T.V. Series Showcases Entrepreneurs
OCAPH Launches Sa Se Bizniz Pam: Voices of Entrepreneurs
On July 18th, OCAPH launched a television program series aired on Radio-Tele Ginen called
« Sa Se Biznis Pam ». The series gives voice to Haitian entrepreneurs, examines the extent of government support for them, and gathers citizen input. The initial program examined the poultry farming sector. Follow-up programs focused on other entrepreneurial fields. By the end of 2016, a total of 14 shows had aired.
For more information about the entrepreneurship series, please visit the project site here.
Increasing Citizen Participation in Elections
Meeting with Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
In June, with the scheduled Presidential election approaching, OCAPH met with representatives from the CEP Executive Board. The CEP (the Provisional Electoral Council) is the Electoral Commission of Haiti.
OCAPH urged the CEP to take action in the following areas:
- Increase the participation rate for voters in the 2016 elections, especially those with reduced mobility;
- Increase accessibility of voting centers for people with disabilities; and
- Decrease the cost of Haitian elections.
Dialogue with Parliament
Throughout the year, OCAPH worked to increase dialogue between citizens and Parliament by holding a series of meetings with various Parliamentary Commissions. During the meetings, OCAPH discussed the goals of its project focused on enabling citizens to monitor Parliament’s work and get involved.
One such meeting took place with the Health Commission. OCAPH Executive Director Karl Jean-Louis described the organization’s goal of building a positive, direct communication channel with Parliament. Professor Wesner Emmanuel, Coordinator of the initiative, expressed OCAPH’s interest in continuing the dialogue.
In addition, OCAPH, together with an NGO coalition called the Inter-NGO Liaison Framework (CLIO), met with the Minister of Planning and External Cooperation as well as the Chair of the Environment Committee to discuss ways of working together.
National Democratic Institute
OCAPH collaborated with National Democratic Institute for its Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW), an initiative to encourage parliamentary openness across the world through a series of projects and events. Our team spoke with Members of Parliament and citizens alike to hear their opinions on the importance of having an open and responsible parliament and created a video to capture their views. Click here to watch the video & learn more about OCAPH’s work in Haiti or view it on the GLOW homepage here.
OCAPH contributed to two initiatives sponsored by ParlAmericas, the network of the national legislatures of member states of the Organization of American States (OAS). The network serves as an independent forum for parliamentarians of the Americas committed to cooperative political dialogue and participation in the inter-American system.
The first is an interactive map of Parliamentarians throughout the Americas who are voicing their commitment to an open Parliament. For this map, OCAPH submitted a clip from its video produced for GLOW (see above) describing how it is working with the Haitian Parliament to increase transparency and openness. The clip features a member of Parliament expressing his commitment to greater dialogue with citizens.
The second initiative was OCAPH’s contributions to the development of a document describing steps to be taken to move toward greater legislative openness. OCAPH submitted language to be included in the roadmap on topics such as citizen participation, and is listed as a contributing organization. OCAPH received a thank-you letter for its contributions to the roadmap.
Disaster Recovery Accountability
OCAPH Creates Haitian Coalition to Monitor Post-Hurricane Aid
OCAPH launched a post-hurricane watchdog project to monitor Hurricane Matthew relief aid from international aid organizations after the powerful Category 4 hurricane made landfall over southwestern Haiti on the morning of October 4, causing widespread devastation and loss of life.
The consortium, named the Citizen Watchdog Consortium (CWC), was led by OCAPH. It also included MOFKA, a Haitian grassroots women’s organization; INURED, a Haitian research group; Diagnostic Development Group, a Haitian group specializing in monitoring and evaluation; and the Federation of Mayors of Haiti (FENAMH).
The consortium tracked to what extent the Government was prioritizing immediate needs to vulnerable groups including women and children, the disabled, and the elderly. It urged the private sector to get fully involved in interventions, and it stayed in close communication with Parliament to convey what its findings and remain informed about official developments.
It proposed a monitoring strategy to the FENAMH that included specific measures for rapidly and efficiently tracking emergency relief. In addition, it partnered with radio stations to launch an advocacy and awareness campaign to encourage citizens and local institutions to join in the monitoring effort.
OCAPH’s role in the watchdog consortium provided another example of the key role it plays as a Haitian citizen watchdog. In 2010, following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti and the Dominican Republic on January 10, OCAPH gained widespread recognition for calling out instances of waste and fraud and demanding that humanitarian aid be more effectively carried out.
OCAPH’s youth component, called Espace Jeunes OCAPH, is a coalition of young people from approximately 50 non-governmental organizations in Haiti. Its advocacy work is focused on involving youth and those most vulnerable at all levels of government. OCAPH, the parent organization, provides logistical support.
Espace Jeunes Meets with MJSAC
In April, Espace Jeunes OCAPH met with Haiti’s Youth, Sports and Civic Engagement (MJSAC) Minister, Abel Nazaire. The workshop discussion was geared towards the integration of Haiti’s youth, women, and disabled communities into government activities and policies. Espace Jeune presented its Participation and Integration of Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities in Country Development pact and MJSAC signed the pact. Participants discussed the benefits of a possible partnership with MJSAC that would include financial and technical assistance for projects to benefit Haitian youth.
Espace Jeunes also expressed its support for the alliance between MJSAC and the Haitian Red Cross with its aim of training ten thousand young people as volunteers in first aid. Representatives expressed their support for gender equity within this project in terms of fully involving women, especially young women, in the training process. They also encouraged MJSAC to consider the recommendations in the OCAPH pact as they moved forward.
The coalition expressed its support for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDOs) as well as the Paris Climate Accord, suggesting that the Haitian government respect the agreement by working to address climate change in Haiti.
Discussions Held with Representatives from Cite Soleil
In June, Espace Jeunes OCAPH met with representatives from Organization A Cite Soleil for the purpose of further broadening its coalition of grassroots organizations and enabling citizens from all walks of life to contribute to nation-building. The organization represents residents living in a densely populated, low-income commune located in the greater Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Discussions revealed a common interest in working together on the integration of young people into the development of Haiti.
Espace Jeunes Adds Sixth Area to Manifesto Pact
On September 20th, the OCAPH youth coalition held an internal meeting in Port-au-Prince. Discussions resulted in adding a sixth area where the group would like to see government action take place.
Originally created in 2014, the coalition’s manifesto up until that day called for government action in five areas:
- Involve youth at all levels of government;
- Actively support youth entrepreneurs;
- Enact regulations that support needs of disabled youth;
- Institute health policies that include provisions addressing vulnerable portions of the youth population including women, the disabled, and students; and
- Provide youth with vocational training that prepares them for jobs.
As a result of the September 20th meeting, a new, sixth area, was added:
- View productive youth volunteer work as valuable job experience that counts toward qualifications when applying for job openings.