Martelly moots programme to improve social services
PORT-AU-PRINCE (CMC):Haiti's President Michel Martelly says a comprehensive community decentralisation programme called Katye Pam Poze (KPP) is the cornerstone of his administration's National Decentralisation Agenda.
"Since the beginning, I have held a vision for a decentralised Haiti, and now we have a programme under way to turn that vision into reality, with citizens participating in decision making that affects their communities. My government and I are fully committed to making our communities safer and more prosperous, one neighbourhood at a time," Martelly told the launch of the first phase of KPP.
He said the goal of his administration is to enable safe and prosperous communities throughout Haiti, calling on all citizens to fully participate in the programme.
"The implementation of Katye Pam Poze marks a turning point for our communities and our nation, with my administration inviting local authorities and local citizens to work hand in hand with us to push economic and social development at the local level," Martelly said.
"As citizens, you now have a voice and are part of an historic event - the beginning of a new day for Haiti," he added.
Haiti's minister of the interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, who leads and organises the community cafés in his role as chief implementer of Martelly's community-based decentralisation programme, said KPP brings decision making "closer to the people while promoting good governance, boosting economic development and job creation, and delivering public services as efficiently as possible".
Mayard-Paul said community cafés are a "key component" of KPP's participatory approach.
He said they consist of a dialogue session between central and local government entities, and citizens, designed to identify the most pressing local needs, and work together to find solutions.
Improving social services
"Once local needs are assessed through KPP cafés, as well as extensive asset-based community development research on the ground, a detailed blueprint will be developed for each of the 10 pilot communities, laying out priority subprogrammes that will guarantee access to basic social services and citizen safety," Mayard-Paul said.
He said the KPP cafés so far have identified general challenges, including: safety and security, education, health services and the environment.
Mayard-Paul said the range of actions within KPP includes strengthening municipalities; natural disaster mitigation efforts; improving the delivery of health, housing and education services; recovering public spaces, developing local citizen initiatives and creating job opportunities in tandem with the private sector.
"In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of life of the Haitian people by enabling safe and prosperous communities, right where they live," he said.
"Building the capacity of citizens to manage and maintain KPP programmes and infrastructure at the local level is very important to our administration, as is developing culture and sports programmes. This is an ambitious decentralisation programme," he added.
Mayard-Paul also pointed out that while Katye Pam Poze is modelled on successful experiences in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and the United States, it introduces a "new and innovative approach to community-based decentralisation, created by Haitians for Haitians".