Habitat for Humanity Haiti and USAID launched the Land Administration and Management Project (LAMP) in December 2014.
The project had three core objectives:
- Increase the Outreach and Awareness of Manual 1 and Train Key Stakeholders on its Content
- Complete and disseminate Manual 2 on “Securing Land Rights in Haiti”
- Provide Policy Making and Advocacy Recommendations to the GOH
The Haiti Property Law Working Group meetings serve as a platform for the membership to come together to provide input and receive updates on progress made; engage in discussions around security of tenure; and most importantly, provide feedback and guidance on HPLWG products and direction. During the LAMP project, the membership has met, as a Working Group, fifteen (15) times during the year 2016. During the project period the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) generously hosted the HPLWG meetings at their newly renovated Bourdon campus, in Petion-ville.
The Haiti Property Law Working Group is the only Haitian-led, inclusive forum dedicated to security of tenure issues in Haiti. It’s ability to convene a broad range of actors, both in terms of the value-chain actors (ministries, municipalities, notaries, lawyers, surveyors, etc.); as well as the end consumers and users of policies and procedures (investors, farmers, residents, etc.) is part of its unique qualities, bringing also the legitimacy of the working group.
Through the HPLWG’s approach of consensus building, a significant amount of ownership has been developed by its members. This ownership has opened many opportunities for the HPLWG to increase its outreach and ensuring that the impact of its activities practically reach those who need to be part of this dialogue.
Founded with 24 members in 2011, today the group has more than 300 members representing: Haitian government institutions; Haitian professional associations; universities and students; chambers of commerce; law firms and notaries; private companies; multilateral organizations; non-profit organizations; bilateral agencies and embassies. This representation is all provided on a pro-bono basis leveraging technical assistance and support provided by the members equal to thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars of value.
Manuals I and II
One of the core contributions the group has made is in the development of the Property Law Manuals. “The Haiti Land Transaction Manual, Vol. 1: A How-To Guide for the Legal Sale of Property in Haiti”. This concise and informative 41-page document is color-coded and details step-by-step the processes for buying and selling land in Haiti. The manual is an indispensable reference guide for navigating the complex formal and informal legal systems in Haiti, and for clarifying and standardizing current legal and customary procedures to sell or buy land – a critical step towards formalized permanent reconstruction and development. The manual outlines the legal steps that lead to well-documented and officially-recognized land transactions.
The second manual “Securing Land Rights in Haiti: A Practical Guide”. The aim of the manual is to help homeowners, farmers, contractors, prospective owners, renters, NGO’s and other interested parties anticipate and prevent complications resulting from the purchase and use of private and public land and property. This is especially important for families who have settled on land for many generations yet still don’t have the paperwork to prove their legal land title status. Thus, the rights to their land are uncertain and securing loans to make home improvements is almost impossible.
This report details the key outreach activities that have been achieved throughout the duration of the project. Key strategies for outreach have included: awareness campaigns; trainings; meetings; attendance at events; the development of accessibly materials in English, French and Creole.
Almost 5,000 people, across to 7 of the 9 Departments of Haiti, namely: Artibonite, Nippes, Center, North, South, West and Southeast have been exposed to the materials of the Haiti Property Law Working Group. These trainings and awareness campaigns have reach all segments of the population including residents, the professional sector (surveyors, notaries, lawyers), in addition to the Government of Haiti. Upon their request the HPWLG certified trainers, of which there are 21, have trained 10 GOH ministries. Overall, 482 government employees have been trained, including 148 women.
Making the materials accessible to the population has been a priority for the LAMP implementation. This has included the full translation into Creole of Manual 2, in partnership with the Haitian Creole Academy and the Faculty of Applied Linguistics. The development of a visual Creole abstract, illustrating key points from Manual 1 and 2. Additionally, during the field awareness campaigns and trainings, the trainers and Habitat Haiti staff developed an understanding for the common challenges that residents and professionals have. Four case studies were documented and illustrated in Creole and are now utilized to promote the training and discussion with project participants. Over 6,000 manuals and nearly 1,000 Creole abstracts have been distributed and utilized during the project.