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The verb faire is used in French as a sort of Auxiliary Verb to indicate that rather than the subject doing something itself, it causes someone or something else to do it. 


Je construis une maison.

I build a house. 

Je fais construire une maison.

I have a house built. ( i.e. someone else builds it for me) 


Le petit garçon s'est coupé les cheveux.

The little boy cut his hair. (i.e. he did it to himself) 

Le petit garçon s'est fait couper les cheveux.

The little boy got his hair cut. (someone else cut it) 

les problèmes de financement ... ont fait échouer le projet

problems with financing ... caused the project to fail (OR led to the failure of the project) 

Le gouvernement a fait arrêter les leaders du groupe.

The government had the leaders of the group arrested. 

Notice that faire is conjugated normally, while the other verb is in the Infinitive.

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