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February 20, 2010


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On # 1: The 1997 World Development Report may be a good place to start if one is thinking about increasing state capacity/ strength. You can find it here:
http://bit.ly/99y4Pk Also, a few years ago the Haitian government created the “School of Financial Administration” (ENAF) in order to give post graduate training to future employees of the Tax Authority (DGI). One idea could be to expend ENAF into a larger school of public service.
On # 3 and # 7: I am not sure what should be the exact goals/strategy of land reform, but at least any reform should create a comprehensive Land Registry that the country is badly lacking. Currently, a good chunk of the land doesn’t have clear ownership. This leads to continuous conflicts and discourages investment and forest preservation.
On #4 and #8: I am not a big fan of protectionism, but I recognize that the negative consequences of a “too fast” migration to the cities may require some temporary subsidies for farm production. I prefer subsidies to farm production instead of increasing tariffs on imports just to prevent an increase in food prices in case the farm subsidies are not enough to increase food production substantially. However, the goal should be greater agricultural productivity so the sector could survive without subsidies at some point. Subsidies should be progressively withdrawn after a certain time. We should also keep in mind that an effective farm subsidies program may bring some problems. I remember in 2008, after the food riots, the government decided to sell subsidized fertilizer to the peasants, but a significant part of the fertilizer was fraudulently diverted to the Dominican Republic and did not reach the farmers.

Just an opinion and I'm open to other ideas.

I'm very interested in the ENAF expansion idea. Was this a department at the state university? Public service departments and schools (under various guises) are popping up all over the US and lots of other countries are developing them, too. It would be great for Haiti to develop something like this with a range of educational programs for officials, students, NGO staff, etc.

ENAF wasn't part of the state university. As it was mostly preparing civil servants for the Tax Authority (DGI), I guess it was under the direction of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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