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The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) is no longer in operation. This website documents FOCAL's activities and accomplishments throughout its existence. Thank you for your interest in the work of FOCAL.

Haiti: Role of Private Sector, the Willson House Process

The private sector is a critical, but often overlooked actor in supporting economic, political and social development in Haiti. Growth of the formal private sector is one of the most important elements in job creation and growing tax revenue to enable effective government services. Beyond this, the private sector is an important source of skilled and technical workers that are in short supply in Haiti. FOCAL was a catalyst for discussions, research and new initiatives between the private sector, government and multilateral actors.

Starting in September 2005, FOCAL and the Inter-American Dialogue convened a series of groundbreaking meetings between leaders of the Haitian private sector and international donors at Willson House on Meech Lake near Canada’s capital city, in Atlanta and in Port-au-Prince. These meetings were a unique attempt to harness some of the ideas and energy of the one sector in Haiti with the resources, skills and capacity to reduce poverty from within and to help build capacity for development in Haiti through formalization, modernization, privatization and decentralization in a variety of sectors. The meeting also provided the starting point for a discussion of the private sector's role in supporting education reforms, a particular area of business involvement and investment. This experiment in bringing private sector leaders together with the international development community came to be known as the Willson House Process.

Meetings of the Willson House Process:

Washington, 2011

The Private Sector and the Development of Haiti
May 16-17, 2011, Washington, D.C.


Remarks on the Private Sector and the Development of Haiti
Pamela Cox, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank

Remarks on the Private Sector and the Development of Haiti
Thomas C. Adams, Haiti Special Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

The Haitian Private Sector and a New Social Consensus for a Revolution of Growth
F. Carl Braun, Chairman and CEO, Groupe Financier National and UNIBANK

Economic Recovery Roadmap
Pierre-Marie Boisson, Chief Economist, SOGEBANK S.A.; Chairman, SOGESOL
Member of the Executive Committee, Groupe de Travail sur la Compétitivité

Tourism Development Plan
Pierre Chauvet, Président, Association Touristique d’Haïti

Presentation on Public-Private Dialogue in Haiti
Edouard Baussan, Président, Association des Agences Maritimes d'Haïti

Meeting documents


Information sheet on the Willson House Process

Briefing paper on Private Sector Priorities

A Survey of Haiti's Private Sector

Background information

Haiti Economic Recovery and Roadmap (ERRM): Executive Summary

Haiti Economic Recovery and Roadmap (ERRM): Final Report

Shared Vision for an Inclusive and Prosperous Haiti: Executive Summary

Shared Vision for an Inclusive and Prosperous Haiti: Final Report

Private Sector Development in Haiti: Opportunities for Investment, Job Creation and Growth

Private Sector Economic Forum: Vision and Roadmap for Haiti

Port-au-Prince, 2007

High-level Meeting between Private Sector and Donors
August 2007, Port-au-Prince

Research Paper: Education in Haiti, the Way Forward

Atlanta, 2007

Meeting on the Role of the Private Sector in Improving Educational Outcomes in Haiti
Feb. 3-4, 2007, Atlanta


Meeting Report

Working paper: Thinking about the Role of the Public and Non-public Sectors in Education in Haiti

Working paper: Le rôle du secteur privé dans l'éducation en Haïti

Meech Lake, 2005

High-level meeting on the role of the private sector in supporting the Interim Co-operation Framework in Haiti
Sept. 9-10, 2005, Meech Lake


The Role of the Private Sector in Rebuilding Haiti (also available in French and Spanish)

Other related publications:

FOCALPoint Spotlight on the Americas
March 2010

Building Big in Haiti
Yves Savain

FOCALPoint Spotlight on the Americas
October 2007

Public-Private Collaboration in Education: A New Development Model for Haiti
Leslie Fillion-Wilkinson and Carlo Dade

The Role of the Private Sector in Improving Educational Outcomes in Haiti
FOCAL Report
February 2007

FOCALPoint Spotlight on the Americas
January-February 2007

Haiti: Economic Growth and Violence
Carlo Dade

The Privatization of Foreign Development Assistance
FOCAL Policy Paper
Carlo Dade
July 7, 2006

Building Foundations for Haiti’s Future
Oliver Balch, Ethical Corporation
December 2, 2005

FOCALPoint Spotlight on the Americas: Special Edition on Haiti
June 2004

Private Investment: The Cure for Chronic Ailments (p.5)
Yves Savain


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Explore the link between governance and development.