UNDP Microfinance Assessment Report: Haiti

Can development assistance help to rebuild the capacity of the informal sector?

The paper states that the rural and remote regions of Haiti are in serious economic, social and environmental difficulty, which hinges on political instability. It argues that the situation has attracted development assistance to rebuild the capacity of the weak informal sector. Critically looks at the informal sector, especially in the area of microfinance and argues that:

  • It is still emerging from years of oppression and lack of resources;
  • Much of its historic capacity has been sapped and considerable rebuilding is underway, but many organisations have limited management and program ability;
  • Their presence on the ground is uneven and much of it is located in Port-au-Prince or in limited areas in the outlying regions.

Some 100 credit unions/caisse populaires, NGOs, Foundations and unions serve as intermediate financial institutions. Their numbers are increasing rapidly, and although many are of recent vintage, they are responding to the growing demand for microfinance services and credit. The Caisse Populaire movement was one area, which continued to grow and build up its capital base during the period of political instability and the embargo.

Concludes that:

  • Donor efforts are still largely uncoordinated and liaison is ad hoc;
  • These donors are being urged by their clients to enter the micro credit field;
  • Many have done so without a strong strategic sense or much best practice knowledge.

About this Publication

By Brodhead, D. & Germain, G.