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CIDA-RCMP Institutional Development Project — Haitian National Police

**see also — PM announces police deployment to assist stabilization efforts in Haiti (News Release, July 6, 2004 - Office of the Prime Minister)

Current Mission in Haiti - MINUSTAH

  • In May of 2004 the United Nations Secretariat formally requested that Canada provide civilian police officers for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti - MINUSTAH.
  • The RCMP has prepared candidates for deployment to Haiti. International Peacekeeping Branch has planned a three-phase deployment in which 100 Canadian police officers will deploy in groups of approximately 30-35 in July, August and September.
  • Prior to deployment of Canadian police officers, the RCMP’s International Peacekeeping Branch conducted a reconnaissance mission in order to assess the safety and security issues in the mission area, the working and living conditions, and the status of medical facilities available.
  • This mission also consists of a military component with the deployment of 500 Canadian Forces personnel.

Background of Canadian involvement in Haiti

  • The Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) funding and with the RCMP as its executing agency, has been supporting policing efforts in Haiti since 1994. The initial mandate was to facilitate the return of constitutional order under President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
  • Between 1994 and 1996, the RCMP provided 56 instructors to the new Haitian Police Academy under the responsibility of the International Criminal Intelligence Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), a US Justice Department Agency. The Canadian police officers were assigned to the recruit training program to develop course curriculum and deliver training.
  • The Haitian National Police (HNP) was created in 1995 following the dismantling of the military. It was the first civilian police force in Haitian history as previously all responsibility for law enforcement rested with the Haitian Armed Forces.
  • Between February 1995 and February 1996, 5,300 recruits were trained at the Haitian Police Academy and joined the ranks of the newly created HNP.
  • Since 1994, the RCMP also coordinated the participation of more than 550 Canadian police officers to the successive United Nations Civilian Police (UN CIVPOL) Missions in Haiti. The civilian police mandate evolved progressively from delivering policing services with an executive mandate, ensuring a secure and stable environment for the elections, assisting in the selection and training of the new HNP, to monitoring newly trained officers in the field and providing advice for the institutional development of the HNP.

CIDA-RCMP Partnership - Institutional Development Project

  • The first phase of the CIDA-RCMP project for the development of the HNP started in 1996 and focused on training programs. The purpose of the partnership was to assist the HNP in establishing a civilian police force in Haiti.
  • In January and February 1997, a multi-tasked team funded by CIDA and comprised of serving and retired RCMP members as well as Public Service employees went to Haiti to review the HNP. The team developed a five year Business Plan annexed to the “Plan de Développement-Plan Horizon 2000” prepared by the Haitian National Police.
  • The plan called for the positioning of 42 technical advisors in key management positions. In July 1997, the repartition was made between the international partners involved on the field: the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), ICITAP, the French Government and the CIDA-RCMP partnership.
  • In December 1997, the RCMP and CIDA signed an administrative interdepartmental three-year agreement named the Institutional Development Project to provide assistance to the HNP. Under this agreement, CIDA provided the funds (15 million dollars) and the RCMP acted as the executing agency.
  • The CIDA-RCMP Institutional Development Project was planned based on the five-year Business Plan to respond to the technical needs of the HNP. Initially 25 Canadian technical advisors (serving and retired police personnel) were assigned to the project to develop, with HNP management, a sustainable level for their police institution. The Director General of the HNP has declared the Canadian Business Plan the priority for 1998.
  • The CIDA-RCMP Institutional Development Project supports an approach where the HNP is responsible and accountable for its own development. The project also promotes a community policing philosophy in which police works closely with the population in order to understand its needs and respond to them appropriately. The CIDA/RCMP Institutional Development Project focuses on three major aspects: organizational development, training and logistics.
  • Currently the CIDA-RCMP project is staffed by 16 serving and retired Canadian police officers and has the responsibility for providing technical assistance in the following areas: Director General, Inspector General, Chief of Staff, the Academy Director. The project is also involved in additional technical aspects such as air services, forensic laboratory, the Academy Documentation Center, criminal intelligence and the car pool.

Results and Canadian Perspective

  • Since 1997, the CIDA/RCMP Institutional Development Project has been implemented, evaluated and changes were made according to the needs of the HNP. Institutional progress is now notable within the HNP.
  • Structures are being put in place, managers are acquiring experience and training. With the adoption by the HNP of the Canadian Business Plan as a priority in 1998, our consultative role is on the increase in Haiti.
  • Whenever possible, Haitian managers are brought to Canada and shown their respective spheres of operations. It allows them to visualize their objectives and adapt them to their situation.
  • The CIDA/RCMP Institutional Development Project has been successful in four main areas: management training, the Academy (train the trainer), criminal intelligence and forensic sciences.
  • The CIDA/RCMP project has become a model for the future UN mission in Haiti (MICAH) and has strengthened the relations between the Canadian partners ( CIDA, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade and the other Canadian police forces involved).
  • Canada’s support to the HNP is part of a global international intervention including the United States and France as well as multilateral organizations such as the United Nations.
  • Canada has promoted the importance of improved coordination between the different international partners, namely by advising the General Director to create a technical assistance coordination committee for the HNP. The HNP Coordination Committee was formed on July 22, 1997, to act as a problem solving mechanism for all international partners.
  • Such a cooperative approach is essential to avoid duplication of activities as well as maximizing financial contribution for the development of the HNP. To this end, continuous efforts were made between RCMP/CIDA project members and the Canadian members of CIVPOL to ensure the effectiveness of Canada’s contribution.
  • Experience has shown that the development towards a mature police force, following democratic principles, is slow and requires on going evaluation and adjustments to ensure alignment with strategic priorities and current reality. It also requires long term financial and technical expertise commitments from the international community.