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Haiti’s Jacmel Talks Decentralization

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 19, 2012

Above: Jacmel

By the Caribbean Journal Staff

A new initiative launched in the Haitian city of Jacmel aims for a conversation on the process of the country’s decentralization.

The Cafe Community series recently began its first meeting in Jacmel, with 100 local residents discussing their views on the biggest needs of their neighbourhoods.

“Every community’s needs are different, so we will be visiting all 10 pilot cities throughout Haiti, learning their specific requirements through cafes,” said Haitian Interior Minister Thierry Mayard-Paul, who is spearheading President Michel Martelly’s plan to shift power and resources from the central government to lower governmental levels, including municipalities and communal sections.

The programme, dubbed Katye Pam Poze, will create a community development blueprint based on the local needs aired out in the cafes.

“With the launch of Katye Pam Poze, Haitians now have a voice — and a responsibility — within and alongside the central government,” said Pierre Michel Lafontant, Martelly’s delegate.

The first cafe was attended Jacmel residents including Mayor Andris Ronald.

“There was a lot of energy and expectation centred on having a voice in the decision-making table, and participants took their roles very seriously in working together to determine Jacmel’s priority needs,” Mayard-Paul said.

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