Understanding Community Based Organizations

Haiti is known as the Republic of NGOs. You will find an NGO on all corners of the same block  focusing on the same problems (malnutrition, health, orphanage, religious base, etc.). Nevertheless, the international organizations are the ones who get the attention. Let’s be mindful that there are CBOs that have been operating in their communities for over decades without the help of the international community, without grants, without sufficient resources, and without visibility.

Most donors do not know of these CBOs, and if they do, there is a fear that they cannot manage funds and deliver results. There is this high praise for international NGOs operating in Haiti with the idea that the interventions of outsiders are necessary. “Often referred to as the white-savior narrative, this scenario often plays in the back of people’s mind, consciously and unconsciously, and it feeds into the decision-making processes when they are considering how to give money.”

The State relationship with CBOs only exist on paper; a decree which needs to be reformed to better serve and protect CBOs. Nevertheless, CBOs have existed to better serve their community because they recognized the need, and the lack of government initiatives. Without them, their communities could not have thrived all these years (may not be much, but it is an accomplishment). International NGOs need to research the market before inserting themselves in communities.

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The Hairy Kitty

Salut tout moune, I am called the “hairy kitty,” reason that is is that I have not seen action in over a year.  My host is currently jamming to some new tunes that she discovered over the weekend. Things seem like it’s going quite well for her; however, I must say it wasn’t that easy. We had to get rid of all those knots she built up over the years, all the viciousness she had bottled. She has officially obtained her Masters and will be advancing for her Ph.D., I must say, she’s quite a bore. It’s another Saturday night, and she’s working on her dissertation, nonetheless, I, of course, would rather a little PDA.

From TedX videos and motivational videos, for a young beautiful curvaceous dark chocolate goddess, I must say that I would do her if given a chance. Continue reading “The Hairy Kitty”

What I wish I knew then about the nonprofit sector in Haiti than what I know now.

It seems as if I’m always angry with the nonprofit sector in Haiti. To be honest, I am more disappointed than angry. I find it hard to believe that not everyone cares. This is a list of what I wish I had known.

  1. There is a misconception of registration in Haiti as well as within the Haitian diaspora. Yes, having 501(c)(3) status is great; however, not doing your research and legalizing yourself in Haiti takes away from your mission.
  2. The Haitian government has no background in the nonprofit sector and the policy they follow dates back twenty-eight years ago. Whoever is handling the nonprofit sector lacks the proper education of the nonprofit sector.
  3. It is quicker to open a nonprofit than a business. This is why Haiti will remain a charity case.
  4. Corruption runs deep in this sector. Based on a 1989 decree, the nonprofit sector is a piggy-bank for corrupt government officials.
  5. Having worked for a nonprofit in Haiti on your resume is like receiving a gold medal for doing nothing but it will open the right doors in a developed nation.
  6. Seventy percent of missionary workers that go to “help” are actually having a ball at a lounge, drinking while driving, and posting pictures on their social medias to prove that they are helping.
  7. Those who wish to do good are psychopaths in disguise…doing good to feel better about themselves.
  8. Religious nonprofit organizations dominate the nonprofit sector in Haiti because of the country’s history.
  9. Local nonprofit organizations do not know how to manage their organization in order  to have impact; thus there is a nature of bureaucracy where the ones who don’t benefit are the communities who are the greatest in need.

A City of Vendors

The informal sector is here to stay! Yes, informality exists in every corner of the world, from the streets of New York to the streets of Nairobi. Haiti should not be excluded from this sector nor should Haiti turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable sector. Seventy percent of small businesses created in Haiti in the last 50 years are informal. Because of the high unemployment rate in most districts and cities, many residents, mostly women, depend on street vending to support their family, send children to school, build a house, or only to feed their kids. This practice has been part of the culture for generations, but only a few have shown interest to understand how it works and measure its contribution to the formal economy. Why study informal sector in Haiti? To be honest, there’s no easy answer to this question; nevertheless, to create sustainable solutions we should start by understanding how the different sectors of the economy work. Street vending is not one that can be left out of the equation. Continue reading “A City of Vendors”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Six)

Chapter 6-Transitional Provisions

Highlights

Article 34

  •  All organizations operating in the field of development as Organizations Non-Governmental Development Assistance (NGOs) without being formally recognized as such should be complete within a period of six (6) months formalities under Article 8 of this Decree.
  • After this period, they will be hit with bans to operate in the country at the behest of the Ministry of Interior and National Defense, the report of the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Six)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Five)

Chapter 5The Withdrawal of Recognition and Other Sanctions

Highlights

Article 30

  • The withdrawal of recognition shall be carried out by the bodies referred to in Article 6 of present Decree on a reasoned report of the Coordination Unit for NGO Activities.
  • Notice will be given by press published in the Official Journal of the Republic.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Five)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Four)

Chapter 4Powers and Duties of Non-Governmental Development Assistance

Highlights

Article 23

  • NGOs allowed to operate in Haiti receive the following benefits:
    • Tax exemption status
    • Organization’s duty-free import of any property, donations, and equipment required for the exclusive achievement of their objectives.
    • The customs duty on personal effects of foreign-related organization and authorized to work in the country.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Four)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Three)

Chapter 3Supervision and Coordination of Non-Governmental Development Assistance

Problematic/Need for Reform

Article 16 (PS ONLY MENTIONED THE PROBLEMATIC SECTION OF ARTICLE 16; PLEASE VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST ON MPCE)

The Coordination Unit of NGO activities guides and coordinates the activities of NGOs across the country. Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Three)”

Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Two)

Chapter 2Status and Recognition of Non-Governmental Development Assistance Highlights

Article 6

  • Recognition of the status of Non-Governmental Organizations Development Assistance is the joint responsibility of the Ministries of Planning and External Cooperation, the Interior and National Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Worship
  • This recognition is enshrined in an Official act signed jointly by the holders of the above-mentioned bodies, which act is published in the form of a statement in the Official Journal of the Republic and that the Statutes of the NGO concerned.

Continue reading “Understanding the 1989 Decree that binds Nonprofit Organizations in Haiti (Part Two)”