DH Editor’s Update (Haiti, here I come)

In two weeks I leave for Haiti for most of the summer.  I’ll be based in Port-au-Prince so if anyone there wants to help this indie journalist escape aid-worker prices, holler.  I’ve been doing DH off-line these last few weeks so this post is an update on what I’ve been getting into and what I’ll be doing in Haiti–besides learning Kreyol and swapping the E train for top-tops.

I’m going to Haiti to work on a long article to finish my degree (which is also what’s kept me busy these last weeks). Won’t say what the article’s about yet but it’ll take most of my time and get me into nearly every facet of Haitian society.  Other than that, I’m there to watch, talk to everyone and write.  I try to look at how systems work so while there I’ll focus on sustainable projects over those run on the charity model, the Haiti Reconstruction Commission and for-profit enterprises. I’ll be running DH from there so definitely check back.

While I’m in Haiti, I’ll find out if I get the grant that kicked off this site in the first place.  Fingers and toes crossed.  As appreciative as I am, this site can’t live by accolades alone.

I’ve been investigating a map of NGO’s in Haiti. I have a dream of going online to see which NGO’s doing what and where in Haiti. I have a dream of being able to search by city and project focus. I have a dream of better NGO coordination and avoiding duplication or concentration of similar services in one specific area.  I have a dream of using that NGO map to enhance public-private partnerships and resource sharing.  So far, I’ve heard from a few sources that such a map(s?) exists; still trying to pin it down.

Right now, I’m writing a story about Haitian-American business interests in Haiti.  My research led me to an upcoming investment conference being held this June in Montrouis and Jacmel.  It’s sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic, which of course, is well-positioned to take advantage of business opportunities in Haiti.  If I can work out transportation and sleeping arrangements, I will definitely be reporting from there, too.

That’s it for now.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend.  I’ll be with my fam; hope you’re with yours.

6 Comments to “DH Editor’s Update (Haiti, here I come)”

  1. I’ll be there June 25. Definitely go to the conference and tell us about it! I heard a NYT reporter will be there so I’m thinking it’s going to be well covered even though I expect similar gatherings in the months to come.

    Also, I’m continuing to move on the mapping NGOs stuff. Will update you once I’m on the ground as I’ll be working with a doc, there.

  2. Hey are you in Haiti yet? I want to go to that conference too.

  3. Ansel, thank you. Have you seen Word doc Registration Form for NGOs in Haiti? It’s on One Response, http://oneresponse.info/Disasters/Haiti/Pages/NGO%20Coordination%20Support.aspx. I’d be surprised though, if the Minis of Planning had the administrative capacity to handle the information requested or to publicize or enforce compliance. How important is such an effort? Does it rank up there with budget support? Who’s leading the NGO coordination effort? Many questions!

  4. So exciting! Will be watching your blog for updates. Have a terrific summer. You are an inspiration.

  5. Eh I should add… it definitely isn’t up-to-date or comprehensive. The number of NGOs registered falls far short of the number known to be operating in-country, and I can see places on the map where I know groups are present and they’re not there. Looks like they need to publicize this site more for it to be effective.

  6. This is the directory of NGOs in Haiti that Clinton has talked about: http://csohaiti.org. There’s a Google map, but I don’t know accurate or up-to-date it is. You can search the directory by location too…

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