July 16, 2020 Public Contract Law Journal

Bringing the Spirit of "Konbit" to Disaster Relief: Reforming USAID Procurement to Promote Partnership Between Donors & the Local Community in Haiti1

by Erica Bilkis

Erica Bilkis (ebilkis@law.gwu.edu) is a J.D. candidate at The George Washington University Law School and member of the Public Contract Law Journal. She would like to thank Professor Collin Swan for his invaluable feedback and guidance during the development of this Note.

Abstract

In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the small island nation of Haiti and caused about $7.8 billion in damages. As an already low-income, less-developed country, this earthquake absolutely devastated Haiti. It exacerbated the issues surrounding development that the country had been dealing with for decades. In the aftermath of that earthquake, the country received over $9 billion in aid; yet it is still one of the least developed countries in the world. This Note suggests that one of the main donors, the United States Agency for International Development (“USAID”), did not use the most effective procurement practices when it came to disbursing the millions in contracts toward Haiti’s disaster relief and reconstruction projects. Part of the reason was that the Haitian community was sidelined from the rebuilding of their county. As a result, there was a disconnect between what the money was spent on and what the Haitian people wanted and needed. In addition, excluding them weakened their own capacity and ability to help break the country out of its cycle of dependency on foreign aid. As a solution, after the immediate crisis of a disaster is stabilized, foreign donors should actively work to include the local community in the disaster relief and reconstruction. There should be a focus on capacity-and institution-building projects as well as a more inclusive procurement policy when it comes to providing foreign aid.

I.  Introduction

In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, killing about 200,000 people, rendering several million people homeless, and causing $7.8 billion in damages.2 As an already low-income, less-developed country, this earthquake absolutely devastated Haiti and exacerbated the issues surrounding development that Haiti had been dealing with for decades.3 This earthquake thrust Haiti into the world spotlight and foreign countries, organizations, and individuals all wanted to help.4 While the world had good intentions, the aid given was, at times, actively unhelpful and wasteful.5 Because the donor community did not connect and partner with the Haitian community, there was a disconnect between what the Haitian people needed and what the world provided.6 For example, before the earthquake, most of the country got their water “from wells, bottled and bagged water, and cisterns filled by trucks.”7 After the earthquake, the Haitian people still had access to this water supply but needed tools to purify the water.8 “Yet the aid effort offered no image more iconic than its human chains passing along boxes of bottled water, plastic shrink-wrap gleaming in the sun….”9 Had the donor community worked with and listened to the local community, it would have enhanced the benefits of the foreign aid and reduced the waste.

After the earthquake, Haiti received billions of dollars in foreign aid.10 However, about ten years later, Haiti is still considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Western Hemisphere and the world.11 In evaluating the way aid was and continues to be distributed after the 2010 earthquake, a main issue that impedes successful development emerges. Those spearheading the reconstruction process sidelined the Haitian people.12 In the beginning, the donor community did not consider Haitians as partners in the rebuilding, and this attitude did not dissipate.13 Rather, the international community took the “we’ll do it ourselves” approach, and, if they did work with national actors, they waited until the implementation stage to do so.14 This approach is problematic as it does not create the stable and lasting partners needed for long-term development.15 Partnership is so essential in bringing efficiency and sustainability in development that the signatories of the Grand Bargain, an agreement between more than thirty of the biggest donors and aid providers, highlight partnership as an “essential principle in humanitarian assistance.”16 By not connecting and working with the Haitian people, the development community overlooked an important and valuable resource that promotes successful projects and development.17

Most of U.S. assistance to Haiti goes through the United States Agency for International Development (“USAID”).18 USAID disburses the money by contracting with public and private partners and providing grants for reconstruction and development projects.19 As of January 2018, USAID had disbursed over $2 billion in contracts toward Haiti’s development.20 However, this Note suggests that USAID funding could have been improved had it worked directly with the Haitian community, both in the public and private sector, in the relief efforts. The lack of community-driven development and the failure to implement a partnership between the foreign donors and local community hindered Haiti’s development. First, there was a disconnect between what the money was spent on and what the Haitian people actually needed to rebuild successfully.21 Second, by excluding the Haitian community from the rebuilding process, the foreign aid did not strengthen their capacity or create a more self-reliant community, but instead reinforced Haiti’s dependency on foreign aid.22 Third, the Haitian people, government, and NGOs received very little of the billions of dollars that was spent on foreign aid.23 Including the Haitian community in the funding, however, would have spurred economic growth, promoted self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and helped break the country out of its cycle of dependency on foreign aid.

While Haiti’s current economic and political state may hinder or prevent organizations from working directly with the Haitian community, there are ways in which governments and organizations, particularly USAID, can provide foreign aid after a disaster that is more inclusive and based on community partnership. Once the immediate crisis is stabilized, foreign aid and disaster response should focus on institution and capacity building.24 Having capable institutions in place will ensure maintenance of the reconstruction programs and promote continued development, even when the foreign aid decreases.25 Furthermore, disaster response should include the local community and its businesses by promoting a procurement policy that favors working with the local community for the procurement of goods and services. Investing in the private sector will lead to economic growth, job creation, stability, and opportunity for the country to grow successfully.26 Foreign donors and actors should look to the Haitian community for input and work with them as partners in leading the reconstruction effort to ensure the services that they are providing meet the needs of the Haitian people.

Section II of this paper will provide an overview of Haiti’s history and theories of why the country has not had a successful development trajectory. Part of the reason is its national government, which may be seen as weak and ineffective due to years of unstable governance and dictatorships.27 Haiti’s location in the Caribbean Sea exposes the island to extreme weather and disasters, which have also exacerbated its development issues.28 Section III discusses how the relief efforts failed to include the Haitian community and the negative effect that such disconnect had on its development and rebuilding after the earthquake. And, finally, Section IV illustrates how USAID can improve its procurement practices by promoting cooperation with both the public and private sector.

II.  Haiti's History & Its Poor Development Trajectory

Haiti is ranked towards the very bottom on the World Bank’s Human Development Index, 169 out of 189 countries.29  It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with almost sixty percent of the population living under the national poverty line, and more than twenty-four percent living under the extreme poverty line.30 Before the 2010 earthquake, the United Nations designated Haiti as “one of the [fifty] least developed countries in the world, facing higher risk than other countries of failing to come out of poverty.”31 Furthermore, as of 2013, while the country had a work force of 4.2 million people, there were only about 200,000 people who had formal jobs.32

Part of the reason for Haiti’s poor development is its history of political chaos and instability.33 Although the country has made progress since the fall of the twenty-nine year Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, the country still struggles with its weak democratic institutions.34 The country did not even have  an elected president from February 2016 until February 2017, when Haiti  inaugurated Jovenel Moïse.35

While the 2010 earthquake may have brought Haiti into the spotlight as an underdeveloped country, the severity of that natural disaster is not an isolated incident. As a small island state in the Caribbean, Haiti is exposed to all kinds of natural disasters, which over the years have contributed to its slow-moving development trajectory.36 In the last fifteen years, there have been numerous serious natural disasters.37 In May 2004, there was extensive flooding after two weeks of heavy rain.38 In parts of the country, up to five feet of rain fell over the span of thirty-six hours, and tens of thousands of people in southeast Haiti were displaced.39 Four months later, another major hurricane hit the country, killing 3,000 people and leveling the city of Gonaïves in the northwest.40 In 2008, four storms within three weeks hit the island resulting in the deaths of 800 people, $8 billion in damages, and “render[ing] entire cities uninhabitable.”41

Then the earthquake hit in 2010, the biggest to hit Haiti since the eighteenth century.42 The first shock hit about fifteen miles from the capital, Port-au-Prince.43 Multiple aftershocks followed, causing extensive damage throughout the country.44 Essential services and vital infrastructure — including the Presidential Palace and several government buildings — were destroyed along with many government records.45 The city was still recovering from the 2008 hurricane season and thus lacked the ability and equipment to deal with such a disaster, as did many other affected areas.46 In October 2010, a terrible cholera epidemic hit Haiti, exacerbating the crisis from the earthquake.47

A few years later, in October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, characterized  by the World Bank as “the most devastating disaster since the earthquake,” further damaged Haiti’s infrastructure and agricultural industry.48 It caused damage equal to about thirty-two percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product, while causing the agricultural, livestock, and fishing sectors to lose about $600 million.49 Then, a two-year drought, exacerbated by the hurricane, destroyed much of Haiti’s food supply, creating a humanitarian disaster.50

Because natural disasters hit Haiti so frequently and so intensely, it is even more essential that, when a disaster hits, the disaster response effectively contributes to long-term development. The relief effort must help to build up Haiti’s institutions so that it can withstand, survive, and manage a disaster when the next one hits. Yet, the combination of political chaos, widespread corruption, instability, and the frequency of such serious natural disasters have posed major obstacles to Haiti’s attempt to climb the development ladder.51 As a result, Haiti is heavily dependent on foreign aid.52 In particular, the procurement of goods and services from other countries after a disaster is a lifeline to the Haitian people and government.53

After the 2010 earthquake, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”), and private citizens sent $9 billion to Haiti, including $3 billion from the United States.54 Under the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010, USAID received $651 million for bilateral reconstruction activities.55 In total, this was more than triple the average annual amount the U.S. Government pledged to Haiti between 2006 and 2009.56 After Hurricane Matthew in 2016, foreign governments and NGOs again sent millions to fund reconstruction efforts.57 Yet in 2017, 2.5 million Haitians still needed humanitarian aid, and 55,000 people continued to live in camps and makeshift camps.58 While today foreign aid comprises more than twenty percent of Haiti’s annual budget and its borrowing has reached $2.6 billion since the 2010 earthquake, Haiti continues to struggle to develop and improve its poor economy, and it is still one of the poorest countries in the world.59 Almost a decade after the earthquake, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (“OCHA”) reported that “1.9 million Haitians are still in need of aid and that continued investment in preparedness and disaster risk reduction is required.”60 This is because the billions of dollars of aid that Haiti received following the natural disasters have not been used effectively to promote stability and long-term development. An essential part of the problem is that the Haitian people, its government, and the local community and businesses were not treated as partners with the relief and reconstruction efforts.

III.   The Haitian People Were Not Treated as Partners When It Came to Foreign Aid After the Earthquake

After the earthquake, the foreign aid groups and private contractors working in Haiti generally sidelined and excluded the Haitian government and people from the disaster response and reconstruction work.61 For example, most of the planning in the days after the earthquake took place at the United Nations headquarters, the Logistical Base (“Log Base”).62 Aid organizations used this area to meet and coordinate reconstruction efforts, with up to seventy meetings a week among the agencies and other parties.63 Few Haitians were part of this reconstruction effort.64 To cross into the compound, an individual needed both an identification card and an invitation from the inside.65 Even if a Haitian citizen had both of those, most of the meetings were held in English, not Creole or French, thereby further excluding those Haitian citizens who did not speak English.66 Furthermore, in July 2010, sixty international organizations voted on the steering committee for NGO coordination.67 No local Haitian NGOs were present.68  Thus, no Haitians were given a voice to determine who would lead the rebuilding of their country and how it would proceed.69

While there was an attempt to encourage collaboration between donors and the Haitian government through the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (“IHRC”), the commission was largely unsuccessful.70 Its responsibilities included planning, coordinating, and overseeing the reconstruction projects funded by bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, and some private-sector projects for eighteen months.71 After the eighteen months, it would transfer control over these projects to the Haitian government.72 Donors and government representatives composed the board of the IHRC and were to coordinate and plan projects by approving individual humanitarian project proposals.73

Even though the commission included a number of Haitian members, those Haitians on the commission still felt excluded.74 In December 2010, the twelve Haitian members submitted a letter to the IHRC expressing feelings of “[complete disconnect] from the activities of the IHRC”:

In general, contact is only established one day before the board meetings. Board members have time neither to read, nor analyze, nor understand – and much less to respond intelligently – to projects submitted at the last minute, despite all the complaints expressed and promises made on this subject. . . . In reality, [Haitian] members of the board have one role: to endorse the decisions made by the Director and Executive Committee.75

A group of Haitian civil society organizations also expressed discontent with the IHRC, particularly the “lack of progress and marginalization of grassroots groups and the Haitian state.”76 Thus, even when Haitian civil society was supposed to be included, the international community still failed to view them as partners.

Two issues arise when the international community marginalizes the local community from the relief effort. First, the international community overlooks an important resource by not consulting with the Haitian community. Local actors bring to the table a “cultural awareness — a specific understanding of the local socio-political context — as well as a long-term perspective on the issues they face.”77 Second, the marginalization erodes the local capacity of the Haitian people because the Haitian people were or are unable to help with the relief efforts; however, by not giving them the chance, this becomes a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”78 The initial marginalization thus leads to the “further deterioration of Haitian capabilities and [fuels] the brain drain phenomenon.”79

A.   There Was a Disconnect Between What the Money Was Spent on and What the Haitian People Wanted.

As a consequence of the NGOs and foreign actors excluding the Haitian government and community from the development efforts, disconnect arose between what the money was spent on and what the Haitian peopled wanted and needed.80 A spokesman for a large UN organization offered a “stunningly blunt portrait of this dynamic”:81

[When asked] whether the government of Haiti has ever told him what to spend donor money on, the spokesman . . . said: “Never. They are not in the position, because they are financially dependent. Recently, there was a government press conference. There was nothing ‘government’ about it; we organized it and told them what to say.”82

A 2011 Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) Audit of the IHRC confirmed this marginalization, finding that “the IHRC failed to direct funding to projects prioritized by Haitians.”83 The Haitian government, for example, requested almost equal funding for agricultural projects and rubble removal, but “the IHRC approved seven times more funding for agriculture projects.”84 Haiti’s Action Plan (“Action Plan”) stated the country wanted more than $800 million for improving and rebuilding its government institutions, but the IHRC only approved $113 million.85 In another instance, the Haitian Action Plan requested only about $180 million for road construction, yet the IHRC approved $680 million for these projects.86 Because of the IHRC’s unwillingness to work with and listen to the Haitian community, the audit found that the “current projects may not be providing the assistance that is most urgently needed.”87

Another example shows the stark disconnect between what the Haitian  people wanted in terms of reconstruction and what projects the international community decided to work on. Fifteen miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, the “NGO Republic” took over the city of Léogâne.88 Because Léogâne is situated at the junction of three rivers, it needed a sustainable drainage system, and the river bank needed to be shored up to prevent flooding; however, only one group worked on reinforcing the river bank, while others claimed this was not part of their plan nor was it what they were fundraising for.89 The technical coordinator of the Municipal Civil Protection Committee of Léogâne summarized this problem correctly: “The irony . . . is that all the projects that the NGOs did put money into will get washed away in the floods that will come. The NGOs will continue to finance projects in underdeveloped countries in an underdeveloped way.”90 Had they spoken to the community and understood the land, maybe the groups would have realized that this project was worth funding.

B.  Excluding the Local Community Reinforced Haiti’s Dependence on Foreign Aid.

Excluding the local community continues to reinforce the country’s reliance on foreign aid as it erodes the capacity of local actors.91 The health industry in Haiti is a prime example of this issue. Prior to the earthquake, the lack of access to health care was considered “the forgotten emergency.”92 While a system provides exemptions for the poor when it comes to health services, many cannot access healthcare because of the system’s poor regulation.93 Many of the structures are also short on medicine and need to purchase them from the private sector, which further reduces the poor’s access to healthcare.94

At the same time, the organizations that provide free healthcare became an essential part of the relief process. After the earthquake, Chatuley Hospital, run by Médecins Sans Frontières (“MSF”) became the most important healthcare provider in the area of Léogâne.95 MSF was providing essential services that were previously unavailable to many Haitians; however, this has proven fatal to the fragile Haitian healthcare system in that local businesses that would normally provide healthcare cannot compete with the international groups that provide free healthcare.96 Many “Haitian private companies and individuals who traditionally provide[d] [healthcare] . . . have already gone bankrupt.”97 In addition, the influx of foreign doctors, particularly the volunteer doctors, displaced the local medical community and their private clinics because they had to compete for patients in a medical marketplace where volunteer doctors dominated.98 Because these foreign actors did not create partnerships with the local community, the Haitian private sector could not grow and work with the NGOs, which ensured that NGOs and foreign actors dominated the health industry and reinforced the country’s dependency on foreign aid.99

C.  The Haitian Government, Local Businesses, and NGOs Received Very Little Funding.

In addition to sidelining the Haitian community from directing how reconstruction would proceed, the international community gave very little funding directly to the Haitian government, local businesses, or local NGOs.100 The Haitian government received less than one percent of $2.29 billion disbursed by donors in 2010 and 2011.101 Haitian NGOs received just 0.4 percent of the international aid.102 In addition, Haiti received none of the $1.28 billion in humanitarian funding from the United States.103 The government did receive marginally more funding for long-term development, about fifteen to twenty-one percent of the total recovery funding, but the United States only disbursed about one percent of it to the Haitian government.104 When it came to procuring goods and services for the reconstruction process, Haitian companies received only $1.33 of every $100 spent by the U.S. government in Haiti.105 Rather, non-Haitian NGOs and private contractors were the primary recipients of the reconstruction assistance funds.106 As of April 2012, USAID had awarded few contracts to Haitian companies, even though they had spent over $1 billion in funding.107 More than seventy-five percent of USAID contracts went to “Beltway Contractors.”108

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, it was unlikely that many local businesses had the capability to contract and provide the services needed. However, as time went on after the earthquake, the number of contracts with local firms actually decreased.109 For example, in the first six months after the earthquake, a large number of contracts were actually signed with Haitian firms; however, in the next year the direct contracts with Haitian companies actually decreased by “four-and-a-half times.”110 As time passed, months went by in which no Haitian firm received any contracts for reconstruction work.111 According to the Federal Procurement Data System, “As of April 14, 2011, 1490 contracts had been awarded . . . for a total of $194,458,912. Of those 1490 contracts, only [twenty-three] have gone to Haitian companies, totaling just $4,841,426, or roughly 2.5 percent of the total.”112 A proposed explanation for the lack of contracts going to Haitian firms early on was because many of these firms used no-bid contracts.113 However, the number of no-bid contracts actually increased, from about fifteen percent of all contracts in January 2010 to about forty-two percent between December and April 2011.114 If these no-bid contracts were used mainly because of urgency, the number would be expected to decrease as time went on, not almost triple in proportion.115

The development community missed the opportunity to “spend the development dollar twice” by not contracting with the local companies.116 Investing in local businesses would grow the local private sector, which leads to an increase in long-term income and job growth.117 It would also help local entrepreneurs and firms build their businesses to compete with outsiders.118 Investing in the private sector would strengthen the Haitian economy, build local capacity, and strengthen the local government, which all would contribute to a more self-sufficient state that is not as reliant on foreign aid.119

IV.    Disaster Response Should Be A Partnership Between Donors & the Local Community

The development community missed an opportunity to spur long-term development by largely excluding the Haitian community and government from the reconstruction process.120 The Haitian community had no say in how their country would be rebuilt and who would lead the effort.121 Even the IHRC, the commission composed of both Haitian and international members, marginalized its Haitian members.122 Furthermore, very little funding actually went to the Haitian government, the local businesses, or Haitian NGOs.123 While the first goal in the aftermath of a disaster, especially one as devastating as the earthquake was to Haiti, is to stabilize the crisis, at some point, a shift must take place where the local community becomes an active participant in the rebuilding of its country.

The purpose of any foreign assistance program “should be ending  its need to exist.”124 A program can achieve this purpose by prioritizing inclusive development, “strengthen[ing] in-country capacity, and mobiliz[ing] domestic resources” through partnering with the local community.125  Many organizations instead limit their  partnerships  to  the implementation phase of a program, rather than collaborating with the local community from the project’s onset.126 Bringing in local actors at the implementation stage may be too late. It is important to build the partnership in the beginning to provide a strong foundation for lasting collaboration between the organizations and the community.127 While international agreements and USAID do support this approach in theory, their commitments must be translated into action.128 

After analyzing USAID’s shortcomings regarding an inclusive development policy in Haiti, this Note proposes two ways to promote a more collaborative disaster response and see sustainable and long-term development in Haiti. By targeting both the public and private sector in Haiti for reform and reconstruction projects, the hope is that Haiti’s economy, government, and citizens will grow and ultimately not rely so heavily on foreign aid. First, foreign aid should focus on institutional and capacity building and specifically reduce the use of results-based aid contracts for these kinds of projects. Second, the United States should adopt an inclusive procurement policy that favors working with local businesses when possible in responding to a disaster. This would require USAID to include local input and local sourcing of goods whenever possible. Ultimately, this will ensure that the aid community works with the Haitians as partners in the rebuilding and development of the country rather than silencing them. Working with the local community and including them in both the planning and implementation stage will lead to more successful and sustainable long-term development.

A.   There Must Be a Focus on Institutional Building.

The immediate goal following a disaster is to stabilize the situation (i.e., pro- vide food, water, shelter, and conduct search and rescue missions).129 But, once the immediate crisis is stable, foreign aid must transition to promote long-term, broad-based institution building.130 In a country as fragile as Haiti, this means promoting the stability and independence of its government’s institutions and its capacity to respond to such disasters. If reconstruction does not focus on capacity building, “then Haiti will simply revert to its failed state status and whatever is reconstructed will begin to crumble over time without institutions to ensure maintenance.”131

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the Haitian government was ineffective and lacked “skilled, trained, and properly organized government personnel and . . . management systems within ministries and other government[s].”132 As a result, foreign donors resisted giving money to the Haitian government.133 Providing the unstable and ineffective Haitian government directly with the billions of dollars in foreign aid would create the “perfect storm” for corruption and misuse of funds.134 However, this cannot stand as a singular justification to completely avoid working with the government. Successful foreign aid must go beyond just “bricks and mortar alone” and must strengthen the country’s institutions.135

The success of a state and developing an effective government cannot be separated from having an effective public procurement system because economic growth and effective investment cannot happen without it.136 In the alternative, poor administration of a country’s public procurement system may result in investments becoming liabilities, the hindering of development goals, and lead to wasted funds and additional costs.137 Because government institutions and procurement systems are so intertwined, USAID cannot underestimate the importance of funding capacity-building projects.

There are unique challenges when funding institutional and capacity- building projects. In particular, the nature of funding many foreign aid contracts and grants is not necessarily conducive to programs focused on long-term development.138 Donors want to hold their implementing partners account- able and see tangible results.139 In doing so, many donors rely on results-based aid funding mechanisms.140 Results-based aid or cash-on-delivery funding mechanisms allow funders to defer payments until the implementing partner achieves certain results or reaches a particular indicator of progress.141 If and only if the partner reaches this goal, will the implementing partner receive additional funding.142 This type of funding mechanism is attractive to donors because it can provide more accountability, an essential aspect to any successful project.

However, heightened accountability has unintended consequences for long- term development projects.143 Long-term development goals, such as holding a successful election or increasing access to education, do not produce the same kind of tangible results as constructing a road. Therefore, when donors and partners are faced with a results-based funding mechanism and increased pressure to produce results quickly, capacity-building projects may be neglected.144 An overall decline in innovative transformational projects may take place because it is more difficult to quantify how to meet these types of goals.145 Furthermore, these projects take years, if not decades, to produce outcomes.146 By contrast, most USAID projects after the 2010 earthquake had a time frame of only one year.147 These institution-building projects cannot provide the types of results or prove they are successful or sustainable until after the aid has ended.148 Additionally, when conflicts and adverse political events occurred in Haiti, donors limited funding channeled through the Haitian state, finding it “counterproductive to strengthen state institutions when the state was acting in nondemocratic and repressive ways.”149 Reducing the funding, however, just makes the state that much less capable and further limits its growth and development.150 Due to Haiti’s history of political ineffectiveness and lack of state capacity, it is essential that funding continues to go to institution building and supporting its civil society.151 If not, Haiti will have a much harder time developing and rebuilding successfully.152

B.  Disaster Response Must Include Local Input and Local Sourcing When Possible.

While many Haitian companies after the 2010 earthquake were likely incapable of providing goods and services to contribute to the reconstruction effort, USAID contracts with Haitian firms actually decreased as time went on.153 However, had USAID contracted with the local businesses, it would have injected money into the economy, spurred job-creation, helped local entrepreneurs, and promoted self-sufficiency, rather than continued reliance on outside companies.154 Effective disaster response and recovery must include local input and local sourcing of materials when possible. Procurement is a valuable tool, capable of promoting and stimulating development through investment in the local markets.155 The United States should incorporate a local procurement preference when it comes to providing foreign aid and disaster relief. It must take two steps to increase local procurement: (1) it should codify local preferences for foreign aid via statute; and (2) it should provide assistance to local businesses to develop their companies and meet USAID standards.

1.  Congress Should Create a Local Preferences Provision for Foreign Aid.

Currently, the United States has a provision in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (“Stafford Act”) that gives preference to the provision of federal funds to “those organizations, firms, and individuals residing or doing business primarily in the area affected by such major disaster or emergency.”156 After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, President George W. Bush signed into law the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (“Post-Katrina Reform Act”), which amended the local contractor preference “by requiring that expenditures of federal funds for emergency assistance activities to companies that are not local be justified in writing.”157 It further required that after a declaration of an emergency or natural disaster, “agencies performing response, relief, and reconstruction activities to transition that work to organizations, firms, and individuals residing or doing business primarily in the affected area.”158 This statute, however, only applies to domestic disaster relief and assistance.159

There is no analogous statute when it comes to international assistance in the aftermath of a disaster. While Congress passed the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014 (“APHA”), which recognized the significance that comes from working with local businesses, this was done years following the earthquake and after the initial disaster reconstruction had finished.160 While the APHA may be a step in the right direction toward future cooperation with the local Haitian community, there is still no expressed preference for local businesses and organizations when it comes to foreign aid. The United States should pass a law similar to the Stafford Act and the Post-Katrina Reform Act that is applicable to foreign assistance. This way, it will no longer be possible for the U.S. Government to bypass local businesses and proceed with foreign contractors on the assumption that the local community is unable to work. Instead, the preference for working with local businesses and a requirement to justify the decision not to would be codified.161

2.  USAID Should Provide Assistance to Local Businesses to Develop Their Companies.

There is a catch-22 when it comes to working with Haitian local organizations. Many of them do not meet USAID’s eligibility criteria to receive funding.162 But these businesses cannot afford to improve their organizations up to USAID standards without such funding.163 Therefore, USAID must provide assistance to local businesses to develop their organizations and to ensure that they can meet these standards.164

One area on which USAID should focus is training and capacity building for these organizations. For example, USAID and Haiti signed a $32 million contract with RTI International to develop the Local Enterprise and Value Chain-Enhancement (“LEVE”) Project.165 Its goal was to support micro-, small-, and medium-size enterprises (“MSMEs”) and to “create jobs by making the value chains more productive and inclusive,” with the goal to “create[] 6,000 full-time-equivalent jobs, . . . increase the investments of 155 businesses, increase the sales of 300 businesses, and provide 800 microenterprises (businesses operating on a very small scale), with U.S. Government assistance.”166 Yet at the time the audit was conducted in 2018, the project had created only 628 new jobs by mainly large businesses, not MSMEs.167 Furthermore, it increased investments only for six businesses, increased sales for twenty-three businesses, and helped only 223 microenterprises.168 Not only did the project not meet its goals, the Office of the Inspector General for USAID acknowledged that many of these businesses needed more training and capacity building if they were to succeed.169 USAID should focus on training and teaching businesses how to operate effectively so that if and when a disaster does strike, a capable group of businesses will already be on the ground in Haiti.

In addition, programs are already in place in Haiti that make it easier for international organizations, like USAID, to find Haitian organizations to do business with.170 In 2009, Building Markets (formerly Peace Dividend Trust) launched its Peace Dividend Marketplace-Haiti (PDM-H) project to encourage international organizations to adopt a Haiti First policy.171 An integral part of the project was creating a Tender Distribution Service, which collects and disseminates tenders and other business opportunities to local registered businesses.172 It includes an online supplier directory to increase buyers’ access to information about the local market.173 To ensure the businesses’ reliability, each business must go through an in-person interview with a verification officer and then is reverified every six months.174 It then allows buyers to research the local market and provides a matchmaking report “containing detailed information about suppliers that can meet [their] requirements.”175 Since its inception, it has now been transferred under the control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI).176 This service makes it easy and feasible for international organizations to connect and work with local Haitian businesses, that are looking to grow, particularly if the work is to be done in Haiti.177

Another way to increase Haitian participation requires posting procurement notices in French or Creole rather than in English. The APHA does address this issue by including a requirement that descriptions for communicating the progress of recovery and development efforts and procurement information be in Haitian Creole.178 Posting procurement notices in Haitian Creole will also open up the market for Haitian businesses.179

V.  Conclusion

While foreign aid provided much-needed help and support to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, it did not effectively focus and promote long-term development. The development community should have focused on working with the Haitian people as partners. Empowering the local community when providing aid and relief can lead to sustainable and lasting change and reform. A focus on institution and capacity building can help develop the state’s ability to maintain the development projects implemented and contribute to continued stability and growth. Giving the local community a voice in how the development progresses can ensure that the projects are actually necessary. Furthermore, buying locally when possible will provide a much-needed boost to the economy to support long-term economic growth. While these reforms will take time, they may help to get Haiti off the list of least-developed countries and contribute to lasting and successful development.

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  1. “A konbit is a [Creole] term used to describe when a group of people come together to accomplish a project in their community. It is a term that embodies the solidarity among the Haitian people and the desire to do whatever one can to help their community advance.” Konbit Together, http://www.konbittogether.org/about_us [https://perma.cc/CHR3-MYQZ] (last visited Apr. 4, 2019).
  2. See Vijaya Ramachandran & Julie Walz, Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?, 21 J. Haitian Stud. 26, 30 (2015).
  3. See Jonathan M. Katz, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster 77 (2014).
  4. See generally id. at 79.
  5. See id.
  6. See id. at 78–79.
  7. Id.
  8. See id. at 79.
  9. Katz, supra note 3, at 79. The United States Military distributed over 2.6 million bottles of water, including “deluxe FIJI Water from ‘the remote Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu,’ bottled eight thousand miles away. You can still find the containers in the great plastic dams of debris in the capital, blocking canals when it rains.” Id.
  10. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 31.
  11. See Table 1, Human Development Index and Its Components, United Nations Dev. Programme, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdro_statistical_data_table1.pdf [https://perma.cc/WF9C-ZQX6] (last visited Jan. 27, 2019) [hereinafter Human Development Index and its Components]. The World Bank Human Development Index (HDI) assesses the development of a country based on three key dimensions: “a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.” See id.
  12. See Nicolas Lemay-Hébert et al., Haiti: Tensions Between Aid Relief and Development in the Health Sector, Humanitarian Alternatives 5–6 (July 2018), http://alternatives-humanitaires.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2.Perspectives_Lemay_Martel_Robitaille_VEN.pdf [https://perma.cc/LHB8-3F9D].
  13. See id.
  14. See id.
  15. Cf. id. at 3.
  16. See id. at 5.
  17. See generally Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12, at 1–8.
  18. See Jake Johnston, Where Does the Money Go? Eight Years of USAID Funding in Haiti, Ctr. Econ. & Pol’y Res. (Jan. 11, 2018), http://cepr.net/blogs/haiti-r [https://perma.cc/2CBB-JDWQ].
  19. See id.
  20. See id.
  21. See Kathie Klarreich & Linda Polman, The NGO Republic of Haiti, Nation (Oct. 31, 2012), https://www.thenation.com/article/ngo-republic-haiti [https://perma.cc/CM8S-4HL4].
  22. See generally id.
  23. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 35.
  24. See After the Earthquake: Empowering Haiti to Rebuild Better: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 111th Cong. 33 (2010) (statement of Andrew S. Natsios, Professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service) [hereinafter Haiti Senate Hearing].
  25. See id. at 36.
  26. See id.
  27. See Rocio C. Labrador, Haiti’s Troubled Path to Development, Council on Foreign Rel. (Mar. 12, 2018), https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/haitis-troubled-path-development [https://perma.cc/269Y-WNDR].
  28. See Inyoung Kang, A List of Previous Disasters in Haiti, a Land All Too Familiar with Hardship, N.Y. Times (Oct. 4, 2016), https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/world/americas/haiti-hurricane-earthquake.html [https://perma.cc/MF4V-MZ7H].
  29. See Human Development Index and Its Components, supra note 11.
  30. See Maureen Taft-Morales, Cong. Research Serv., R45034, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions: In Brief 3 (Dec. 1, 2017) [hereinafter Taft-Morales, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions].
  31. See Amy Belasco et al., Cong. Research Serv., R41232, FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs 50 (Aug. 6, 2010).
  32. See Maureen Taft-Morales, Cong. Research Serv., R42559, Haiti Under President Martelly: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns 12 (Dec. 23, 2015).
  33. See id., Summary.
  34. See Taft-Morales, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions, supra note 30, at Summary. The Duvalier dictatorship was led by François Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude and “characterized by corruption that drained the nation’s coffers and human rights violations that left some thirty thousand dead or missing.” Labrador, supra note 27.
  35. See Taft-Morales, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions, supra note 30, at 1.
  36. See Kang, supra note 28.
  37. See id.
  38. See id.
  39. See id. (“The death toll of 2,400 was partly attributed to the lack of trees and eroded soil in the hills, which left no natural barrier against the annual spring rains.”).
  40. See id.
  41. See id.
  42. See Richard Pallardy, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Encyclopedia Britannica (Jan. 5, 2020),https://www.britannica.com/event/Haiti-earthquake-of-2010 [https://perma.cc/3P92-SKQX].
  43. See id.
  44. See id.
  45. See id.see also Taft-Morales, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions, supra note 30, at 2.
  46. See Pallardy, supra note 42.
  47. See id. U.N. peacekeepers who came to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake are accused of spreading the disease in Haiti where it “killed ten thousand and infected nearly one million more.” Labrador, supra note 27.
  48. See Taft-Morales, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions, supra note 30, at 3.
  49. See id.
  50. See id.
  51. See Labrador, supra note 27.
  52. See id.
  53. See Belasco et al., supra note 31, at 51–52.
  54. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 27.
  55. See U.S. Gov’t Accountability Off., GAO-14-47T, Haiti Reconstruction: USAID Infrastructure Projects Have Had Mixed Results and Face Sustainability Challenges, Highlights (2013).
  56. See id. at 1.
  57. See Jacqueline Charles, After Hurricane Matthew, Many Victims in Haiti Feel Abandoned, Miami Herald (July 14, 2017), https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article161397653.html [https://perma.cc/U5P5-KCR6]. After Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the Inter-American Development Bank planned to reroute $85 million of its funds to reconstruction efforts in southern Haiti, and USAID provided over $100 million in the emergency response. See id. The World Bank provided $100 million to support reconstruction, focusing on roads and bridges, support agricultural programs, and fund health and cholera-fighting efforts. See id.
  58. See Jesselyn Cook, 7 Years After Haiti’s Earthquake, Millions Still Need Aid, Huffington Post (Jan. 12, 2017), https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/haiti-earthquake-anniversary_us_5875108de4b02b5f858b3f9c [https://perma.cc/H2Q2-EM9X].
  59. See Labrador, supra note 27.
  60. Joshua Speiser, Eight Years After the Haiti Earthquake, Progress and Challenges, From the Prow (Jan. 12, 2018), https://fromtheprow.agu.org/eight-years-haiti-earthquake-progress-challenges [https://perma.cc/7TGF-KCNJ].
  61. See Anastasia Moloney, Haiti Needs New Approach to Make Aid Effective, Bring Jobs, Skills: ex-PM, Reuters (Jan. 20, 2016), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-haiti-aid/haiti-needs-new-approach-to-make-aid-effective-bring-jobs-skills-ex-pm-idUSKCN0UY28U [https://perma.cc/RJG3-6A2A].
  62. See Klarreich & Polman, supra note 21.
  63. See id.
  64. See id.
  65. See id.
  66. See id.
  67. See id.
  68. See id.
  69. See id.
  70. See Bill Quigley & Amber Ramanauskas, Haiti: Where Is the Money?, Ark. J. Soc. Change & Pub. Serv. (Feb. 26, 2012), https://ualr.edu/socialchange/2012/02/26/haiti-where-is-the-money [https://perma.cc/TJS5-C5SM].
  71. See U.S. Gov’t Accountability Off., GAO-11-415, Haiti Reconstruction: U.S. Efforts Have Begun, Expanded Oversight Still to Be Implemented Highlights 5–6 (2011) [hereinafter GAO-11-415].
  72. See id. at 6.
  73. See id. at 5–6, 5 n.10.
  74. See IHRC Board Meets Amidst Mounting Criticism, Ctr. Econ. & Pol’y. Res. (Apr. 8, 2011), https://www.cepr.net/ihrc-board-meets-amidst-mounting-criticism [https://perma.cc/RS2A-VKRY] [hereinafter IHRC Board Meets Amidst Mounting Criticism].
  75. Id.
  76. Id.
    A year after the promises of reconstruction with billions of U.S. dollars, we find that nothing of significance has really been undertaken. There has been no break with the approaches and practices that have, over the years, impoverished and rendered the Republic of Haiti so vulnerable. On the contrary, we are witnessing an acceleration of all the phenomena reflecting collective decline and regression. The millions of people affected directly or indirectly by the earthquake continue to face the consequences of this decline in a state of destitution and without accompaniment. The extraordinary movement of inter-Haitian solidarity that emerged forcefully in the aftermath of the earthquake has been completely marginalized by the dominant forces.
    Id.
  77. Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12, at 7.
  78. Id.
  79. Id.
  80. See Klarreich & Polman, supra note 21.
  81. Id.
  82. Id.
  83. See Quigley & Ramanauskas, supra note 70.
  84. See id.
  85. See id.
  86. See id.
  87. GAO-11-415, supra note 71, at 46.
  88. See Klarreich & Polman, supra note 21 (“‘NGO-Republics’—countries where nongovernmental organizations and wealthy donor entities have created parallel states endlessly richer and, at the end of the day, more powerful than the national governments themselves.”).
  89. See id.
  90. See id.
  91. See generally Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12.
  92. Id. at 4.
  93. See id. at 3.
  94. See id.
  95. See id. at 4.
  96. See id.
  97. Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12, at 4. While the Haitian government wants the international organizations to begin charging for medical services to gradually phase out free services, the NGOs are reluctant to do so. See id.
  98. See id. at 4–5.
  99. See generally id.
  100. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 33.
  101. See id.
  102. See Klarreich & Polman, supra note 21.
  103. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 33.
  104. See id. at 35.
  105. See Julie Walz & Vijaya Ramachandran, The Need for More Local Procurement in Haiti, Ctr. Global Dev. (Feb. 2013), https://www.cgdev.org/publication/ft/need-more-local-procurement-haiti [https://perma.cc/R528-L7AP] [hereinafter Walz & Ramachandran, The Need for More Local Procurement in Haiti].
  106. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 33.
  107. See id. at 37–38.
  108. See id. at 37. “Beltway Contractors” refer to private contractors inside the Beltway (i.e., located in Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia.) See id.
  109. See Walz & Ramachandran, The Need for More Local Procurement in Haitisupra note 105.
  110. See id.
  111. See id.
  112. Haitian Companies Still Sidelined from Reconstruction Contracts, Ctr. Econ. Pol’y Res. (Apr. 19, 2011), https://www.cepr.net/haitian-companies-still-sidelined-from-reconstruction-contracts [https://perma.cc/HH4W-3EPC] [hereinafter Haitian Companies Still Sidelined from Reconstruction Contracts].
  113. See id. Unlike requests for proposals or other methods of competitive bidding, sole source or no-bid contracts are used to hire a vendor as quickly as possible for a specific job, without the need for a competitive bidding process. See How No-Bid Contracts Are Interfering with Competitive Bidding, BidNet, https://www.bidnet.com/resources/business-insights/how-no-bid-contracts-are-interfering-with-competitive-bidding-en.jsp [https://perma.cc/5DSE-WUPK] (last visited Jan. 20, 2020).
  114. See Haitian Companies Still Sidelined from Reconstruction Contracts, supra note 112.
  115. See id.
  116. See Walz & Ramachandran, The Need for More Local Procurement in Haiti, supra note 105.
  117. See Ainsley Butler et al., Bldg. Mkts., Open for Business: A Glimpse into the Intersection of Development and Business in Haiti 2009–2012, at 4 (2012).
  118. See id. at 10.
  119. See id. at 8.
  120. See supra Part III.
  121. See Klarreich & Polman, supra note 21.
  122. See id.IHRC Board Meets Amidst Mounting Criticism, supra note 74.
  123. See Quigley & Ramanauskas, supra note 70.
  124. See U.S. Agency Int’l Dev., USAID/Haiti Strategic Framework 2018 –2020, at 3 (2018).
  125. See id. at 3–4; Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12, at 5–6.
  126. See Lemay-Hébert et al., supra note 12, at 5–6.
  127. See id.
  128. For example, the 2011 Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation commits its signatories to a “new global development partnership that embraces diversity and recognizes the distinct roles that all stakeholders in cooperation can play to support development.” U.S. Agency Int’l Dev., Local Systems: A Framework for Supporting Sustained Development 3 (2014). One hundred, sixty countries, including the United States, endorsed this agreement. See id. The USAID Policy Framework for 2011–2015 emphasizes inclusive development as a means to promoting sustainability: “The ultimate goal of development cooperation must be to enable developing countries to devise and implement their own solutions to key development challenges and to develop resilience against shocks and other setbacks. Sustainability is about building skills, knowledge, institutions and incentives that can make development processes self-sustaining.” Id. at 4.
  129. Cf. Rand Corp., Nat’l Sec. Research Div., Keith Crane et al., Building a More Resilient Haitian State 141 (2010).
  130. See Haiti Senate Hearing, supra note 24, at 33.
  131. Id. at 36.
  132. Crane et al., supra note 129, at xv.
  133. See Ramachandran & Walz, supra note 2, at 35.
  134. See Haiti Senate Hearing, supra note 24, at 34.
  135. See id. at 36.
  136. See Phillipp Kause & Lina Tutunji, Three Reasons Procurement Is Essential for Development, World Bank (Nov. 6, 2014), http://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/three-reasons-procurement-essential-development [https://perma.cc/5AP4-Y3JL].
  137. See id.
  138. See Ctr. for Glob. Dev., Andrew Natsios, The Clash of the Counter-bureaucracy and Development 3 (2010), www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1424271.
  139. See Alexander Cooley & James Ron, The NGO Scramble: Organizational Insecurity and the Political Economy of Transnational Action, 27 Int’l Security 5, 7, 11 (2002); see also Oxfam, The “Right” Results: Making Sure the Results Agenda Remains Committed to Poverty Reduction 2 (2011), https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/143490/bp155-right-results-aid%20effectiveness-290911-en.pdf?sequence=21.
  140. See Cooley & Ron, supra note 139, at 11.
  141. See Oxfam, supra note 139, at 8.
  142. See Ctr. for Glob. Dev., Nancy Birdsall et al., Cash on Delivery: A New Approach to Foreign Aid 2 (2010), https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/1424603_file_CashDelivery_FINAL_0.pdf.
  143. Natsios, supra note 138, at 3 (“In practice, this means compromising good development practices such as local ownership, a focus on institution building, decentralized decision making and long-term program planning horizons to assure sustainability in order to reduce risk, improve efficiency (at least as it is defined by federal administrative practice), and ensure proper recordkeeping and documentation for every transaction.”).
  144. See Oxfam, supra note 139, at 9.
  145. See id. at 5.
  146. Cf. Crane et al., supra note 29, at 27.
  147. See Natsios, supra note 138, at 39.
  148. See id. at 8.
  149. Crane et al., supra note 29, at 139–40.
  150. See id. at 140.
  151. See Keith Crane et al., Still Shaky: A Year After the Earthquake in Haiti, the Key to Stability Is to Build the State, 34 Rand Rev. 16, 18 (2010–2011).
  152. See Haiti Senate Hearing, supra note 24, at 36.
  153. See Walz & Ramachandran, The Need for More Local Procurement in Haiti, supra note 105, at 2.
  154. See id. at 1–2.
  155. “UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes that ‘procurement can and should be more than [an operational step]. It should be a crucial tool in the development itself. It should stimulate local markets and drive innovation.’” Id. at 1.
  156. 42 U.S.C. § 5150(a)(1) (2018). “Congress wrote the Stafford Act to maximize the impact of federal dollars by giving preference to local contractors, strengthening the damaged economy and providing jobs to communities and victims of the disaster.” Select Bipartisan Comm. To Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, 109th Cong., A Failure of Initiative 335 (Comm. Print 2006).
  157. See Jillian L. Morrison, Post-Disaster Contracting: An Examination of the Costs Associated with the Stafford Act’s Local Contracting Preference and Implementation Proposals to Maximize Community Revitalization, 37 Pub. Cont. L.J. 687, 699 (2008).
  158. See id.
  159. See 42 U.S.C. § 5122(2) (“‘Major disaster’ means any natural catastrophe . . . , or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States . . . .”) (emphasis added).
  160. See Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-162, §3, 128 Stat. 1858, 1859–60 (2014) (“It is the policy of the United States to support the sustainable rebuilding and development of Haiti in a manner that . . . prioritizes the local procurement of goods and services in Haiti where appropriate . . . .”).
  161. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 5150(b)(1).
  162. See Johnston, supra note 18.
  163. See id.
  164. This is not to say that there were no local businesses that were capable. In October 2010, a cholera epidemic infected thousands of Haitians. See Jacob Kushner, The Multiplier Effect: Driving Haiti’s Recovery by Spending Aid Dollars Locally, Pub. Radio Int’l (May 11, 2012), https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-05-11/multiplier-effect-driving-haiti-s-recovery-spending-aid-dollars-locally [https://perma.cc/QF85-7LPG]. A director of an NGO received a call requesting 4.5 million bars of soap to distribute to the Haitians who were living in unsanitary displacement camps. See id. He connected UNDP with Fritz Brandt, whose company Carribex had been producing soap for local consumption in Haiti. See id. Carribex began delivering the type of soap that UNDP needed in just three days and delivered three million in less than a week. See id. Brandt said this was the first time in seven years that a foreign NGO or international body that spends billions of aid dollars annually on supplies had ever given him a contract. See id.
  165. See U.S. Agency for Int’l Dev., Office of Inspector Gen., Audit Report 1-521-18-001-P, USAID’s Economic Growth Project Was Not on Track to Facilitate More Productive and Inclusive Value Chains in Haiti 1, 3 (June 14, 2018).
  166. Id.
  167. See id. at 3.
  168. See id.
  169. See id. at 4.
  170. See Butler et al., supra note 117, at 19.
  171. See id. at 3, 47.
  172. See id. at 10.
  173. See id. at 10, 23.
  174. See id. at 10.
  175. Id. at 24.
  176. See id. at 10.
  177. See id. at 17. Because of this service, Gerly Distribution, an agricultural company that sells products like seeds, fertilizers, feed, and veterinary products and machinery throughout Haiti was able to expand their business. See id. PDM-H conducted training sessions to teach companies about international contracting procedures and put them in touch with customers. See id. As of 2012, Gerly Distribution has received over half a million dollars in contracts with five different international organizations, including USAID. See id.
  178. See Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014 § 5(b)(11), 128 Stat. 1862.
  179. Cf. Butler et al., supra note 117, at 2.