National Handicrafts Office (ONART), Haiti

Since its inception in the late 1970's the National Handicrafts Office (ONART) has been under the supervision of many different bodies, predominantly the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, but also the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the ONAAC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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Regardless of who had the mandate of overseeing ONART, the aim has always been to provide a resource for professional artisans where they get advice on finance, preparation and the technical aspects of their craft. On top of that, ONART acts as the glue between individuals, corporations and associates, bringing operators together with producers. Today, ONART steps into the present trend towards innovative and modern ideas and has started to use the NTIC format (New Technologies of Information and Communication, for the gathering and publishing of news to their client base across Haiti.

The new technology will also be aimed at creating projects that will market the work of artisans within the organization to markets across Haiti and the rest of the world. Under new management, ONART looks to help Haiti recover from the economic distress felt across the country through the increased production and sale of the goods from its base.

To make these transitions smoother, the makeup of the organization, where legalities and procedure are concerned, will be reviewed. The organization also seeks to improve the qualification of the artisans within it through continued education and to increase the number of professionals within its purview. The outcome of this change is anticipated to include the standardization and production of goods of quality as well as improvements in the working conditions of artisans and a growth in their earnings.

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