Haiti: Citizenship and Democracy Project

In collaboration with the Plate-forme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour une Développement Alternatif (PAPDA) and Group Médialternatif

Context:

General elections were held in Haiti in 2005. There are 36 candidates in the list, but only three have a realistic chance of winning: Rene Preval, Aristide's successor, the pro-American Henry Baker and Leslie Manigat, a social democrat. Elections take place in total insecurity. Until now, journalists are seen as anti-Aristide and can't access certain parts of Port-au-Prince such as Cité Soleil and Bel-Air because of the threat of gangs. Violence against journalists is a daily matter and some radio journalists were kidnapped last December.

The first component, Structuring public debate, was initiated by Plate-forme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour une Développement Alternatif (PAPDA) and represents one of the pillars of Programme National d’Appui à la Décentralisation et à la Démocratie Participative. In general, this program seeks to foster the emergence of a local public sphere operative, a place of dialogue and participation in social life and public action, a foundation element model of social organization and political worn by the 1987 constitution and that has hardly been translated into reality. This program was implemented in four pilot regional centers: Ducis, Ouanaminthe, Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite and Red Cape.

The second component, Public Education of citizenship, is in partnership with Group Médialternatif.

Objectives:

Structuring public debate

  • Collect existing literature on decentralization and local authorities with a view of critical analysis for new proposals;
  • Provide participants with skills in the field of participatory democracy to issues related to decentralization and local authorities;
  • To introduce local people in design, development, implementation and evaluation of public policies and state intervention;
  • Possess an information tool allowing to have theoretical and practical knowledge on decentralization and local authorities.

Public Education of citizenship

  • Expand the quality of news coverage and analysis of the news during the general elections in Haiti;
  • Strengthen the quality of news coverage and analysis of the news during the general elections in Haiti;
  • Strengthen access to Internet audio coverage of high quality general elections in Haiti;
  • Extend access to high quality analysis of the news during the general elections in Haiti for the Haitian electorate, Haitian and international media and other observers.

Achievements:

Structuring public debate

  • Dissemination of a discussion paper summarizing the existing literature on decentralization and local government;
  • Training seminars on centralization and CT;
  • Training seminar for public action;
  • Preparation of the document analysis of laws and administrative decisions on decentralization and local authorities.

In each of the four sites, the action was conducted with 35 direct beneficiaries including candidates for local elective offices, elected officials, government representatives, executives of associations and other members of local civil society.

Public Education of citizenship

  • Revival of a AlterPresse "Webdo" Haiti, a weekly electronic newsletter (6 editions);
  • Webcast daily AlterRadio elections (35 clips);
  • A special analysis of each election day (5 interviews).

Year: 
2005 - 2006
Locations: 
Haiti