There have been many changes at Haiti Innovation over the past year. With the invaluable assistance of Development Seed, the organization which designed the Haiti Innovation website, we've effectively made the transition to a no cost, non profit consultancy. We now regularly provide technical assistance, guidance and contacts to individuals and organizations who are currently working in Haiti or interested in doing so. We also speak frequently with journalists to help impart a more balanced view of Haiti and the developmental challenges the country faces. And of course, we continue to blog. Haiti Innovation is growing and we want you to be an active member of our community.
Every county has a Diaspora. The governments of some countries such as El Salvador actively encourage their Diaspora to participate in the country by voting, investing, and applying (or runnning for) government positions. Haiti is behind the curve in this respect. However, the Haitian Diaspora has knowledge, skills, and resources with which to make a difference. The Internet is an excellent way to engage them. An entrepeunerial individual from Thomonde where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer has created Thomonde.com. It could be a model for other Diaspora communities.
The International Crisis Group, an NGO with expertise on preventing and responding to emergencies, has released a report entitled "Peacebuilding Haiti: Including Haitians from Abroad" The report argues that the Haitian government needs to implement a long term disaspora policy with the support of the international community. With the Diaspora being over three million strong and possessing skills, connections, and resources that would be useful in the reconstruction of the country, we could not agree more. Seeting aside one day a year for the Diaspora is not enough - we need ongoing engagement.
Members of the Haiti Innovation Community are by now no doubt familiar with the organization Partners in Health and the pionerring work their team has done in Haiti bringing community based health care to the lowest possible resource settings, and in particular, developing novel new approaches to treating both HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.