Agriculture is the source of livelihoods for more than 60 percent of Haitians. Land represents the most productive asset accessible to the majority of the population. Therefore agricultural development will, by necessity, be central to Haiti’s recovery and growth. The agribusiness sector presents many opportunities, particularly in value-added processing and end of value chain activities, such as marketing, distribution, and retailing. LEVE sees agriculture as a near-term engine for economic recovery and employment opportunities. LEVE is concentrating its agricultural activities in Port-au-Prince and Saint-Marc corridors.
LEVE is currently participating in the following value chains:
- Fruits: LEVE is exploring options with lead firms to strengthen supply chains to improve procurement and process of fruits during peak harvest seasons to supply retailers throughout the year.
- Cereals: LEVE is working with farmer groups and other processors of sorghum for human consumption to explore options to dry and store grain during harvest season to be used throughout the year.
- Aquaculture: LEVE is assisting the firm to expand their production and distribution base.
Construction is one of the largest employment sectors in Haiti. The sector is expected to generate an additional 3.59 billion in revenues; by some estimates one third of this revenue will go to the bottom 90% of Haitian society by 2015.
LEVE is concentrating its construction activities in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian corridors with different approaches because the markets are different.
In the Port-au-Prince corridor, LEVE’s priorities are to increase the stock of housing and stimulate demand for urban infrastructure. LEVE is participating in the following value chains in collaboration with government coordinating agencies and in partnership with lead firms and early innovators:
- Building Subsector: Multiplex Housing Development
- Building Subsector: Commercial Buildings
- Building Subsector: Institutional Buildings
- Infrastructure Subsector: Roads & Bridges
- Infrastructure Subsector: Urban Water and Sanitation
For Cap Haitian, infrastructure planning is a priority due to region’s growing tourism industry and industrial park. LEVE is encouraging the following value chains in collaboration with coordinating agencies and associations:
- Building Subsector: Commercial Building
- Infrastructure Subsector: Roads & Bridges
- Infrastructure Subsector: Rural Irrigation and Watershed
- Infrastructure Subsector: Urban Water and Sanitation
Apparel & Textiles
Apparel is, has been, and will continue to be important to the Haitian economy. Historically, it has constituted 10% of Haiti’s GDP and is the largest source of export revenues. The apparel market is growing in response the HOPE legislation that provides duty free entry into the United States of apparel manufactured in Haiti. Ready-made apparel currently employs 35,000 workers in Haiti, and is projected to expand to 65,000 in the near term with the development of additional facilities in Port-au-Prince and the North. Haiti ranks as the second largest exporter of T-Shirts to the United States.
LEVE is assisting micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) as well as partner with associations that are boosting the image and the expansion of the mass assembly industry. LEVE is also facilitating small designers and uniform sewers to expand their businesses and create more employment. LEVE is concentrating its apparel & textile activities in the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian.
- Mass industrial value chain: LEVE is helping the lead firms and other sector stakeholders to promote new investment in Haitian-based production, in particular in the existing and planned industrial zones.
- Smaller sewers: LEVE is assisting lead and entrepreneurial firms to scale up their activities through internet sales and promotion to new markets.
- Haitian cadre for both sectors: LEVE is working with the existing training providers and facilitate new training arrangements for personnel, garment managers and entrepreneurs.
- Off shoring to Haiti: LEVE is encouraging off shoring to Haiti operations that allow Haiti to provide value added along the value chain.
- Investment in skills to open new opportunities: LEVE is working with lead firms and other sector stakeholders to provide vocational and soft skills training (e.g. English or Spanish language training) to enable employees to view their work as an investment in career progression opportunities.
As the emergency activities and reconstruction after the earthquake are winding down, the focus of the Government of Haiti and their international partners is on continuing to build both the public and private sectors, with the goal of addressing the needs of 10 million Haitians — 78% of which live on less than $2 per day. To capitalize upon its geographic location and preferential trade agreements with the United States, Canada and the European Union, Haiti must increase foreign and local investment in sectors where it has a comparative advantage, and improve the investment framework, the environment for doing business and the general performance of the private sector, in particular micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), to provide services to these foreign investors. This includes an increase in quality standards that requires improved skills among the workforce.
LEVE’s objective is to increase the MSMEs access to a productive labor pool with relevant skills and competencies. Under this objective LEVE will significantly improve the productivity of the selected value chains by increasing the availability of skilled workers. This will be achieved by providing capacity building to technical vocational education and training (TVET) institutions as well as training service providers to empower them to deliver appropriately skilled people for employment in the Haitian economy. LEVE is engaging in cross-cutting activities to strengthen the training system as a whole, creating better relationships between employers and the labor market and improving access to employment for project-targeted vulnerable populations.
LEVE is improving workforce development systems in its chosen sectors, value chains and regions by facilitation linkages among private, public, civil society and government partners. This will be done through memoranda of understanding (MOUs) among lead firms from industry, training provider, associations and government agencies. These partnerships will facilitate the improvement or creation of linkages to better communicate industry needs to training providers and make training more relevant, practical and effective to meet those needs. In addition to facilitating partnerships, LEVE is providing technical assistance in specific, short-term technical interventions such as targeted research, best practices, industry standards, up-to-date curricula and training of trainers.
Types of partnerships that may be used to facilitate this improved linkages are:
- Internships and apprenticeship programs
- Improved and new curricula to meet technical and work readiness needs
- Training of Trainers in experiential learning methodologies and technical specialties
- Establishment of mobile training pools of better trained trainers ready to take training to the workplace on demand to upgrade the skills of practitioners or train new workers
- Partnerships between designers and training providers to upgrade design and related skills and promote the establishment of workshops in Haiti
- Directories of training providers with feedback from industry to provide investors access to information on industry-evaluated sources of skilled workers
- Industry certification programs to qualify workers in specific technical skill areas through on-the-job performance.
Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD)
LEVE’s objective is to assist Haitian organization build capacity and credibility so that they can succeed in the market place and build their services. Our services that are provided through our local partner –PAPYRUS – are available to both private business and associations that represent their membership. Participants in LEVE’s capacity building activities will become more efficient, effective, and better able to either serve their members or make a profit.
This LEVE activity is part of the USAID FORWARD or Local Solutions initiative that works with and through Haitian businesses and associations. LEVE’s HICD services are modeled after the USAID framework called Human and Institutional Capacity Development that provides methodologies and tools to:
- Improving the performance of partner organizations
- Developing clearly articulated goals and objectives
- Achieving those goals and objectives.
The HICD framework:
- Identifies root causes of performance gaps
- Addresses those gaps through a wide array of solutions, and
- Enables continuous performance improvement through the establishment of monitoring systems
The first step for receiving LEVE’s assistance is for PAPYRUS to conduct an Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) on the recipient. The OCA will assess the recipients capacity in seven critical areas that it must perfect in order to succeed, they are: governance, administration, human resources management, financial management, organizational management, program management and project performance management. The OCA is carried out with the recipient and is in essence a self-assessment. When the OCA is completed and a score of between one and four is agreed upon, the recipient and PAPYRUS will design a strategy to address areas of weakness.
Recipient entities are referred to as Capacity Development Resource Organizations or CDRO’s. If the recipient is an association the result will be that the members are more active and better served because their needs have been identifies and addressed. If the recipient is a business, it is expected that they will become a leading firm that sets an example and improves the value chain.
LEVE’s expects to help four to seven CDRO’s improve in all seven categories. Both business and non-profit associations may request an OCA assessment. Among CDRO’s already selected are recipients of USAID’s Annual Program Statement (APS), professional associations, and businesses operating in the agribusiness, textile/assembly, and construction sectors.
In order to serve the widest possible group of recipients, LEVE and PAPYRUS provide two types of capacity building: 1) a comprehensive development package beginning with USAID’s Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA), followed by rigorous application of recommendations over a predetermined period requiring continuous resources and accompaniment; and 2) a limited short-term interventions to improve the day-to-day management. The type of assistance will depend upon the needs and the desires of the CDRO.