As a field coordinator on the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) capacity building project for Haiti, Daniel St-James has been working side-by-side with his Haitian counterparts in Port-au-Prince since late October 2011 helping to build a stronger customs agency.
Although he’s only been in Haiti for a few months, Daniel has been quick to adapt to his new surroundings and build on the work of his predecessor and colleagues (that began in April 2010), which included contributing to the development of a management reform structure, the preparation of an up-to-date strategic plan, and a new organizational model for Haitian Customs.
Continuing with this modernization process, Daniel is currently responsible for coordinating all CBSA expert missions and project activities in Haiti. Being the CBSA’s contact on the ground also involves a lot of sharing of best practices and knowledge.
"Haiti's economy is largely dependent on its customs revenues, so it is more important than ever to help the country become more efficient at duty and tax collection through our capacity building project," says Daniel. “This is a chance to make a real difference and see positive results firsthand.”
The CBSA is providing its expertise in customs administration and reform to Haiti as part of the Canadian International Development Agency’s Haiti Tax Mobilization Support Project. Through its international capacity building activities, the CBSA aims to strengthen the knowledge, abilities and border management skills of selected countries to help them develop sustainable institutions, structures and processes.