National Housing and Habitat Policy, Haiti

24th October 2013

National Housing and Habitat Policy

Latitude congratulates the government of Haiti on the presentation of their first “National Housing and Habitat Policy”. Haiti’s first housing policy will be presented in some hours with the prime minister.

Sahdia Khan (Latitude) has been supporting Haitian institution since October 2010 on topic related to territorial development, planning and housing. At present she is working with the Housing and Public Building Construction Unit – a unit attached to the prime minister’s office committed to provide a tangible solution to the housing deficit in Haiti. This unit will also take measures to operationalize the housing policy of Haiti.

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Latitude and MIT, field trip in Haiti

31st March 2013

Latitude in collaboration with MIT (USA) is launching the study on the Strategic reintegration of Haitian Field Staff of NGO in the local economy.

The study starts from the observation that perhaps one of the strongest factors compromising the recovery and the rebuilding of the country has been the draining of the surviving skilled human resources from government, business, and the professions, who were recruited by the flood of outside NGOs and up-scaling agencies. International actors were placed in a dominant role as they filled the void, compromising the future rebuilding and governing of the country as the NGOs depart.

The analysis will explore the possibility of effectively reintegrating Haitian Field staff in local sectors, providing long-term support on central and local level, towards relevant sectors that suffered depletion of their personnel in the emergency 
phase or sectors that were already very weak before, while a shift towards development is finally occurring – three years after the earthquake.

Additionally, we want to investigate how to minimize the drainage of skilled staff in government structures and private sector to serve the flood of international actors at an early stage, compromising government’s role on longer term in effective recovery.

In immediate terms, while most relief actors are leaving Haiti (or already have), we want to conduct a baseline survey that will include the elaboration of profiles of field staff and identification of key affected sectors. Thus timing is clearly of essence to conduct the baseline survey with priority, before the emergency actors all together leave the field and their national staff spreads.

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Latitude public lecture at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

17th March 2013

KUL

Haiti is one of the countries with high-risk profiles (floods, earthquakes, etc.) and very low per capita income. In such a context the need for planning efforts to be truly strategic (i.e. concentrating on important choices, conserving limited resources, mobilising local dynamics, focussing on real needs, etc.) is all the more important.

In 2010 a major earthquake shook the capital PortauPrince and some westerly provinces, causing large number of victims, homeless, and major physical damage.

Major Donors and NGO’s flocked to Haiti pledging money. Although a large number of very ambitious reconstruction projects were developed in emergency phase, yet realistic development plans, giving clear directions, had to be made for the larger region of PortauPrince, the affected secondary cities and selected secondary poles of development.

One of the major challenges was / is to balance emergency (shortterm and largely funded) activities and longerterm development in the backdrop of limited financial resources for the latter.

Prof. Han Verschure and Latitude pose the following overarching question in the lecture : how can strategic planning be relevant in an extremely complex, fragile, perpetually hazard stricken, context with an extraordinary amount of actors holding various agenda ?

Join us on forthcoming Monday 18th of March at 18h (AUDITORIUM C ‐ Celestijnenlaan C300).

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Discussing Haiti, Liège

8th January 2013

MAMAC – Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de la Ville de Liège, is hosting a series of events for the commemoration of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated several cities in Haiti in January 2010 killing 220,000 people, injuring another 300,000 and rendering at least 1 million people homeless. The series of events will include expositions and concerts depicting Haitian culture.

Latitude will be on the panel of the round table discussion on the place of heritage in a post-disaster context. The discussion will focus on the cultural heritage of Haiti and more precisely on the famous “gingerbread houses” and their place within physical, social and economic reconstruction of the complex urban Region of Port-au-Prince.

This event is organized by the association Liège aide Haiti and Université de Liège.

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Questioning Recovery: New Mission in Haiti

7th December 2012

Starting from tomorrow, Latitude will be working in Haiti on the formulation of recommendations for the operationalization of the housing and urban development policy of the government with a specific focus on the role of NGOs.

In the field, NGOs are key actors for implementing a framework to accompany and enhance the extraordinary production capacity of Haitian families. The key is to find out how NGOs can do that to the best of their abilities. But NGOs can also contribute to the policy through their extensive field experience by raising the issues related with recovery and development.

The earthquake and the attention of the international community that followed the disaster has in fact exposed major issues related to long-standing development problems in particular in the capital – lack of housing and informal / underserviced settlements being only two examples of such “disclosures”.  So far, recovery has been synonymous of many isolated endeavours from the national and international actors alike. These projects are reaching only a segment of the population and they are not necessarily contributing to long-term development policies that are crucial to reduce vulnerability to future disasters.

At present a clear shift towards development logics is happening. The national housing policies, formulated by the reconstruction unit (UCLBP) under the prime minister, provides a good initial framework for long-time development that subscribes itself to logics that provide better conditions for Haitian households and reduce perpetual vulnerability. The government envisions that “this will be achieved through the production capacity of Haitian families and the private sector.”

 

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VIL NOU VLE A / Port-au-Prince, Haiti

21st November 2011

Veuillez télécharger la brochure informative ici.

Latitude (Sahdia Khan) is working for the Minister of Planning and External Cooperation (MPCE) with the help of  the UN program for development (UNDP)  and UN-Habitat, on the organization of VIL NOU VLE A – forum sur la planification stratégique de la zone métropolitaine de Port-au-Prince. 

The forum will take place in Port-au-Prince (Haïti) the next 22nd and 23rd 0f November 2011 and it is open to all the actors involved in the development of the Capital City.

“Le Forum VIL NOU VLE A est une étape importante du processus de planification stratégique de la zone métropolitaine de Port-au-Prince. Le Forum s’inscrit à la suite d’une série d’activités de planification qui ont été entreprises depuis le séisme.

Le Forum, au travers d’une participation très large et d’une diffusion dans l’ensemble des medias, est  un espace d’information, de dialogue, de réflexion et de concertation sur l’avenir de la zone métropolitaine  de Port-au-Prince.

Le Forum permet de faire la synthèse entre le travail technique (divers ateliers techniques) et la participation des groupes représentatifs de la population de la zone métropolitaine (participation des  représentants de la société civile, des professionnels de l’urbanisme et de l’architecture, du secteur privé, des leaders communautaires et des représentants des collectivités locales). La présentation et la discussion des résultats de cet effort de réflexion collective permettent d’engager un débat avec les Port- au-Princiennes et les Port-au-Princiens en vue d’obtenir un consensus à cette étape clé du processus de planification. Afin d’élargir le débat le Forum offre aussi des espaces d’expression culturelle.

Maintenir la participation de l’ensemble des acteurs impliqués et concernés par la reconstruction et l’avenir de la ville est essentiel. Un processus de planification transparent permettra de maintenir l’intérêt, la participation et l’appui de tous. Il permettra aussi une mobilisation des ressources nationales et locales (communautés et secteur privé). Il permettra enfin une meilleure compréhension des étapes, des contraintes et des obstacles qui pourront surgir et donc limitera les frustrations et les attentes irréalistes quant aux résultats.”

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Reconstruction of Port-au-Prince through a participatory process

3rd July 2011

The devastating earthquake of January 2010 in Haiti killed about 220. 000 persons left about 1. 3 million people homeless and forced to settle in camps or in other non-effected cities.

The evident vulnerability of the existing informal neighbourhoods in the urban areas of Port-au-Prince was amplified by the disaster and stranded population set homes as near as possible to their communities in order to still be able to benefit from a certain social cohesion in the absence of strong central and local government.

In an effort to formulate a clear vision about the cities on the medium and longer term (as opposed to the day by day fire fighting), the government of Haiti has launched since July 2010 a participatory process in order to work with the population of Port-au-Prince to produce a strategic plan, which will set the priorities for reconstruction.

With an enormous number of international actors intervening on national, regional, commune and neighbourhood level, the challenge for the government now is to provide a coherent framework for all the stakeholders.  An attempt for clearer indications on institutional roles (central, local government) as well an iterative communication process between different scales of interventions is being made presently.

The planning process also includes a capacity building component on national, commune and neighbourhood level in order to make sure that the plans, which will be ‘co-produced’ with the population, can be realized.

The participatory process has to be accomplished in 18 cities and has started on a large scale since April 2011 in Port-au-Prince.

LATITUDE’s Co-founder Sahdia Khan has been supporting the Haitian government since October 2010 in the process of strategic planning and capacity building.

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