Haiti: strategic partnership signed between ILO and MINUSTAH


The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) launched on March 27th, 2014 a strategic partnership aimed at advancing employment opportunities and economic initiatives in Haiti.

The Letter of Intent for the cooperation between the two entities was signed by Philip Compte, MINUSTAH Deputy Director of Mission Support and Virgilio Levaggi, ILO Regional Director for Central America, in the presence of Sandra Honoré, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in Haiti.

The partnership framework – the first of its kind to be signed between one of UNDPKO’s missions and ILO – will promote the Decent Work agenda in Haiti. ILO and MINUSTAH will jointly provide capacity building and technical assistance to national institutions implementing programs focusing on employment, social protection, social dialogue and good labour governance targeting the most vulnerable population.

The very first initiative under the new partnership, a project focussing on the founding of Enterprise Service Centres (ESCs), was launched in April and will be implemented by ILO Haiti and the Community Violence Reduction (CVR) section of MINUSTAH.

The joint project aims to further the ongoing transition between stabilization activities – instigated in the wake of Haiti’s earthquake of 2010 - and the extensive development needs requisite to guaranteeing the country’s longer term human security. It also aims at eliminating child labour as well as enhancing social dialogue in the targeted neighborhoods.
In particular, the project will provide technical assistance to micro, small and medium sized enterprises that in turn will contribute to fostering socio-economic development, building local employment capacity as well as the design and implementation of sustainable employment opportunities, in the two violence prone neighborhoods of Bel Air and Fort National in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The ESC initiative will benefit local communities by encouraging a positive social climate through the strengthening of access to work opportunities for unemployed youth; entrepreneurial activity development; and socio-economic infrastructure rehabilitation.

Through this project, 16 small businesses and 114 employment opportunities for youth in Bel Air and Fort National are expected to be created.
Building on previous ILO experience with ESCs in other neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, and on CVR familiarity with the selected communities, it is expected that the micro-businesses created through the projects will address small infrastructure rehabilitation projects such as retaining wall installations, the establishment of pedestrian corridors, and the refurbishment of public spaces.

The key expected outputs of the project are as follows:

Community Fora - Sensitization and information sessions through established community fora will be undertaken hand-in-hand with local groups prior to the launch of both projects. Also serving a consultation function, these fora will guide and facilitate the identification and prioritization of structures to be rehabilitated along with beneficiary selection.

Employment Generation – Support towards the creation of micro and small scale businesses will directly contribute to employment generation and violence reduction through social dialogue, while enhancing living conditions through the rehabilitation of community infrastructure.

Establishment of the Enterprise Service Centres (ESC) – ESCs established by the projects will prepare business owners for the challenges of the market place by offering support oriented to small or micro enterprises and the provision of “real life” training simulations of market conditions, supplemented by advisory assistance on management and market research.

Infrastructure Rehabilitation – The projects will supervise the rehabilitation of 4,000m2 socio-economic infrastructures (i.e. public corridors, public spaces etc).

The United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH) aims to restore a secure a stable environment, to promote the political process, to strengthen Haiti’s Government institutions and rule-of-law structures, as well as to promote and to protect human rights, in particular within marginalized neighborhoods.

The International Labour Organization aims to promote decent and productive work and social justice for women and men, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity with the Government, Employers and Workers as well as Non-Government Organizations of Haiti. Within its 2014-2020 strategy, the ILO in Haiti supports institutional capacity to implement policies and programmes to reduce vulnerability and support resilience.

The new partnership opens the way for future cooperation between ILO and UNDPKO in other countries.