This is the second report prepared by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) under the terms of a contract with USAID Haiti to assess local government and civil society, and to support Mission redesign for these sectors. Local government and civil society are critical components of the Mission’s Democracy Enhancement Project (DEP) and its Strategic Objective for democracy and governance in the period 1999-2004. DAI contract has been to assist in the design of a program of support grounded in lessons learned from project experience since 1995, current political realities, and a Haitian vision for civil society and local government.
This paper explores social capital in Haiti and its pertinence to current USAID Mission objectives and programs. Social capital resources are of intrinsic interest to the Democracy Enhancement Program (DEP) and its Local Government (ARD-PACTE) and Civil Society (ADF-Asosye) Projects, and to ASSET (Winrock International, IRG, Datex), focused on renewable natural resources and environmental planning. The DEP Local Government Project works with executive councils in both municipal jurisdictions (conseil municipal) and rural jurisdictions (CASEC, conseil d'administration de section communale). The Civil Society Project works with civil society organizations interested in lobbying for change, building alliances, and promoting local government accountability.