IDB-9: Evaluation of IDB-9 Commitments for Haiti

Mar 2013
The objective of this report is to assess the full and effective implementation of the Bank's support to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, in fulfillment of the mandates of IDB-9, which included full debt forgiveness, delivery of concessional resources in 2010, and expansion of the Bank's Grant Facility to provide Haiti US$200 million per year for a period of 10 years (2011-2020), subject to annual approval by the Governors. The evaluation confirms that the financial mandates included in IDB-9 have been fulfilled. The Bank wrote off Haiti's debt and transferred resources to the Grant Facility to approve grants to the country over the amount previously established, for US$231.6 million in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, the Bank transferred US$200 million per year in Ordinary Capital resources to the Grant Facility. The Bank financed a program for an amount that exceeded the transfers made, totaling US$231.0 million in 2011 and US$228.0 million in 2012. As regards the Bank's role in catalyzing resources from other donors, there were intense efforts, and the Bank leveraged US$136 million in the period 2010-2012. That figure, however, is somewhat lower than for the period preceding the earthquake and the annual amounts received have fallen. Coordination of international donors has proven inadequate, given the challenges facing the country and the management and execution capacity of the Haitian government. In this context, the Bank's sector coordination work in some key sectors is both recognized and valued. The intervention strategy adopted by the Bank emphasized long-term efforts in the sectors where it had been operating, rather than reconstruction, and had very ambitious targets given the limited management capacities of the Government of Haiti. Execution problems, such as poor designs and preinvestment studies, combined with low execution and supervision capacity in executing units, limited the results of these programs. New programs for development in the northern hub, along with institutional support at the sectoral level, involve risks that need to be addressed in a timely manner to ensure results in the long term. Meanwhile, the urgent need for approval and disbursement of US$200 million each year for 10 years does open up new opportunities for establishing a long-term country strategy, but is hindered by the slow, complex process of institution building. The result is pressure on specialists from the Bank and in the country, and this does not necessarily lead to disbursements or to effective efforts to overcome the problems of Haitian society. Haiti remains a major challenge for the IDB, and international coordination is vital if progress is to be made in overcoming the country¿s urgent problems of poverty and low economic growth. In this regard, OVE believes that the effectiveness of the Bank's actions in Haiti will depend on assessing the constraints associated with country's fragile condition, redefining sector targets and outcomes in line with the context, and paying special attention to reconstruction efforts. Lastly, harmonizing approvals and disbursements with the actual implementation conditions in the executing agencies involved, and respecting the time-frames needed to provide assistance in institution building within the country through a segmented allocation strategy, would make it possible to ensure the Bank's sustained, long-term support.