What is Institutional Strengthening?
USAID is committed to building the capacity of local partners to sustain development progress beyond the period of U.S. support. Worldwide, USAID aims to strengthen the ability of governments, private sector entities, nongovernmental organizations, and other civil society institutions to implement programs effectively, while increasingly enabling organizations to implement programs by themselves. This is a key component of USAID Forward’s implementation and procurement reform objectives, which aim to change businesses processes in order to create conditions where aid is no longer necessary in the countries where USAID is working.
Institutional Strengthening in Haiti
The basis of U.S. Government (USG) and other donor investment in Haiti is the Government of Haiti (GOH) Haiti Action Plan, which lays out immediate and long-term recovery priories for Haiti. The Action Plan recognizes the dire need for civil service reform, a more transparent and accountable system, and increased national planning and regulatory capacity. However, problems within the GOH are systemic, inhibiting the impact of USG and other donor interventions.
Within USAID, there are more than 60 mechanisms with institutional strengthening components worth more than $435 million. USAID is working in several key sectors, including shelter, ports, energy, economic growth, food security, health, education, and democracy and governance.
Key areas of intervention include:
- Energy: Combined technical and commercial system losses of electricity produced are approximately 75 percent in Haiti, and Electricité d’Haiti (EDH)―the electricity utility―requires an annual subsidy from the GOH of $120 million to maintain operations. USAID has awarded a contract to allow a private third party utility operator to manage EDH for a two year transition period, with the objective of reduced technical losses, improved operations, trained and effective staff, and implementation systems for effective commercial operations.
- Agriculture: USAID aims to increase GOH Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) capacity to deliver key agricultural services to Haitian farmers and agribusinesses. USAID has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which will assign two USDA employees to USAID/Haiti who will serve as part-time advisors to the MOA and embed two advisors in the MOA full-time to increase the technical capacity of the Ministry.
- Democracy and Governance: USAID is providing technical assistance to Haiti’s Parliament in order to further develop its capacity to conduct the business of the Haitian people in a transparent, accountable, and professional manner, and in a way that is sustainable after the completion of project activities.
- Health: USAID will work with the Ministry of Health to strengthen management capacity at the central, departmental, and local level, aiming to improve procurement and monitoring and evaluation.
- Education: USAID will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Education to produce national educational standards, and increase the number of non-licensed non-public schools by 30 percent.