Defining a capacity development plan in Haiti

29 January 2018


arindambanerjee /

A workshop on how to strengthen the role of Haiti’s ten Departmental Directorates of Education (DDE) in planning and managing the country’s education system is taking place from 1-2 February 2018 in Ennery, Haiti.

With support from the European Union, the two-day workshop is part of a larger project coordinated by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) and the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP). 

Haiti's shift towards deconcentration

Bringing together some 40 participants from all the DDEs, the central Ministry, and development partners, the workshop provides an opportunity to validate and discuss a just released diagnostic report on the planning capacities of the Haitian education administration. 

The origins of this report, conducted by IIEP, are rooted in the country’s shift towards deconcentrating Haiti’s public administration and the overall acknowledgement that the DDE’s will need to play an expanded role in managing the education system. The core question at the workshop is to define together – with both the central and local education authorities – the next steps for how to move towards deconcentration. 

Watch this video with DDE staff who are currently training at IIEP in Paris (video is in French)


Strengthening the system, from administration to the classroom 

Haiti’s education system faces an array of challenges, including substandard school facilities, a lack of trained teachers, and a dearth of places in the public school system. These obstacles have only been exacerbated by extreme poverty and natural hazards such as the 2010 earthquake and the 2016 Hurricane Matthew. However, by bolstering the capacities of the local education officials, the entire system can be strengthened, from administration to classroom level. 

This works starts with a diagnostic of current capacities and identification of where procedures could be improved. In this vein, the new report provides an analysis of the individual, organizational, and institutional capacities of the education administration to carry out its mission. By shedding light on the existing constraints and opportunities, the MENFP will be able to better guide improvements in educational planning and strategic management going forward and harness the ability of the DDE’s to have a larger impact on educational quality and service delivery.

Crafting feasible solutions across all levels  

Overall, the diagnostic found that despite a common set of challenges facing education and society at large – including political instability, natural disasters, and poor governance –there are numerous areas where it is possible to implement feasible solutions to improve the planning and managerial functions of the MENFP and DDEs. 

At the institutional level, the report found:

  • The DDEs role in planning must be strengthened to improve the poor implementation rate of educational plans and programmes. The diagnostic recommends that the political discourse occurs in tandem with concrete steps to make the DDE’s more autonomous and effective.
  • Existing recruitment procedures must be consistently applied and the overall process must be more transparent. The diagnosis revealed a lack of transparency and this poses major challenges to staff motivation.

At the organizational level, the report found:

  • The DDE’s must comply with overall procedures in planning and management. The diagnostic recommends that the new manual is implemented and is backed by sufficient financial and human resources. 
  • The DDEs need greater material and financial resources to properly function. This was identified by the DDE staff as the most important way to improve the performance of the DDEs.  
  • Strengthened collection and use of educational data. The diagnosis stressed that the data must be made available to the right public. By sharing more systematically the existing data with the DDE staff, this will help improve the quality of the data as well as contribute to the EMIS having a more central place in the work of the DDE.

At the individual level, the report found: 

  • There needs to be more recruitment of planners at the DDE level. The diagnosis found that there are currently only seven planners at the DDE level. The low salary level has resulted in some planners leaving their posts for more lucrative positions. 
  • Skills development in educational planning is needed amongst managers at the DDE level because there is currently a mismatch between profiles and competencies.

Paving the way forward

During the workshop, discussions around all these areas from the diagnostic report will lay the foundation for the development of a detailed and budgeted capacity development plan. This plan will enable educational officials at the departmental level to better implement Haiti’s national vision for education.