Jeremy Smith – 25th July 2011
At the end of June, I returned to Haiti (see previous post) for a packed 2 week programme of capacity building and advocacy support work, with the two national associations of local authorities, representing the Communes (FENAMH) and Communal Sections (FENACAH) of Haiti. The programme is organised by the local government associations of Canada (FCM, UMQ) and the Netherlands – I was there on behalf of the Dutch association, VNG International.
It was my first time back for a year, and on the ground, nothing much had changed. The tent cities were as prevalent as before, and whilst there was less earthquake rubble in the streets, not much rebuilding had taken place in Port au Prince.
A new President had been elected, after a far-from-smooth process, but his proposed government was voted down by the Parliament. And yet, despite (or because of) all the problems, the 25 mayors and elected representatives we worked with, from all parts of Haiti, were committed to achieve positive change – which in their view can only come through a real process of decentralisation.