4. Multi-level governance in Haiti

Haiti is a heterogeneous country in terms of development, whether from an economic, social or territorial perspective. The country is located on the western third of the island of Haiti, its territory being organised into ten departments, 42 districts, 146 municipalities,1 58 quartiers and 572 municipal sections. Decentralised administration is broken down into three levels of territorial authorities defined by the 1987 Constitution: departments, municipalities and municipal sections. The territorially deconcentrated administration is located at the department and district level. Under the current legal framework, only the central government and the municipalities have their own resources, which come from taxes.

As in most Latin American and Caribbean countries, there are significant inequalities between the capital and the rest of the country. The Port-au-Prince metropolitan area is home to 40% of the population, 70% of businesses, 90% of banking institutions, 50% of hospitals and over 30% of schools (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2019[1]). The least populated department (Nippes) has only 342,000 inhabitants over 1,267 km2 (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2019[1]).

Urbanisation in Haiti is a relatively recent phenomenon. Whereas in 1950 only 10% of the population lived in urban areas, the urbanisation rate reached 57% in 2015 (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). Between 1950 and 1980, the number of city dwellers grew four times faster than the rural population (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). Between 2000 and 2015, Haiti's urban population grew faster than the average for Caribbean countries; its size doubled (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). This unbridled urbanisation has blurred the traditional urban-rural divide, leading to the marginalisation of some urban areas. In the absence of human and financial resources to deal with it, the massive rural exodus of recent decades has generated an increase in precariousness and misery in the less well-off areas of the country's cities (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2019[1]).

Income inequality is still the highest in the region, although improvements have been recorded in the cities (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). The Gini coefficient remained constant, revealing persistent inequality, at about 0.6 between 2001 and 2012 (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). Between 2002 and 2012, inequality decreased in urban areas (from 0.64 to 0.59), while it increased in rural areas (from 0.49 to 0.56) (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). A study by the Inter-American Development Bank, using satellite imagery and mobile phone data, found wide regional inequalities in terms of poverty (Banque interaméricaine de développement, 2020[3]). The best performing municipalities are primarily located in the West, where Port-au-Prince lies, while the municipalities in the North-West have been experiencing an increasingly critical situation for the past five years. The study also reveals a high concentration of poverty, with one in four less fortunate Haitians living in just ten municipalities.

Decentralisation is a key element of the public sector reform that has been deployed to address these inequalities, as it involves the transfer of a range of powers, responsibilities and resources from central government to elected local authorities (OECD, 2019[4]). The term decentralisation generally covers three interconnected aspects: political, administrative and fiscal decentralisation. In practice, decentralisation policies are often difficult to categorise, as all these aspects (political, administrative and fiscal) are usually present simultaneously (OECD, 2020[5]). Decentralisation reforms can be motivated in various ways. In some countries, decentralisation can be seen as a reaction to previous strong centralisation or even authoritarianism, in order to promote and preserve democratic gains (Hooghe et al., 2016[6]). In others, it aims to improve the efficiency of public services and optimise the use of resources (OECD, 2020[5]). Decentralisation should also promote public governance that is more accountable and transparent, has greater integrity and involves greater participation by civil society. Deconcentration is another form of multi-level governance and should not be confused with decentralisation. Deconcentration is the delegation of authority to a lower level within the same administrative structure. In this sense, in most countries, the central government establishes regional offices for planning, control and coordination purposes and for the granting of permits and licences (OECD, 2020[5]). Deconcentrated levels of central government could coexist with regional or local administrations that are fiscally autonomous.

The Constitution of March 1987 establishes the Republic of Haiti as a decentralised unitary state and defines the main principles on the basis of which decentralisation and deconcentration policies can be formulated2. This decentralisation/deconcentration pairing was conceived as the foundation of the administrative process of the new state after the fall of the dictatorship. Its implementation is based on the creation of new structures and institutions, in particular the three levels of territorial authorities, structuring the new administrative, economic, social and political relations3. More than thirty years after the promulgation of the Constitution, the decentralisation and deconcentration policies described and announced have only been partially implemented, undermined by the lack of material resources and ambiguous legal framework. Nevertheless, decentralisation is still a clear strategic priority for the Government of Haiti as a tool for mitigating marginalisation and promoting democratisation (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2019[1]). Two national strategic planning tools in Haiti are local in scope: the Strategic Development Plan for Haiti (Plan Stratégique de Développement d’Haïti - PSDH) and the State Modernisation Programme 2018-2023 (Programme de Modernisation de l’État - PME-2023). Two of the four PSDH projects particularly affect local authorities and their administration: the territorial reorganisation project and the institutional reorganisation project. Despite the important place given to local authorities in the State's strategic reform documents, actions have been slow to materialise. This means that local governance, decentralisation and deconcentration are areas of shared governance. It is accordingly necessary that a coherent institutional framework be put in place taking into account the transversal nature of the mission.

Despite the real opportunities offered by governance reforms at several levels, they also present challenges. The difficult situation of the Haitian state must accordingly be taken into account, as decentralisation policies carry particularly salient risks for fragile and polarised contexts (see Table 4.1).

To understand the persistence of these territorial inequalities and regional difficulties in Haiti, it is important to analyse the institutional framework and current capacities of the Haitian administration at the local level, its dynamics, as well as the political and administrative relations between the central government and the local authorities. In this regard, the first part of this chapter analyses the current political, administrative and financial situation of local governments in the context of the country's decentralisation process. The second part focuses on the main mechanisms of multi-level governance and territorial development. Throughout this chapter, the issue of water management will be used as an example where relevant.

Decentralisation can have positive effects on countries that use it, ranging from more efficient allocation of resources to improved quality and efficiency of public services. Recent empirical studies also indicate that decentralisation can reduce regional inequalities by creating more effective regional development policies (OECD, 2019[4]). Nevertheless, decentralisation is not a panacea. The process can be difficult to implement because of its complex and systemic nature. This is highlighted in the policies for decentralisation of water management (see Box 4.1). Indeed, this way of organising relationships between levels of government has advantages, but also risks in terms of efficiency (public policy and service delivery), representation (political governance) and national unity (OECD, 2017[7]). Haiti's multi-level governance reforms reflect this ambivalence, oscillating between increased autonomy for local authorities and renewed central government control over local governance bodies. Some of the benefits of decentralisation and deconcentration policies are, however, particularly desirable in the Haitian context, where they reduce conflict by opening up new avenues of political participation to citizens (USAID, 2009[8]), address poverty and wide territorial inequalities and reduce the central budget by decentralising spending in a framework of severe fiscal constraints (OECD, 2017[7]).

There is no universal consensus on the ideal level of decentralisation or on the optimal multi-level governance structure (OECD, 2017[7]).The nature and scope of decentralisation and devolution approaches depend on the complex relationships between levels of government, which are themselves the product of historical, political and economic factors. Throughout its history, Haiti has been characterised by a strong dynamic of centralisation, both political and administrative, which intensified under the Duvalier dictatorship (Dorner, 1998[10]). Any analysis must accordingly take into account the fact that the Haitian decentralisation process is relatively recent, having begun only after the promulgation of the Constitution in 1987. Multi-level governance in Haiti is accordingly part of a historical framework marked by both authoritarianism and the strong centralisation of political, administrative and financial powers in Port-au-Prince, its capital (Fleur-Aime and Thomas, 2016[11])

The French colonial state developed in Santo Domingo with a military-administrative bureaucracy designed to serve resource extraction and exploitation. This centralising and authoritarian model formed the basis of the model put in place by the political elites at the time of Haiti's independence in 1804, which aimed to maintain control over the system of extraction and production of goods for export (Sauveur, 2007[12]). Haiti adopted the territorial organisation of the French colonial state (departments, districts, municipalities replacing the colonial parishes), whose local entities struggled to emerge in the face of a strong and centralising executive power. In parallel to this permanent centripetal force during the 19th century, the weaknesses (Cadet, 2001[13]) of the State limited its capacity to "occupy, organise and control territorial space" (Dorner, 1998[10]) (Sauveur, 2007[12]). The American occupation that began in 1915 reinforced this centralisation dynamic, given the creation of an army combined with a restriction of the autonomy of local entities (Dorner, 1998[10]). Similarly, between 1957 and 1986, the Duvalier dictatorship's model of political domination was based on an ever greater concentration of systems of violence and control. Some local governance initiatives, such as the Rural Administration Councils (Conseils d’administation des sections rurales – CASER), were carried out, but they have primarily served to strengthen the influence of central government at the local level (Dorner, 1998[10]).

The first significant step towards political decentralisation took place with the fall of the dictatorship. The fall of the Duvalier regime in 1986 was accompanied by demands for profound changes on the part of citizens, characterised as a "demand for decentralisation" (Dorner, 1998[10]). This demand stems from the strong centralisation of power and the concentration of public services in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, which is the product of two administrative deficiencies: the under-administration of the country in rural and provincial areas, and the "maladministration" within the administrative apparatus4. The Constitution of March 1987 was intended as a response to this demand for "de-marginalisation", by making the Republic of Haiti a decentralised unitary State and by defining the main principles on the basis of which a decentralisation policy and a deconcentration policy could be formulated. The goals of territorial governance are accordingly multiple: to ensure the presence of the State throughout the territory by means of a service administration, to promote development at both the local and national levels, and finally to break with exclusion by advocating participation and consultation.

The conception of the Republic of Haiti as a decentralised unitary state is a major innovation of the 1987 Constitution (Cadet, 2001[13]). The main components are as follows:

  • The creation of the statute of local authorities (Const. art.61);

  • The accompaniment of decentralisation by the deconcentration of public services with delegation of power (Const. art. 87-4), and

  • The development of principles of participation and consultation aimed at breaking with exclusion (Const. preambles 5-7; art. 81, 87-2, 87-3, 87-5, 217).

Article 61 of the Constitution recognises three territorial authorities: the department, the municipality and the municipal section (see Table 4.2). Each decentralised community has a deliberative structure (the assembly) and an implementation structure (the council). The councils are responsible for governing, managing and administering the local territories, and the assemblies for deliberating and controlling their activities.

The Constitution establishes the existence of these three territorial authorities, but does not define the concept of territorial authority itself. For example, it grants the department the status of a legal person and administrative and financial autonomy to the municipality (Const. art. 66), but the municipal section is not governed by a precise legal framework. Many laws and decrees have tried to correct this deficiency, in particular the law of 4 April 1996 on the organisation of the municipal section, as well as the decrees of February 2006 5(often called "the local authorities charter") (See Box 4.2 on the responsibilities attributed to the local authorities in water management). Although the 2006 decrees contain considerable institutional innovations, they have not been ratified by Parliament and their implementation is only partial (Paul and Charleston, 2015[14]). This lack of clarity regarding the legal framework for local government is illustrated by the fact that several draft laws on decentralisation are currently in circulation; two bills have been proposed, one by the Chamber of Deputies and the other by the Senate, but have not been voted on or validated; and two presidential commissions on decentralisation have been set up since 2009, whose reports have not been subject to follow up6.

The legal construction of decentralisation is pulled by centrifugal forces, which hinder the implementation of an effective decentralisation policy. Indeed, the Constitution seems to favour the autonomy and free administration of local authorities, by assigning to the Higher Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (Cour supérieure des comptes et du contentieux administratif - CSCCA) the responsibility of administrative and financial control of these institutions. The legal texts that followed, aimed at completing the constitutional framework, also granted administrative autonomy to the local authorities, but tended to place this local power under the control of the central State (Cadet, 2001[17]): on the one hand, by attributing to the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (Ministère de l’Intérieur et des collectivités Territoriales - MICT) a "supervisory control over local authorities" through the Directorate of Local Government, and on the other, by attributing to the delegations and vice-delegations a supervisory role over municipalities (Cadet, 2001[17]). In particular, the 1987 Constitution reinstated the delegation at the departmental level and created a vice-delegation at the district (arrondissement) level, with powers limited to "the coordination and control of public services" (Const. art. 86). However, the Decree of 17 May 1990 entrusted these deconcentrated structures with control over the people and acts of community bodies. There thus seems to be a certain tension between the constitutional framework, which advocates for an ambitious decentralisation policy characterised by strong autonomy for local authorities, and the subsequent texts framing decentralisation.

A clear division of powers between central and local government is essential for governments to meet their commitments and be accountable to their citizens (OECD, 2019[4]). Consensus on the responsibilities of each level of government is all the more desirable in the case of functions for which responsibility is shared between several levels of government, such as education, health or social protection. The lack of a clear division of powers between local and regional authorities contributes to inefficient administration and perpetuates inequalities in the provision of public services, as well as difficulties in meeting infrastructure needs (OECD, 2019[4]).

Governance in Haiti is weakened by a dissonance between the distribution of competences at the legal and empirical levels. This contrast is apparent in water management (see Box 4.3). More than three decades after the promulgation of the 1987 Constitution prescribing a decentralised state, institutional and administrative reforms have been only partially achieved. The 2018-2023 State Modernisation Programme (PME-2023) highlights a number of elements that hinder the articulation and coordination of public intervention: in particular, the weakness of the legal framework governing local authorities and creating confusion, the difficulty of applying the legal framework, the lack of coherence in the division of local authorities, the insufficient harmonisation of the texts relating to the competences of local entities, as well as conflicts of competences in certain areas between the various local authorities, on the one hand, and central government, on the other (Office de Management et des Ressources Humaines, 2018[18]). The goal of PME-2023 is to address these challenges in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public interventions, while facilitating the active participation of civil society.

The absence of a framework law weakens the implementation of effective decentralisation in Haiti. This is evidenced by the fact that many of the territorial institutions provided for in the Constitution have only been partially established (Table 4.4). At the departmental level, neither the council nor the assembly is functional, and the interdepartmental council still does not exist. The municipal assemblies on which these structures should depend do not exist either, as the indirect elections necessary for their creation have never taken place. Municipal councilsare functional, but the lack of elections is hindering their functioning. Indeed, in the absence of municipal elections in 2019, President Moïse appointed by orders published on 3 July 2020, in Le Moniteur spécial N°14, new "municipal commissions" in 141 municipalities of the country (Vixamar, 2021[19]). This mechanism had also been used in 2013 in the absence of elections, under the name of "interim executive officers" (OFPRA, 2015[20]). Finally, at the municipal section level, municipal section councils and municipal section assemblies are functional. The interdependence between the organisation of complex elections (direct, indirect and multi-level) and the proper implementation of constitutional provisions on decentralisation is a challenge; the organisation of elections in a polarised and post-conflict framework is indeed frequently a source of violence (Brancati and Snyder, 2011[21]). The Review aims to analyse multi-level governance and decentralisation strategically from the perspective of the national government. Accordingly, a technical assessment of institutional arrangements within departments and municipalities, as well as reflections on the number of levels of government and the bodies provided for at each level, fall outside the scope of this Review.

There are overlaps and dysfunctions in the exercise of local government responsibilities. Since the departmental bodies are not functional, the political and administrative competencies assigned to them (e.g., preparation of the departmental development plan) are not exercised. Municipalities, although functional, have a large number of political, administrative and operational competencies that they struggle to assume due to financial and human resource constraints. The competences of the municipal sections remain unclear, and are primarily responsibilities in terms of support (CNRA, 2002[22]). In addition, there are overlaps and duplications in the definition of competences between the municipal sections and the municipalities (CNRA, 2002[22]). This dynamic was also confirmed by stakeholders during the interviews conducted by the OECD, who pointed out a lack of harmonisation of texts on the competences of local entities (shared competences, complementary actions).

Conflicts of competence between local authorities are amplified by the pitfalls of the current territorial division. The boundaries of all territorial divisions, although sometimes known on the ground, are very poorly defined from a legal perspective. Nevertheless, the Technical Secretariat of the Interministerial Committee on Land Management (Secrétariat Technique du Comité Interministériel de l’Aménagement du Territoire) is currently carrying out a nationwide demarcation exercise to resolve these contradictions. This situation has led to numerous conflicts between officials of neighbouring territorial entities, land issues and difficulties in managing territorial issues at the central level7. In addition, administrative territorial divisions do not systematically (or frequently) reflect functional territorial areas8. For example, there are significant differences in terms of population and area of the territories, so that some local authorities could have a larger area and population than higher-level territories: for example, some 60 municipal sections have an area of over 100 km2, while some 40 municipalities have a smaller area. At the departmental level, the differences are also very significant, with the smallest department (Nippes) covering 1,267 km2 for 342,000 inhabitants, and the largest (West) 5,000 km2 for 4,000,000 inhabitants9. While there is no standard size for local administrative divisions, the OECD suggests that traditional administrative boundaries correspond to the places where people actually live, work and meet (OECD, 2017[7]). A coherent goal could be to define local administrative divisions according to social and economic functional areas.

The effective exercise of their responsibilities by local authorities is difficult to envisage without a clarification of their attributions (see Box 4.4) and a significant strengthening of their capacities. The provision of models of administrative structures and management tools adapted to the needs of local authorities, the training of elected officials and personnel, the development of procedures and the strengthening of financial management are accordingly essential for the proper functioning of decentralised institutions.

How public services and goods are financed, and how funds are allocated between different levels of government, are key elements of effective multi-level governance. However, tax reforms are difficult to design and implement, so they tend to be the "weak link" in multilevel governance reforms (OECD, 2017[7]). In order to fulfil their responsibilities, local and regional authorities in Haiti need adequate financial resources. Low local revenues, the legal framework defining local governments and their functions, and an inadequate framework of central grants and transfers make it difficult for local authorities to fulfil the role envisaged by the legal framework. In order to correct this state of affairs, three approaches can be envisaged: increasing tax revenues for greater autonomy, earmarked transfers10, or non-earmarked or general transfers11. Striking the right balance between these three mechanisms can enable local authorities to fulfil their mandates.

Local governments function best when residents finance the local services they access through local taxes and fees (Blöchliger and Charbit, 2008[23]). Consistency between local revenue mobilisation and expenditure promotes accountability and responsiveness to local needs, particularly when the majority of revenue is own-source or co-mingled tax revenue (OECD, 2019[4]).

In Haiti, only the municipalities have financial autonomy by right and receive their own resources from taxes. In accordance with the Decree of 15 January 1988, the General Directorate of Taxes (Direction Générale des Impôts- DGI) of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance collects on behalf of the municipality the following taxes:

  • Property tax on built-up properties (dating from the law of 5 April 1979)

  • Commercial and professional licence (dating from the Decree of 28 September 1987)

  • Fence alignment costs

  • House numbering tax

  • Gaming tax

  • Building Permits

  • Right of burial in cemeteries

  • Tax on materials and goods on the public highway

Although the law of 15 January 1988 mentions about ten taxes, the vast majority of municipal revenue comes from the property tax on built-up areas (contribution foncière des propriétés bâties - CFPB) and commercial and professional taxes. Indeed, according to a 2018 World Bank report, property and patent taxes accounted for 98.1% of total collections (62.5% for property tax and 35.6% for authorisations to exercise a non-salaried activity, or patente in French) in 2013 (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). Interviews with stakeholders also revealed that these revenues are quite secure and predictable, unlike the resources received from central government grants and technical and financial partners.

Taxes collected are largely insufficient to meet the needs of the majority of municipalities, and are primarily concentrated in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. With the exception of this metropolitan area, state subsidies (intergovernmental transfers) account for between 80 and 95% municipality revenues (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). This discrepancy between the metropolitan area and the rest of the country can be explained in part by the fact that the patente and the CFPB favour, by definition, the most urbanised areas. Municipalities also have real difficulties in mobilising these revenues, either because the tax rate is perceived as too high for the citizen in relation to his or her income, or because of the low level of service provided. Awareness campaigns or actions to clarify the link between these taxes and the improvement of services perceived by the population would accordingly be necessary. Indeed, resource mobilisation in Haiti is part of a specific historical narrative in which the state is trying to facilitate the transition from a perceived predatory state to a service provider state. In addition, initiatives such as a building census to obtain a better estimate of the tax base could also help municipalities improve their ability to collect these taxes. A survey of built properties conducted by the Ministry of the Interior and local government (MICT) in 2015 identified 20 municipalities that have the potential to increase their CFPB-derived revenues in the short term (Banque mondiale, 2018[2])12. Box 4.5 presents the case of fiscal decentralisation in Sweden, where the rate of municipal fiscal autonomy is among the highest in the OECD.

The lack of intergovernmental coordination also weakens municipalities’ financial autonomy. Local revenues collected by the DGI are first deposited in the Public Treasury's account at the Central Bank, which is the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH), before being transferred to the accounts of the municipalities with the agreement of the Treasury Department (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). This system sometimes leads to significant delays in transfers, and also creates difficulties in obtaining visibility of available resources. In order to remedy this type of problem, the USAID Lokal+ project in the municipalities of Saint-Marc and Carrefour, for example, had created a computer system linked to the DGI allowing for better visibility of the resources available to these municipalities. An expansion of this type of programme would benefit all municipalities.

The increased autonomy of municipalities comes with two main risks: inequalities in service delivery and lack of accountability in the absence of a framework for transparency. To address the risk of inequality, regulations such as minimum service standards can be created by the central government, while leaving the design and implementation of public service responsibilities to local authorities (OECD, 2019[4]). A strong framework of fiscal transparency is also essential to fostering local accountability (OECD, 2019[4]).

With regard to the measures taken to improve the financial autonomy of the municipalities, the MICT and the Commission for the Reform of Public Finance and Economic Governance (CRPP-GE) reported the following, in particular13

  • The recruitment, training and deployment of territorial financial controllers (CFT) in the districts, for technical support in public finance and accounting, and

  • Support for municipalities in terms of good financial governance (budget, administrative account, budget performance and control tools).

The alignment of responsibilities and revenue is a concern in most OECD countries. Indeed, in the majority of cases, subnational expenditures are significantly higher than subnational tax revenues, indicating a budgetary gap that is filled by other revenue sources, such as transfers (OECD, 2019[4]). In almost all OECD countries, expenditure is more decentralised than revenue, partly because governments at the central level need more resources than direct expenditure to ensure equity and balanced development. This dynamic generates a vertical tax gap, which states address through conditional or14 unconditional transfers15.

Faced with the struggle of the majority of municipalities to generate sufficient local revenues, local authorities are required to ensure their functioning through grants and transfers (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). The legal framework governing these transfers includes the framework Decree on Decentralisation of 1 February 2006, the Act of 20 August 1996 on contributions to the Local Government Management and Development Fund, and the Act of 28 May 1996 on fiscal transfers to municipalities. This means that despite financial autonomy at the legal level, the majority of municipalities depend on transfers from the central state, which itself has budgetary difficulties. The Local Government Management and Development Fund (Fonds de gestion et de développement des collectivités territoriale - FGDCT), created in 1996, is the main source of access for local governments to the financial resources necessary for their development. The fund is financed by allocations and grants from central government, taxes on air travel, gambling, telephone calls, cigarettes, etc. Although the Interdepartmental Council is required by law to distribute these funds, the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government currently assumes this responsibility. Public grants from this fund can take two forms (Cadet, 2001[13])

  • the allocation of the operating budget, or

  • budget allocation for equipment and development.

These transfers are neither linked to improved performance in any of the service delivery areas, nor are they entirely needs-based, but are essentially based on the status of the municipalities (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). However, the municipalities with the capacity to effectively enjoy the status of financial autonomy (autonomous municipalities in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Pétion-Ville and Delmas) do not receive operating costs from the central State (CNRA, 2002[22]). The operating grants are then staggered according to the status of the municipalities: departmental capitals, district capitals and other municipalities (CNRA, 2002[22]).

This transfer system suffers from a lack of transparency and reliability. Indeed, according to a World Bank report, the monitoring of transfers made to the municipalities is very limited. Cash transfers to the local authorities are made on a monthly basis, and primarily cover the running costs of the local authorities, with a minority of funds going to investment projects (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]).

Local authorities can also obtain resources from municipal funds (also called local development and land use funds) managed by the Minstry of Planning and External Cooperation, as well as from technical and financial partners and NGOs. In addition to these formalised mechanisms, interviews conducted by the OECD for this project also revealed that line ministries regularly fund local governments on sectoral projects. As in Haiti, in order to correct regional inequalities and enable local authorities to fulfil their legal mandates, OECD countries frequently resort to transfers between levels of government. These transfers can be of two types: earmarked or non-earmarked/general. Am earmarked transfer is granted on the condition that it is used only for a specific purpose. Non-earmarked transfers can be spent as if they were the recipient local authority's own tax revenues. Governments use these transfers to achieve three main goals (Bergvall et al., 2006[25]) :

  • Fund services at the local level: enabling local authorities to finance a range of basic services; providing (new) services imposed by central government or achieving standards imposed by central government.

  • Subsidise services that have spillover effects on other jurisdictions: some public services have spillover effects (or externalities) on neighbouring jurisdictions, e.g., pollution control (water or air), interregional highways, first aid services (which can be used by neighbouring regions), etc. Local governments tend to under-invest in these services and infrastructure projects. Accordingly, the central government must provide incentives or financial resources to address these under-supply issues.

  • Equalisation, which aims to enable local authorities to provide similar services for roughly the same tax effort, thus reducing inequalities between regions.

In practice, intergovernmental transfers often have several simultaneous goals, which can easily lead to inefficiencies or ineffectiveness (Bergvall et al., 2006[25]). It is accordingly important to clearly identify the goals of the transfers at the design stage, so that the characteristics of the transfer that contribute to each of these goals can be monitored and controlled independently (see Table 4.5).

Equalisation can take the form of vertical transfers (from central to local governments) or horizontal transfers (from better-off to poorer local authorities). Across the OECD, equalisation transfers average about 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 5% of public expenditure and have a strong redistributive impact (Blöchliger and Charbit, 2008[23]). Box 4.6 provides some information on the experience of OECD countries in developing central government equalisation mechanisms to reduce regional inequalities and encourage local development.

One of the main multi-level governance challenges facing the Republic of Haiti, and identified in several interviews with government officials as the main obstacle to effective decentralisation, is the lack of administrative competences and capacity at the sub-national level (see Chapter 5). The Decree of 1 February 2006 on the territorial public service, which aims to institutionalise the latter on the same footing as the central public service, in particular by establishing a permanent cadre of jobs, a Higher Council of the Territorial Public service (Conseil supérieur de la fonction publique territoriale - CSFPT), the National Institute of Territorial Administration (l’Institut national de l’administration territoriale - INAT) and Regional Management Centres of the Territorial Public service (Centres de gestion régionaux de la fonction publique territoriale - CGR/FPT), has never been implemented. The State Modernisation Programme 2018-2023 (PME-2023) stresses, in particular, that the lack of a territorial public service is a handicap to the proper functioning of local authorities and the sustainability of their actions (Office de Management et des Ressources Humaines, 2018[18]). Community employees are paid less than their central government counterparts, who are themselves paid very little compared to their peers in international organisations. The priority goal of the PME-2023 is accordingly to "strengthen the administrative, technical and operational capacities of local authorities to improve local governance" (Office de Management et des Ressources Humaines, 2018[18]).

In Haiti, unlike other countries engaged in a decentralisation process, operational local governments, which have personnel, function with human resources that are not part of a public service. This means that local government employees are not considered officials. This situation of job insecurity in a framework of severe financial constraints can be a factor favouring favouritism and nepotism to the detriment of merit and competence and increasing the risk of embezzlement and corruption. The lack of a stable and permanent territorial public service also creates challenges in terms of high turnover of interlocutors for users, loss of competences and lack of institutional memory due to the absence of a local information system.

It is difficult to envisage local authorities effectively exercising their responsibilities without significant capacity building. The provision of models of administrative structures and management tools adapted to the needs of local authorities, the training of elected officials and personnel, the development of procedures and the strengthening of financial management are accordingly essential for the proper functioning of decentralised institutions.

For effective multi-level governance, a dense network of political and technocratic interactions at all levels of government is required. This requires the development of formal rules, as well as informal, vertical and horizontal processes of consultation, coordination, cooperation and joint decision-making (OECD, 2019[4]). Interactions in these forums can be cooperative and consultative, and in some cases coercive, depending on the power relations between different levels of government in a country (OECD, 2019[4]). Multi-level governance involves managing the interdependence between levels of government through governance tools such as dialogue platforms, partnerships/contracts between levels of government, co-funding, etc.

A series of state institutions at the central level are directly and indirectly involved in the management of local authorities in Haiti. The institutional landscape in this area is fragmented, marked by the centrifugal forces that characterise the legal framework of local authorities (see section 2.1). Strengthening the coordination of government action at the territorial level is accordingly one of the goals of Pillar 2, Axis 5, of the PME-2023. The main players at the central level involved in the management of local authorities are the following:

  • The Decree of 17 May 1990 entrusts the Ministry of the Interior and Local Authorities (MICT) with the supervision of local authorities, under the control of its Directorate of Local Governments (Direction des Collectivités Territoriales - DCT). Within the central administration, the MICT steers the policy of decentralisation, deconcentration and local development.

    • The DCT is accordingly responsible for the technical and administrative strengthening of local authorities, the preparation of local budgets and local taxation.

    • The Delegation and Vice-Delegation Coordination Unit (Unité de coordination des délégations et vice-délégations - UCDVD) strengthens the delegations and vice-delegations, coordinates their activities, liaises with headquarters and facilitates their operation.

    • The MICT also has under its control the two deconcentrated organs of the Haitian public administration: the delegates appointed in each departmental capital and the vice-delegates appointed in each district (arrondissement) capital (Const. Art 85). This local structure represents the executive power at the local level, ensures the stability of the institutions and exercises the State's supervision over the local authorities (Decree of 17 May 1990; art. 6).

  • The Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation (MPCE) is responsible for the country's planning systems to optimise resources and achieve Haiti's development goals. The Decree of 2 February 2016 organising the MPCE assigns key responsibilities for coordination with local governments to the departments:

    • Coordinate the development and implementation of the national spatial planning scheme;

    • Support the development and implementation of local development strategies and local and regional development plans, and

    • Support local authorities in their development planning activities and provide technical support for this purpose.

  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) is responsible for formulating and implementing the State's economic and financial policy. At the local level, the MEF is responsible for "exercising financial control over local authorities". In addition to its general management, MEF has several directorates that maintain relations with the local authorities:

    • Treasury Board;

    • The General Taxation Directorate (DGI);

    • General Administration of Customs (Administration générale des douanes - AGD);

    • The Inspectorate General for Finance (Inspection générale des finances - IGF), and

    • The Economic and Social Assistance Fund (Fonds d’assistance économique et sociale - FAES

  • The Higher Court of Audit and Administrative Litigation (CSCCA) is responsible for "auditing the accounts of the various public bodies making up the central administration and the decentralised administrations of the State" (Decree of 23 November 2005, art. 5); "certifying the general accounts of the nation, including the accounts of the central administration and those of the local authorities" (Decree of 23 November 2005, art. 5). As regards administrative litigation, the CSCCA arbitrates disputes between "the State and local authorities, the administration and public officials, public services and citizens" (Const. art. 200-1).

In this context of institutional complexity and plurality, the responsibilities of central institutions are not clearly defined and actions are poorly coordinated, leading to conflicts of competence that are detrimental to local authorities. This fragmentation is particularly visible in the field of water management (see Box 4.7). Of particular note:

  • The powers relating to the financial control of local authorities should be clarified. Indeed, the Constitution, as well as Article 5 of the Decree of 23 November 2005 on the organisation and functioning of the CSCCA, entrusts it with the responsibility of "exercising administrative and jurisdictional control over public resources", whereas the MEF is also responsible for exercising financial control over local authorities. In addition to the overlapping responsibilities, the CSCCA also lacks the human and financial resources to conduct annual audits of municipalities, which increases the accountability deficit (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]).

  • The administrative fragmentation of the land registry system is an obstacle to better urban planning. Whereas the cadastral office is located in the Department of Public Works, geo-spatial imagery is located in MPCE, and the land transaction registry is located at the DGI within the MEF (Banque mondiale, 2018[2]). In addition to the implications for land use planning, the land registry system also has implications for municipal finances and local governance capacities.

  • The institutional landscape is also complicated by coordination mechanisms that end up replacing ministries. In order to improve coordination between key institutions in the field of spatial planning, the Inter-ministerial Committee on Spatial Planning (Comité interministériel d’aménagement du territoire - CIAT) was created in 2009. However, this mechanism, which includes ministers under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, is not really functional. In addition, the CIAT technical secretariat (secrétariat technique du CIAT - ST-CIAT) tends to replace CIAT and even the ministries responsible for spatial planning. This dynamic is all the more established as ST-CIAT benefits from a stable personnel, and a capacity to mobilise high-level expertise that enables it to access important resources from donors.

Vertical coordination mechanisms in Haiti are primarily consultative and ad hoc. The framework for territorial consultation is structured around the territorial authorities with the support of the technical and territorial services and the delegations and vice-delegations. In principle, there is a departmental technical council, departmental consultation tables, municipal consultation tables and national sectoral and topic tables:

  • The Departmental Technical Council (Conseil Technique Départemental - CTD) (Decree of 17 May 1990, art. 34) is composed of the departmental delegate who chairs the council, the district vice-delegates, the secretary general of the delegation and the directors of all the deconcentrated ministerial services. This is where the State's territorial action takes place, and its operationalisation is accordingly essential.

  • The municipal consultation tables include agents of the deconcentrated structures of the State, executives of the municipal administration, executives of NGOs and organised civil society. However, they are not yet operational, and if they were, they could contribute to the construction of the municipal social space. In this regard, the MPCE is planning a pilot experiment for the implementation of these tables.

  • The departmental sectoral tables in the context of development planning and territorial animation (see Table 4.1). This approach to consultation has been widespread since 2006. However, political instability, favouritism and the lack of competences of certain agents make it difficult for the issue tables to function properly.

  • The national sectoral and thematic tables constitute a formal framework for consultation between State entities, the sectoral ministries concerned, the private sector, civil society organisations and technical and financial partners (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2013[31]). Sectoral tables have had great difficulty in meeting over the past three years, particularly because of the increased insecurity, which forced some technical and financial partners to close their agencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2020[30]).

In addition to these ad hoc mechanisms, each ministry with a territorial vocation also has a departmental directorate coordination unit, which liaises between the ministry's central services and the departmental directorates (Decree of 2005 on the organisation of the central administration of the State, art. 66). In addition,the Office of management and Human Resources (Office de Management et des Ressources Humaines - OMRH), a strategic coordination body attached to the Prime Minister, is responsible for steering the reform of the state. Within the context of the promotion of deconcentration, with reference to the decree on its organisation and functioning, the OMRH is required to:

  • identify and develop implementation strategies and action plans for administrative devolution;

  • propose and promote the implementation of administrative, regulatory or legislative measures contributing to the strengthening of deconcentration at all territorial administrative levels;

  • prepare and propose any administrative, regulatory or legislative measure aimed at strengthening the delegations and vice-delegations, and

  • conduct an annual assessment of the degree of devolution from central government.

Vertical coordination mechanisms are accordingly not formalised in the legal and regulatory texts in the case of consultation tables. Their role is broadly defined, but their operation is determined on a case-by-case basis according to the terms and resources provided by each table (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2013[31]). In particular, it is not clear how these mechanisms fit into the decision-making process. Because operating procedures are not defined, they are not required to meet regularly or to make the content of their discussions public. The articulation between the municipal, departmental and national mechanisms does not seem to be formalised either. The government could accordingly explore a number of avenues to improve the effectiveness of these consultation mechanisms, in order to anchor them in the decision-making process in a more sustainable manner.

In addition to the consultation mechanisms already in place, other mechanisms can also be deployed to strengthen coordination between the central and local levels. Other tools used by OECD member countries include partnership agreements, formal contracts, national and regional guidelines and monitoring of service delivery through indicators (OECD, 2019[4]). An overview of how these mechanisms are used in OECD member countries is provided in Box 4.8.

Since most responsibilities are shared between different levels of government, it is crucial to put in place governance mechanisms to manage these common responsibilities. Creating a culture of cooperation and regular communication is essential for effective multi-level governance and the success of reforms in the long term. However, the introduction or reform of these mechanisms carries risks:

  • the multiplication of coordination mechanisms without a clear role in the decision-making process (OECD, 2019[4]) ;

  • The creation of consultative or cooperative forums that can replace traditional formal administrative structures, and

  • In a highly polarised political context, an open and transparent system of intergovernmental coordination involving broad participation is likely to be costly, time-consuming and lead to deadlock (OECD, 2019[4]).

Horizontal coordination at the local level can take various forms, depending on the characteristics of the local authorities, the policy goals and the investments targeted. These coordination mechanisms at the local level can range from integration dynamics, such as municipal or regional mergers, to more flexible arrangements such as the establishment of joint authorities, inter-municipalities, coordinated investment strategies, cooperation in urban areas, rural-urban partnerships, cross-border cooperation and platforms for dialogue and cooperation between jurisdictions (OECD, 2019[4]). Encouraging sub-national horizontal coordination is essential to effectively deliver public services and investments, to increase effectiveness and efficiency through economies of scale, and to enhance synergies between the policies of neighbouring (or otherwise related) local authorities.

The strengthening and expansion of local cooperation and coordination mechanisms would be particularly welcome in Haiti. Indeed, in a context in which the territorial division is contested and leads to conflicts of competence between local authorities, cooperation agreements could enable the establishment of physical infrastructures whose benefits often go beyond the limits of individual departments or municipalities, as well as investments in human resources where administrative and functional limits do not necessarily coincide. In addition, inter-municipal cooperation could enable low-income municipalities to benefit from economies of scale in terms of facilities (e.g. water, waste, energy), transport and telecommunications infrastructure. Services can also be shared: support and administrative functions, environmental services and park maintenance, joint public procurement, front-line services, especially to customers, etc. In this sense, the State Modernisation Programme 2018-2023 presents in axis 6 pillar 2 the promotion of intermunicipal practices as one of the priority goals of decentralisation (Office de Management et des Ressources Humaines, 2018[18]).

The most common coordination mechanisms between local authorities in Haiti are associations of elected officials and local representatives. In recent decades, municipal territorial authorities and municipal sections have created associations such as the National Federation of Mayors of Haiti (Fédération nationale des maires d’Haïti - FENAMH), the National Federation of CASECs (Fédération nationale des CASEC - FENACA), the National Federation of ASECs (Fédération nationale des ASEC - FENASEC) and the National Federation of Women Mayors of Haiti (Fédération nationale des femmes maires d’Haïti - FENAFEMH). There is also an association of specific territories, the National Association of Border Mayors (Association nationale des maires frontaliers - ANMF). FENAMH has established itself as the interlocutor of local authorities with the government and is also recognised as the privileged interlocutor of the technical and financial partners. The multiplication of these associations makes it difficult to coordinate with elected officials and sometimes creates confusion when it comes to choosing an interlocutor. This risk could be increased tenfold with the establishment of all the decentralised bodies, the Interdepartmental Council in particular, which could overlap or duplicate the actions of the federations. However, the government could consider formalising existing mechanisms. In Canada, the annual Premiers' Conferences were first used as an informal forum for horizontal coordination, before being formalised in 2003 (OECD, 2019[4]).

There have been some successful experiences with intercommunality in Haiti, but they have been rare and suffered from limited funding. The most successful experience is the result of a project financed by Canadian cooperation: the intercommunality of the Palmes region (see Box 4.9). Other experiments of this type, such as Camp-Perrin/Maniche or Cône de la Presqu"Ile du Sud, have unfortunately not lasted due to a lack of financial and technical resources.

The legal framework for intermunicipality in Haiti is still to be defined. The notion of intermunicipality was born from the search for economies of scale in waste management, the Decree of 3 March 1981 specifying that the management of household waste could be carried out by the municipalities or groups of municipalities. Inter-municipality is also provided for in the 2006 decrees, but there are no specific regulations. Despite the lack of a legal framework, several studies have already been carried out by the government, as well as practical workshops at the local level on inter-municipality and inter-territoriality. However, these documents were not shared with the OECD.

Increased coordination at the local level, however, carries certain risks (OECD, 2019[4]), particularly in the Haitian context. Indeed, encouraging inter-municipality, cooperation at the community level or mergers of municipalities, with transfers of funds or other financial incentives, can be very costly for the central state, if not impossible. This can lead to the creation of inefficient structures without adequate technical support. In addition, cooperation at the community level can lead to a democratic deficit if the decision-makers of these bodies are appointed by the member organisations instead of being elected by the citizens. Indeed, the multiplication of structures can generate a governance structure that is unclear to citizens, and problems of accountability. Finally, the administrative complexity of governance at the local level can lead to organisational problems and administrative silos that are difficult to manage, especially in the absence of a territorial public service.

Nevertheless, the central level of government has a key role to play in promoting and maintaining cooperation and coordination arrangements between local and regional authorities. In particular, central institutions can ensure that services are provided at an adequate scale or by translating national strategic decisions into concrete and effective policies at the territorial level.

Local development strategies can be a useful tool for vertical coordination and multi-level governance. In this regard, one of the main challenges of multi-level governance that the Haitian government itself has highlighted is its relative inability to translate national strategic decisions into concrete policies at the territorial level. Two national strategic planning tools are local in scope in Haiti: the Strategic Development Plan for Haiti (PSDH) and the State Modernisation Programme 2018-2023 (PME-2023), successor to the State Reform Framework Programmes (Programmes cadre de réforme de l’État - PCRE) I and II.

Two of the four PSDH projects are particularly relevant to local authorities and their administration: the territorial reorganisation project and the institutional reorganisation project.

  • The territorial reform component aims to improve the rational use of land in rural and urban areas, to provide essential infrastructure and facilities for national, regional and local economic development, while ensuring sustainable development. Two of the seven programmes that make up this worksite received disbursements in financial year 2019-20: This is the case for "regional planning and development" and "establishment of the national transport network". However, the budgetary item for these two programmes amounts to more than twelve billion gourdes, which demonstrates the degree of political will in these areas (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2020[30]). The National Land Use Plan (Schéma national d’aménagement du territoire - SNAT) is also being finalised following a series of consultation workshops held in the country's ten geographical departments (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2013[31]). The SNAT aims to make up for the country's delay in effectively taking decentralisation and territorial players into account in the land use planning process.

  • The institutional reform component includes revising the legal framework, strengthening the legislative and judicial branches and independent institutions, modernising public administration, including the administration of justice and security, increasing the number of decentralised officials, strengthening local authorities and strengthening civil society. Decentralisation received only 1% of the disbursements for this project from 2017 to 2019, and 0% from 2019 to 2020 (Ministère de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe, 2013[31]).

The 2018-2023 State Modernisation Programme led by the Office of management and Human Resources (OMRH) is a follow-up to the other two state reform programmes developed by OMRH: PCRE I (2007-2012) and PCRE 2 (2012-2017). These three strategies include initiatives or goals concerning the place and role of local and regional authorities in the State:

  • PCRE I (2007-2012): institutionalisation of local authorities and capacity building, including administrative organisation and the municipal planning framework.

  • PCRE II (2012-2017): reorganising and restructuring the deconcentrated services of the State to ensure better local management and provide quality services to the population; distribute, through decentralisation, powers and responsibilities between the centre and the periphery.

  • State Modernisation Programme 2018-2023: pillar 2 on strengthening coordination of government action and territorial governance; pillar 3 axis 7 on resource mobilisation and governance of local finances.

Despite the prominence given to local authorities in the State's strategic reform documents, actions have struggled to materialise due to a lack of political will and committed financial and human resources. In particular, the goals of PCRE I and II seemed potentially too ambitious given the country's institutional capacities. The PME-2023 is characterised by a formulation process mobilising stakeholders and national expertise, which has more tools to perform these reforms, but whose actions are not linked to the budget in a formal way.

In order to achieve the government's goals in terms of decentralisation and deconcentration, the establishment of a system for monitoring the performance of decentralisation and territorial development policies could be beneficial (OECD, 2019[4]). These systems must be kept simple, with a reasonable number of requirements or indicators to effectively measure the performance of decentralisation, in order to provide clear results to citizens in terms of jobs, education, health, competitiveness, etc. Currently, the PSDH monitoring report produced by the MPCE only tracks disbursements by the territorial reconstruction programme, and identifies achievements completed or underway. The PME-2023 includes a monitoring framework with expected results, actions to be undertaken and performance indicators. However, as mentioned in Chapter 2, the "intermediate outcomes" are not associated with outcome indicators (see Chapter 2 for more information on monitoring and evaluation of the PME-2023).

Finally, Haiti has municipal development plans (plans communaux de développement - PCDs) which, in principle, must be consistent with other national and sectoral strategic planning documents. For their preparation, the MPCE developed and disseminated a model methodological framework for the municipal development plan (2012). The preparation of PCDs is not mandatory and is not a condition for access to central government transfers. Their usefulness in linking national and local strategies is limited by two main aspects. Firstly, although the methodological framework prepared by the MPCE stresses the importance of aligning the PCD with national strategies, including the PSDH, there is no mechanism to ensure alignment, whether through indicators, specific areas or otherwise. However, all strategies must be approved by MPCE, which is itself a control measure. Secondly, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) is not involved in the preparation or validation of the PCDs, which are accordingly not linked to budgetary considerations. This is particularly important because, as mentioned above, the vast majority of municipalities are not financially self-sufficient and depend on transfers and subsidies.

In addition, the intervention of senators and deputies who are members of the Haitian Parliament in programmes and projects instead of the municipal administrations mandated for this purpose could also hinder the alignment of municipal projects and plans with national priorities. During the interviews for this project, some stakeholders pointed out that sometimes during the budget year, irrespective of the priorities set by the government and municipalities, deputies and senators propose their own projects, which are in contradiction with the goals and expected results of regular development programming. In this sense, proceeding with a written validation of the budgetary programming of projects and programmes, in advance, by the most representative political parties before they are presented for a vote in Parliament could remedy this problem.

This chapter reviews the current political, administrative and financial situation of Haitian local governments and the main multi-level governance mechanisms that have been created to date in Haiti. In order to overcome deep socio-economic inequalities, the government promulgated in its 1987 Constitution principles of decentralisation based on three distinct levels of local governance (departments, municipalities and municipal sections), with the aim of structuring new administrative, economic, social and political relations. However, the inadequacy of the legislative framework for local government, the difficulties in making it operational, the lack of consensus and clear definition of their roles, and the resulting lack of capacity of local government, are hindering the proper implementation of the goals of decentralisation and deconcentration.

To promote effective decentralisation and deconcentration, integrated with good public governance, it is essential to create a strong and operational strategic governance framework, supported by planning instruments, and based on vertical coordination mechanisms and an effective performance monitoring and evaluation system. In this regard, one of the main challenges of multi-level governance that the Haitian government itself has highlighted is its relative inability to translate national strategic decisions into concrete policies at the territorial level. Indeed, a number of institutions at the central level are directly and indirectly involved in the management of local authorities in Haiti. The institutional landscape in this area is fragmented, marked by the centrifugal forces that characterise the legal framework governing local government.

To make deconcentration effective, it is also necessary to strengthen the territorial coordination structures and to implement the National Deconcentration Policy (politique nationale de déconcentration – PND). The goal of the PND is to gradually change centralised working habits, to involve decentralised players more in decision-making, and to bring the administration closer to the population, thus ensuring a better distribution of public services throughout the country and, consequently, balanced development.

This chapter has attempted to offer some ideas to explain the persistent high levels of regional inequality in Haiti, and to identify significant limitations in the administrative and fiscal capacity of local governments to perform their missions. Overlapping and ineffective legal frameworks, poor coordination between levels of government, and mismatches between local government resources and their legal mandates all contribute to this situation.


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← 1. Internal background report by T. Cantave.

← 2. Internal background report by T. Cantave.

← 3. Internal background report by D. Alexandre.

← 4. Internal background report by T. Cantave.

← 5. These decrees adopted on 1 February 2006 and published in the Official Journal on 14 June 2006 concern: the overall framework of decentralisation; the organisation and functioning of the municipal sections; the organisation and functioning of the departments; the territorial public service.

← 6. Internal background report by D. Alexandre.

← 7. Internal background report by T. Cantave.

← 8. A functional region is an autonomous economic unit according to specific criteria (travel patterns, water supply, land use, economic development, school districts, urban and rural areas, etc.).

← 9. Internal background report by T. Cantave.

← 10. A grant that is awarded on the condition that it is used only for a specific purpose.

← 11. Transfers that can be spent as if they were the recipient subnational government's own (unrestricted) tax revenues.

← 12. Municipal fees that could be set by municipal bylaws could be an important source of revenue for some municipalities, but the OECD has not received sufficiently detailed information on this framework. This means that this Review does not address this issue beyond the recognition of the existence of this power in the Act. In addition, public financial management issues, including at the local level, have been the subject of much work funded by donors such as the regional development banks and the World Bank. For this reason, this study deliberately excluded these issues from its scope.

← 13. Internal background report by D. Alexandre.

← 14. A grant that is awarded on the condition that it is used only for a specific purpose.

← 15. Transfers that can be spent as if they were the recipient local authority's own (unrestricted) tax revenues.

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