Governance

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The Long Road to Recovery (1/25/2010)

  • Posted on: 25 January 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

NegHaiti is forever changed.  At least 150,000 people, equivalent to the population of Tallahassee, have died.  At least 600,000, more than the population of Seattle, are without homes.  Over 130,000, approximately the population of Syracuse, have left Port au Prince for the countryside. After a disaster of this magnitude, life does not go back to normal.  Still, even in the face of great uncertainty, life goes on. Telecommunications are mostly up and running, some banks are opening, more gas stations are functional, markets and factories are re-openening.  Neighborhood committees are meeting and people are attending church services.  All agree it will take many years to rebuild.  The question is how Haiti can recover and be built back better than it was before?

The Help Haiti Needs

  • Posted on: 16 January 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Right now, the priority is saving lives by ensuring access to food, water, and health care.  Recovery will take many years and the assistance of the international community will be required in order to do so.  But what kind of asssistance will be most effective?  The New York Times, in its blog series "Room for Debate", asked a number of individuals connected to Haiti for their thoughts on what kind of aid should be provided and how.  They may have very different beliefs, backgrounds, and perspectives but all care for Haiti.  Taken together, their feedback is interesting food for thought that should be taken into account now and over the long term.

Haiti Earthquake: Who Is Doing What Where? How Can I Help?

  • Posted on: 15 January 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Immediately after the earthquake, the main source of information was Twitter, which I have a new respect for.  Journalists and aid workers are arriving in Haiti and we are gaining a better sense of just how extensive the damage to Port au Prince is.  We also know that Jacmel was seriously affected as well.  Aid from the United States, other governments, and humanitarian responders both big and small is picking up.  This is a summary of the current situation, who is doing what where, and how you can help.  Additional updates will be posted as comments.

Haiti Food Security Update (12/25/2009)

  • Posted on: 25 December 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti faced a number of challenges in 2009 including decreased remittances from the Diaspora as well as a messy transition at the Prime Ministerial level.  All things considered though, Haiti enters 2010 stronger than it was at the beginning of 2009.  The capacity of ministries to deliver basic services is improving and partnerships have been solidified with the United States, Canada, and a number of Latin American and European governments.  Haiti has more investment opportunities than at any other time in the post-embargo era.  The next challenge will be the February 2010 legislative elections, already controversial.  Improving food security will undoubtedly be an important theme throughout the new year.

Haiti Food Security Update (11/11/2009)

  • Posted on: 11 November 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Strong arguments can be made that sacking Prime Minister Pierre-Louis was a mistake.  Still, she served Haiti well prior to becoming Prime Minister and will no doubt continue to do so.  Jean Max Bellerive has since been confirmed as the new Prime Minister.  He has stated the increasing foreign investment and reducing poverty will be amongst his highest priorities.  He has a much different style than Pierre-Louis, but faces the same challenges.  This includes promoting food security thoughout Haiti.  

World Pneumonia Day 2009

  • Posted on: 2 November 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Today is World Pneumonia Day 2009.  Every day, 4000 children die from pneumonia in Haiti and other countries throughout the developing world.  This is more than HIV/AIDS, measles, and malaria combined.  Despite that, it has not been a global health priority.  This could change as there is more attention being given this preventable and treatable disease.  While there is no single magic bullet, there are a series of proven interventions that, if scaled up, would protect and promote the health of children around the world.  Click here to learn which organizations participated in World Pneumonia Day 2009 and here to learn how you can be a part of the global fight against pneumonia, not just for one day, but throughout the year.

UN Extends Haiti Peacekeeping Mission, Adjusts Strategy

  • Posted on: 14 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf


According to Edith Lederer (AP), The Security Council voted Tuesday to extend the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for another year.  The Council slightly reduced peacekeepers and added more police instead. In the absence of large scale security operations (such as took place in Cite Soleil), MINUSTAH will increasingly focus on rapid deployment to border and coastal areas.  Also copied below is the full UN resolution which references the protection of children, the participation of women, and the need to promote human rights and legal reform.  While Haiti is stabilizing, and the relationship with MINUSTAH is at times tense, it is still very much needed.

From Instability to Investment

  • Posted on: 8 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

In late 2006, we were blogging about Haiti’s kidnapping crisis.  Now in late 2009, we are blogging about investment opportunities.  Much has changed.  Just last week, hundreds of potential investors gathered for the largest investment conference ever held in Haiti, organized by the Inter American Development Bank with financial support from the Canadian government.  Will trade become more important than aid some  day?  This depends on the answers to two questions.  First, can investors make a return on their investments?  Second, will the government allocate new resources in an effective, accountable way that benefits all of Haiti and not just the cities?

Robert Maguire: The Way Forward for Haiti

  • Posted on: 6 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

 

Robert Maguire, with Trinity University and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), recently wrote a well thought out report (attached and below) on obstacles to stability and growth in Haiti.  Maguire highlights important issues such as the neglect of rural Haiti, where most Haitians live, and the need to bolster Haiti's Health and Education Ministries. Throughout, he states success depends not just on securing resources, but on allocating them in a way that is accountable, effective, and demonstrates the committment of the government to reform.  Something to keep mind if investment picks up in Haiti. 

Building the Rule of Law in Haiti: New Laws for a New Era

  • Posted on: 29 August 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has been working with the Haitian Government to reform its sorely outdated criminal laws, more suited to the needs of 19th Century France than Haiti at present.  For this reason, Haiti's justice system has not been able to address moden crimes which include trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, and violations of human rights.  President Preval has initiated a comprehensive reform process with the participation of civil society, the United Nations, and think tanks such as USIP.  This process could help bring about a new chapter in Haitian history where criminal laws protect rights instead of violating them, and serve all the people of Haiti, including the poor and vulnerable.

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