinance sector; new tax identity cards, direct taxation of remittances and transfers, as well as extension of sales taxes on items in the large informal economy (World Bank, 2014). According to the GAO Congressional policy studies in the US; of $631 million allocated to our post-2010 reconstruction: 0.7% went to our government, businesses or organizations; 43% was routed to NGOs and a full 56% was reinvested via contractors. 55% of obligated pledge has evens been delivered (GAO, 2013)

On NGO regulation Policy: The NGO sector remains unaccountable. As of March 31, 2013, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has obligated $293 million (45 percent) and disbursed $204 million (31 percent) of $651 million in funding for Haiti from the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010: less that 1% has gone to our government (USIP, 2010).

  While officially, there are 560 registered NGOs, there may be at any given time upwards of 5,000 formations (missionary, humanitarian, and domestic) dispensing services illegally in our territory. Perhaps not with malice, but with total disregard we have been reduced to predatory dependency, regulating them will be highly complicated (Chafetz, 2006)(Schuller, 2012 )(USIP, 2010). Reduction of duplication and overlap most coincide with thorough monitoring and evaluation.

On Investment Policy: ‘Open for Business’ legislation has allowed a degree of exploitation of our labor force and further destruction of our environment (Johnston, 2013). Investment policy should shift away from garment assemblage (Titus, 2012). It should absolutely enforce state ownership of resources especially in light of the recent discovery of gold (HGW, 2014). Note the Dominican Ministry of Tourism’s Dual Track; segregated all-inclusive hotels on the coast and islands used to pay to more culturally sensitive development open to all within the interior. Investment garment assemblage at Sai Ah Industrial & export-processing zones is not a proven model for development (NY Times, 2014). Through U.S. legislation such as HOPE I & II as well as the Help Economic Lift Program (HELP) Acts we retain duty free access to the US. (Chandler/ Clinton Global Initiative).  Capital inflows from the diaspora are estimated to be $1.5-1.9 billion a year (23-30%) of our 2010 GDP Most of the existing policies in place to empower the diaspora to reinvest financial and human capital are only proving partially effective (Titus, 2012). Allowing dual citizenship (Maretlly, 2011) was critical but needs to be expanded (Zéphir, 2004). Dual citizenship in the information age should facilitate the ability to monitor, evaluate and participate not only invest (Stepick, 2001). This investment is not just a question of capital; reengaging Haitian youth in diaspora through a type of Birthright program was invaluable to Israeli policy and would be valuable to us. Studies of diaspora migration yield a durable pattern of either reclamation or interference (Newland, 2004) According to the CFIC briefing, we must shore up our massive brain drain (80% of degree holding Haitians living abroad). Critical studies of diaspora mobilization policy convince us of the critical need not empower, not simply extract remittance support (Newland, 2004). 

Policy Recommendation: 

    Parcel 1: (State Capacity) Increase federalization by sub-dividing governance to the departmental (10), arrondissement (42) and commune (140) levels in a similar scheme as the United States to allow participatory involvement in development. Not all at once, two departments at a time beginning with Grand’Anse & Artibonite. The President’s office will maintain control over MSPP, HNP, and key ministries, which will remain centralized along with an executive veto of department senate proposals. Power will be divested from the existing Senate/CoD and into the new department units.  We thereby allow greater federal autonomy as each sub-federal will establish its own department senate, arrondissement house of deputies, and commune council in pattern similar to post-genocide Rwanda. All NGO/ missionary activity will revolve around meeting policy objectives set by Department Senates and the office of the Presidency. This new state architecture composed of elected party officials will submit all service provision, public safety, and development plans to the President’s office. Fiscal centralization with more operational incentive going to sub-units. 

Lifting bans on all political parties will be contingent on participation in the Haitian Development Plan. Pursue confidence-building measures that realistically address concerns of G184/Lavalas. Politically enfranchise the Diaspora by giving them administrative, voting and business incentivization via supra-territorial departments. Formally enfranchise the Middle Eastern community, NGO class & diaspora with varying political representation. 

Progressively Tax anyone residing in Haiti for over 3 month. Issue tax ID/ driver licenses to population. Encourage use of the ID for virtually all civic functions. Require digital monetization via cell phones to procure social services from licensed state providers or NGO. Utilize ID for benefit and social services dispersal. Increase professionalization of Civil Service on all levels via mass capacity trainings. No Development Aid or foreign assistance can be routed to an NGO operating in Haiti without reporting the amount to our Development Authority. Registered and Compliant NGOs such as PIH-ZL with be given high levels of autonomy as long as they operate within the sector goals of the government. All procurement activities, HR and contracted services must prove there was an adequate domestic bid where applicable. The effect of the policy will be regaining state control.

Parcel 2: (NGO Regulation) NGO Proliferation Control must begin with a rigorous census and designation. NGO Registration will be followed by NGO taxation. Waiver of taxation will be granted by voluntary enrolment in a newly constituted Haitian Development Authority and subsequent enlistment in a corresponding governmental sector. All foreign NGOs must follow standardized design, monitoring and evaluation of projects. All foreign NGOs will form strategic partnerships with Haitian CBO/NGO/ government agencies. NGO fines will be levied for noncompliance of regulations. Harmonization of all NGO work to fulfil government strategies will begin Department-by-Department beginning with Ouest. The effect of the policy package will be to couple regulation & harmonization with purge. NGOs that will not enable the state to accomplish development goals have no place operating inside Haiti.

Parcel 3: (Investment) Concentration of high-end tourist development on Ile a Vache and Southern coast. Focus on Ile Gonave for all inclusive tourist development coupled with deep-water port along lined of LGDA/ICA master plans. Focus all-inclusive development of North Coast. Expand international airports to Cap Haitian, Jacmel, and La Caye to enable direct airport to resort passage. Prohibit foreign land ownership including natural resources and beaches. Make export processing zones/ industrial zones buy into vocational training schemes. Pursue 51% state ownership in overall ventures, preferential access to Haitian diaspora.

Restore high import tariffs on foodstuffs produced outside of Hispaniola to discourage agricultural dumping.
Critical Synthesis:   

Newmont and Eurasian Corporations have invested $30 million in exploratory digging. The Sai-Ah Industrial park received $224 million of the funds earmarked for reconstruction. We have not signed the international Safety and Health in Mines convention or the voluntary Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, both of which offer some protection to our citizens. We have no good record of observing textile assembly trickle down or anywhere else. It is time we make an investment in our human resources. To do so we require the funds to implement the health, educational, and vocational restoration needed to secure our future. Ending Doublure, the long accepted politic of rule through proxy and reclamation of our social service sector capacity is the beginning of that process.


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