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Study identifies local actors with the potential to promote inclusive governance in Haiti

As the effects of the multidimensional crisis in Haiti continue to adversely affect the security and well-being of the population, IDRC has supported an exploratory study by the Montreal Centre for International Studies (IEIM), comprised of Canadian and Haitian experts, to map Haiti’s main local actors involved in democratic dialogue.
A street scene in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with vendors and passersby.
Dominic Chavez / World Bank

The study analyzed the contributions of nine different types of non-state actors in terms of their degree of influence and their ability to devise solutions to overcome the crisis. The analysis revealed that the most influential and committed key actors include women’s organizations, farmers’ organizations and universities. 

Another key finding of the report is that the non-state actor community is highly fragmented. Across the country, thousands of micro-organizations are taking essential but ad-hoc actions, sporadically generating localized demands. However, their organizational arrangements do not actually enable them to formulate, collectivize and refine their demands to build a common democratic project.

In addition, the non-state sector is faced with a crisis among its actors, brought on by the phenomenon of dual belonging that characterizes Haiti. Several organizations, particularly those based in Port-au-Prince, skillfully maneuver the levers of power while moving closer to its source and toward political party membership. Haitian civil society is generally politicized and often made up of individuals who have either been, or aspire to be, state officials.

This exploratory research will serve to inform investments by IDRC and other donors for the development of an inclusive roadmap for democratic dialogue in Haiti. A number of research questions emerging from the study require in-depth analysis to provide effective and targeted recommendations for supporting non-state actors whose potential for influence and capacity are deemed promising for preventing and transforming crises.  

IEIM presented the findings of this study at a reporting and dialogue event on November 17. 

To find out more about the results: