Executive Summary

In response to the political, socio-economic and environmental challenges facing Haiti today, the government has embarked on a path of public governance reform, notably with the 2018-2023 Modernisation Programme (Programme de Modernisation de l’État 2018 -2023 - PME-2023) and the 2012-2030 Strategic Development Plan for Haiti (Plan Stratégique de Développement d’Haïti - PSDH). It is in this spirit that the OECD is presenting this Public Governance Review of Haiti conducted on behalf of the Office of Human Resources Management (Office de management et des ressources humaines - OMRH). Building on the government's framework documents, it includes five areas of public governance reform that can promote sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development for all Haitians: government coordination, evidence-based decision making, multi-level governance, public service management and open government.

Government-wide coordination of public policy is carried out by a number of institutions at the centre of government, whose functions are divided between the Presidency, the Office of the Prime Minister, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and various ministries. However, there are gaps and overlaps between the mandates and in the actual activities of these institutions. Given the important role of development aid in Haiti, Technical Financial Partners (TFPs) also play a crucial part in supporting and implementing reforms. In order to strengthen coordination and harmonise the strategic vision and implementation of reforms, the government could:

  • Clarify the definition and mandates of the centre of government for policy development and implementation, strategic planning, decision making, monitoring and evaluation;

  • Strengthen and better define mechanisms for institutional coordination and collaboration to improve decision-making and coherence of government action;

  • Strengthen coordination with TFPs to ensure that projects advance national strategic priorities, that funding is aligned with national plans and that monitoring and evaluation frameworks link international support to government targets.

The production and use of evidence is essential for strategic planning and budgeting. In this regard, Haiti's strategic plans have clear targets that can be measured by indicators, but they could be made more consistent with other planning instruments. In the area of public finance management, significant progress has been made in establishing a sound fiscal base, but important challenges remain. Finally, Haiti lacks a framework for monitoring and evaluation practices. The recommendation is therefore made to:

  • Revise the PME-2023 to improve its internal structure and consistency with other planning instruments such as the budget and the PSDH;

  • Better align the budget cycle with Haiti's strategic targets;

  • Strengthen some of the fundamentals of public finance, such as the consolidation of a single treasury account or greater transparency in the budgetary process;

  • Establish a strong institutional context for monitoring and evaluating public policies.

Since the 1987 Constitution, the government has been striving to give effect to decentralisation and deconcentration and to improve governance at several levels. Given the difficulties of the legislative context and its implementation and the lack of capacity of the local authorities, it remains essential for the government to create a strong and operational strategic governance framework, to strengthen territorial coordination mechanisms and to translate national strategic decisions into concrete policies at the territorial level. For this purpose, this review makes recommendations to:

  • Clarify the current legal context for decentralisation and deconcentration and develop coordination mechanisms at multiple levels;

  • Strengthen territorial coordination structures and implement the national deconcentration policy;

  • Clarify and make more coherent the current territorial and administrative division.

The PME-2023 has identified a number of critical issues in public sector development. Senior managers, in particular, have a key role to play and must be supported by specialist training and management practices. The principle of merit-based recruitment and career development must be continued. Haiti also needs to ensure effective cooperation between all players involved in human resources management, including by empowering and supporting Human Resources Managers (HRMs). This review thus stresses the need to:

  • Support leaders by placing competencies at the heart of the appointment process for senior public servants and strengthen their accountability in public management;

  • Strengthen the merit principle in recruitment and career management, in particular by publishing all public job offers and developing targeted measures for young candidates;

  • Clarify responsibilities and facilitate cooperation between the OMRH and HRMs.

The Haitian government recognises the importance of establishing a culture of governance that promotes the principles of open government and is implementing initiatives to achieve it. However, significant efforts are still needed to ensure access to public information, protect civic space and institutionalise stakeholder participation. In this sense, strategic management of public communication is essential to support open government reforms and contribute to increased citizen participation. As such, this review makes recommendations to:

  • Create an enabling environment for open government reforms, e.g. by conducting awareness campaigns;

  • Establish a governance framework for open government reforms that facilitates coordination and collaboration with stakeholders;

  • Strengthen mechanisms for stakeholder participation by adopting a law on access to information in line with international best practice and by promoting citizen consultation initiatives;

  • Ensure strategic governance of public communication and define a strategic approach to public communication;

  • Consolidate functions and competencies for strategic and effective public communication;

  • Institutionalise the strategic use of public communication to foster citizen participation in public life through physical channels and online interactions.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2021

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.