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Le système aide-projet mondial et la problématique du développement en Haïti : quelles externalités locales ?

Abstract : Since the fall of the Duvalier regime in 1986, Haiti has intended to be a democratic State in which the practices of territorial development put the emphasis on the involvement of the local actors. The principles of decentralization are therefore proclaimed, thus implying a will from the Haitian government to devolve powers and means to local authorities as part of community public services. Two phenomena have characterized the Haitian society from that date onward. The first phenomenon is the opening of the country to commercial trade – at international level – and the second one refers to the proliferation of NGOs and small local projects defined as development projects. These two phenomena reflect, by and large, the project-planning mentality at work on the Haitian territory on the basis of what is called “the international aid-project system.” This thesis aims at two main objectives leading to two different yet interconnected models. The first objective is to investigate on the foundations of Haiti’s political and economic dependence – and, to a larger extent, that of all the LDCs – in the context of the Official Development Assistance. It means taking into account the internal dynamics of its production system – based on the aid-project – on the ground of implemented choices made in terms of public policies for development. The second objective focuses on both geographic and socio-economic disparities which characterize the aid-project system itself. In order to study them, the approach is to investigate on the externalities generated by the system while highlighting the (geographic and organized) ties between projects and local actors. The geographic questions come from the assumption that actors or territories are affected by what goes on in their environment and even more so in their neighborhood. In this case, their proximity requires behaviors which are proportional to the variability of the factors. In other words, each (communal) territory that hosts a number of local projects reduces the opportunities for another territory to host them if the principle of assigning in the aid-project system is kept. It implies that projects have a tendency to concentrate in a small number of communal territories whereas their volume of activity is low elsewhere. Hence, local populations tend to migrate toward privileged territories or places, which aggravates territorial disparities and causes slums to grow. In a similar way, local actors specialize and become more efficient for attracting projects – or NGOs – by offering a pitiful image: misery replaces poverty. Though NGOs’ proliferation has steadily increased in a country like Haiti since 1986, economic “take-off” has not really ensued. The geographic approach to the aid-project system brings about new thinking and new assumptions on the effects of aid distribution with respect to the reinforcement of – geographic and organized – ties between actors and their territories. It indicates that NGOs are mobile on the national territory and local projects will come together whenever a communal territory displays its condition of misery and provides the NGOs with good publicity in terms of image. In other cases, projects will be scattered. This constitutes a considerable contribution to the analysis of – direct or indirect – effects of the distribution of local projects regarding the issue of underdevelopment in Haiti. It is, then, possible to reason in terms of performance of the aid-project system in relation to this issue of territorialized development.
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Contributor : Christophe Providence <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 7:00:08 PM
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Christophe Providence. Le système aide-projet mondial et la problématique du développement en Haïti : quelles externalités locales ?. Economies et finances. Ministère de l'Education Nationale, de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche; Université des Antilles, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-02124738⟩



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