Development Funds Accountability

The mission of the Development Funds Accountability working group is to track the flow and effectiveness of development funds into Haitian communities.

USAID Infrastructure Projects Have Had Mixed Results and Face Sustainability Challenges - June 18, 2013

What GAO Found

Haiti Holds First Meeting of New Committee on Foreign Aid

Above: Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and President Michel Martelly (Photo: OP Haiti) - May 13, 2013

Haiti and its international donors held the first-ever meeting of the new Committee on Coordination of External Aid for the Development of Haiti, an initiative the government said would communicate reconstruction funding “more effectively.”

CEPR Report - Breaking Open the Black Box: Increasing Aid Transparency and Accountability in Haiti - April 2013, Jake Johnston and Alexander Main

New Roadmap for NGOs in Haiti Aims to “Weed Out Bad Apples”

The Haitian government and international agencies are ramping up their efforts to relocate the people still living in camps across Haiti after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. A worker clears rubble at a construction site in Port-au-Prince on Sep. 7, 2012. Credit: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

submitted by Ted Kaplan - by Becky Bergdahl

New Wheat Strain Could Ease Food Shortages

Aussie scientists develop salt tolerant strain of durum wheat // Source:

Homeland Security News Wire - March 14, 2012

Researchers in Australia have developed a new strain of salt-tolerant wheat that could help minimize food shortages.

Infographic - Haiti: Cholera - Funding and Needs (as of 6 December 2011) - OCHA


Transparency Graphic - Fading Aid - How Much of the Haiti Donations Have Been Spent?


submitted by Albert Gomez

Haiti: First Mobile Phone Cash Transfers Facilitate UN-Backed Home Rebuilding

Up to now, more than 14,000 buildings have been repaired and nearly 5,000 were rebuilt in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. Photo: UNDP

UN News Centre

1 March 2012 –

Haiti Prime Minister Conille: Donor Aid Needs Revision

By Erika Bolstad and Jacqueline Charles - The Miami Herald - February 9, 2012

WASHINGTON — Two years after a massive earthquake, Haiti is even more vulnerable to natural catastrophes and still does not have the capacity to manage even small events, Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille said Tuesday.

Report - Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing

submitted by Albert Gomez - January 30, 2012


The High-level Panel on Global Sustainability presents its report to the Secretary-General on 30 January 2012 in Addis Ababa.

UN Documents Propose Mandatory Sustainability Reporting

submitted by Albert Gomez - January 31, 2012

Two influential documents – the Rio+20 negotiating text and the recommendations of the U.N. secretary general’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability – both propose tighter sustainability reporting requirements for businesses, according to Chatham House fellow Paul Hohnen, writing in the Guardian.


3 comments posted
Comments on Mercy Corps Mobile Money Program

Dear Readers:

Thanks to Sandra Mignot for citing the recent Christian Science article on Mercy Corps' mobile money program A legible copy of the "How It Works" graphic referred to in the article is at and also in MC's year-after report at

1. Doing a quick review of articles and reports online, including about MC's partner Unibank (note per below, Unibank also has a foundation bank), there is no information on, for example,

a) transaction charges,
b) interest on savings,
c) privileges for and interest on loans,
d) the cost to stores' for joining and maintaining mobile accounts, and
e) the loss of job potential by focusing on robotic accounting circuits and electronic machinery rather than designing and opening face-to-face community banks throughout the country.

2. One could say that the Unibank family of companies, per below, is already too big to fail; therefore it doesn't need to be holding and profiting from accumulating yet more cash when the government could have mandated that foreign assistance money such as cash-for-work described in the CMonitor article should be distributed to a newly-made community banking network, much like credit unions, and with the attendant jobs that path of development entails. Said another way, why should any nation's recovery from disaster - earthquakes, finance, speculation, etc. - especially when financed by charity and foreign aid from democratic countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Japan and others, be jobless or nearly so?

3. As noted on page 2 of a mobile-money launch analysis in December 2010, "The earthquake destroyed 30%-40% percent of all bank branches and ATM's." Therefore, a fair question is "Why weren't aren't the banks being physically rebuilt, restaffed and multiplied as a priority, especially in view of the hundreds of millions of post-disaster dollars - most of it American - coming into Haiti that need to be distributed and constantly flowing to overcome economic paralysis?"

4. Note that "Voila and Unibank received final approval in the form of a letter of non-objection received today from the Banque de la Republique d' Haiti (BRH), Haiti's central bank. Voila received a similar letter earlier in the month from the nation's telecommunications regulator, Conseil National des Telecommunications (CONATEL),..." Well and good, but I would maintain that non-objection is not equivalent to approval, especially not when there are billions of dollars in play.

5. Note in of February 7, 2011 there are apparently at least three phone/bank partnerships operating, all spurred by a $10 million Bill Gates Foundation incentive. This proves that "money talks," especially in telephony. However, this doesn't mean that a decentralized banking-cashing-savings program could not have been devised and given to Haiti by Gates/Microsoft. Probably, someone's software of this ilk is already available to help hide money in niches all over the world; I'm not convinced that it couldn't also be used to spur decentralization of a small countries economy, survival and employment capabilities.

6. I don't know what public review and comment process of environmental, economic, employment and social impact is afforded Haitians when technological and financial interventions such as cellphones, mobile money, wire transfer surcharges, international telephone surcharges, cholera vaccination, Clinton-Bush Fund mortgage packages, industrial parks and the like occur.

7. With the increased pervasiveness of lotteries and gambling in Haiti, stuffing money-in-cellphone accounts becomes a logical precursor to ransacking poor Haitians' earnings when pickpockets can no longer find anything in their ragged wallets and purses. I see that students at Tufts University have begun to flesh this out in a strangely original way, examining the nexus of savings and gambling in Haitian society, "Savings and Chance - Inclusive Finance and The Haitian Lottery," Draft Report for Comment, Presented by the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, The Fletcher School, Tufts University and The Mastercard Foundation, April 9, 2010. I think it's worth reading.

8. The age-old challenge of getting rich by robbing the poor is much like the challenge of harnessing solar energy: There is definitely a lot of currency out there, but in small packets. Ain't it wonderful how modern computer- and communications technology designed to accumulate such diffuse resources is nonetheless making progress over both the poor and the sun?

Haitians need an alternate paradigm for disaster recovery and future-disaster prevention. It wouldn't hurt to phone around for one...

Thank you,

Stuart Leiderman

Posted by admin on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 22:17
Unibank: Second Largest Private Commercial Bank in Haiti

Unibank, S.A. is one of Haiti's two largest private commercial banks. The bank was founded in 1992 by a group of Haitian investors and is the main company of Groupe Financier National (GFN). It opened its first office in July 1993 in downtown Port-au-Prince and currently has 44 branches throughout the country.

Today, Unibank is the parent company of a group of subsidiaries each concentrating in a specific financial area:

* Unicarte (Credit cards)
* Unifinance (Investment banking)
* Unicrédit (Consumer finance)
* IMSA (Real estate)
* SNI (Investment management)
* Capital Consult (Consulting firm)
* Unitransfer (Money transfer)
* Micro Crédit National (Microcredit)
* UniAssuranes (Insurance)

- - -

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer: Mr. F. Carl Braun
CAIB Representatives: Mr. Franck Helmcke, Senior EVP & General Manager;
Mr. Lyonel Dartiguenave, EVP & Deputy General Manager
157 Rue Faubert, Pëtion-Ville, P.O. Box 46, Port-au-Prince, HAITI HT 6140
Tel.: (509) 22 99 20 80 thru 86
Fax: (509) 22 99 20 67

UNIBANK is a commercial bank incorporated under the laws of Haiti. Privately-owned, it belongs to 360 Haitian shareholders, who are well-known industrialists, merchants, professionals and investors. UNIBANK is the parent company of a diversified financial services group, the “Groupe Financier National” (GFN), which operates in the following areas: Commercial banking (UNIBANK); Investment and merchant banking (UNIFINANCE); Remittances from Haitians living abroad (UNITRANSFER); Micro-credit (MICRO CREDIT NATIONAL); Consumer credit (UNICREDIT); Credit cards (UNICARTE); Real estate investments (IMSA); Management consulting (CAPITAL CONSULT); and Investment company management (SOCIETE NATIONALE D’INVESTISSEMENT), and Insurance (UNIASSURANCES). UNIBANK and its group of companies are authorized to operate throughout Haiti, and are present in all of the major cities. With (45) branches, UNIBANK has Haiti’s largest branch network and (6) ATM to operate from. With more than 785,000 depositors, it has the largest number of clients in the banking sector. Through its remittance operations in North America and the Caribbean it serves an additional 268,000 Haitians living abroad. UNIBANK and its affiliates employ (1,850) people, of which 64 are in the USA and Canada. Its subsidiary in the United States, UNITRANSFER, is licensed by the Banking Departments of 11 states and operates, directly or through agents, in Canada, France and the Caribbean. Its audited assets as of September 30, 2008 were US$768.47 million and audited equity as of September 30, 2008 was US$61.37 million.

- - -

Letter from the Chairman of the Board

July 19, 2010

Dear visitors;

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the upgraded Unibank Foundation web site on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of Unibank. We have made an effort to make the site informative and useful to you, whether you are wishing to participate in our vision, applying for a grant, looking for a project partner, a donor seeking a strong implementer in Haiti, or just browsing.

The Unibank Foundation is the logical result of the philanthropic and developmental contributions of Unibank since its inception in 1993. The bank was founded on the twin principles of economic and social profitability. Its shareholders believed and still believe that the two are inextricably intertwined if the goal of sustained and honorable growth is to be achieved. As the bank’s social investments grew, it became apparent that the time was right to focus and leverage them to multiply their effects on the beneficiaries.

Thus, with the creation of the Foundation in April 2006, Unibank intends not only to continue the social activities it has undertaken since 1993, but to make the Foundation the central management unit for the social investments of Unibank shareholders as well as for those of national, international, public, and private organizations.

The expenses and longevity of the Foundation are, and will continue to be met by revenues from the investment of its endowment—at 100 million gourdes, the largest ever given by a private sector organization in Haiti, as far as we know—as well as other resources, such as subsidies, gifts and legacies it will receive from the bank and other organizations and individuals from time to time. The endowment rests intact by law and is invested in safe instruments, the dividends of which are used to finance the activities of the Foundation and to keep its indirect costs low.

We will use these advantages to leverage our investments in the sectors most pertinent to our vision, such as education, entrepreneurship, national heritage, and others that you can read about inside the site. If you are moved to donate to the Unibank Foundation, please follow the links provided in the site. If you are applying for a grant, read the eligibility criteria carefully and apply from the site. If you are an NGO or a donor looking for a strong partner to help implement your program in Haiti, contact us directly.

Please enjoy the site and let us know how we can make it more useful to you.

Yours sincerely,

F. Carl Braun,
Chairman of the Board of Directors.

- - -


The Foundation is administered by a board of directors assisted by an executive director.

The foundation may create consultative committees and groups to assist it to achieve its mission.

The Board of Directors of the Unibank Foundation. (l. to r.):

Mr. Franck Helmcke, Secretary–Treasurer
Mr. Bertrand Buteau, Member
Mr. Max Chauvet, 3rd Vice-President
Mr. Edouard Baussan, 1st Vice-President
Mr. F. Carl Braun, President of the Board of Directors
Mr. Adrien Castera, 2nd Vice-President
Mr. Lyonel Dartiguenave, Member
Mr. Thierry Gardère, Member
Mr. Jean Pierre Blanchard, Member

Posted by admin on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 22:15
First Mobile Money Solution in Haiti

- - -

Voila & Unibank Receive All Regulatory Approvals To Launch First Mobile Money Solution In Haiti
By PR Newswire 11/17/10 - 05:30 PM EST

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Haitian wireless operator Voila, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Trilogy International Partners, and Unibank, Haiti's premier Haitian Bank, are pleased to announce they have received all the requisite regulatory approvals to launch Haiti's first mobile money service, under the commercial name "T-CASH." With full regulatory approval, and having completed a successful nine month pilot program with international relief and development agency Mercy Corps, Voila and Unibank are well positioned to expand the benefits of mobile money to other NGO's and the larger Haitian population safely, securely and efficiently.

Voila and Unibank received final approval in the form of a letter of non-objection received today from the Banque de la Republique d' Haiti (BRH), Haiti's central bank. Voila received a similar letter earlier in the month from the nation's telecommunications regulator, Conseil National des Telecommunications (CONATEL), clearing the path to enable Haitians to use their Voila phones as 'mobile wallets'.

"The introduction of mobile money solutions in Haiti represents a significant milestone in Haiti's recovery and growth efforts," said Charles Castel, Haiti's Central Bank governor. "We applaud the initiative of the Bank-MNO consortiums to leverage the innovative use of wireless technology to provide access to basic financial services to the disenfranchised people of Haiti. It is a sine qua non for sensible growth and development. That being said, the cost of these electronic transactions will make or break mobile banking. I invite the players to focus on volume so to harness this big opportunity for a more efficient payments system and a more inclusive financial system," Castel said.

The first phase of Voila's and Unibank's mobile money service, called "T-CASH" or telephonecash, will bolster critical humanitarian assistance by expanding the mobile money pilot projects that Voila and Unibank launched early this year in concert with Mercy Corps. Over the next nine months, approximately 100,000 Haitians in the impoverished Central Plateau and lower Artibonite regions will benefit from Mercy Corps' cash programs, using T-CASH service to receive and make payments. Beneficiaries will now be able to use these electronic funds to purchase food and non-food items including shelter material from a network of affiliated merchants throughout the provinces, using their Voila phones.

"As money comes in for reconstruction efforts, relief organizations need access to the most efficient methods of distribution possible to minimize the cost of providing needed services and programs," said Robin Padberg, CEO of Voila. "Historically up to 40 cents of every dollar was spent on logistics and security associated with moving cash. With Voila and Unibank's mobile money solution, this can be reduced to just a few cents. With T-CASH, Voila continues our tradition of providing quality, innovative mobile solutions by giving millions of unbanked Haitians access to a full range of financial services via their mobile phone."

In early 2011, Voila and Unibank plan to expand T-CASH beyond NGOs to individual customers throughout the country with a full suite of e-wallet services, including domestic peer-to-peer money transfer, bill pay, top up services, and expanded mobile commerce capabilities with a goal to establish hundreds of affiliated merchants and cash in/cash out locations throughout the country over the next several months.

Posted by admin on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 22:13
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