Archive for March, 2011

March 23, 2011

Which NGOs are doing a good job in Haiti?

Last week journalist, Michele Mitchell Tweeted me to ask who or which aid organizations are doing a good job in Haiti.  I didn’t want to Tweet back, “I dunno,” without explaining so here goes.

As vital as international NGOs can be, they’re not first on my mind when thinking of what works in Haiti. In truth I’d rather brainstorm, innovate and build long-term programs that strengthen the country, i.e. job creation, investing in entrepreneurs, strategic economic development, public-private partnerships, bolstering public sector capacity. But INGOs operating on a charity or short-term aid model dominate Haiti’s landscape so (shrug) unfortunately they dominate The Haiti Conversation, too.

I can’t really answer Michele’s question though because, well, how would I gauge who’s doing a good job?

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March 14, 2011

DH Reviews||Mac McClelland’s rape feature in Mother Jones

I really, really wanted to like Mac McClelland’s one-year anniversary article, Aftershocks: Welcome to Haiti’s Reconstruction Hell.  Good writing aside however—and the fact that these guys and many of these guys dug it—I have a problem with a 6,000-word piece of journalism that holds no specific office or official to account for Port-au-Prince’s misery upon miseries:

“Every day it is like this: fighting, a lot of violence, murder, a lot of rape,” [MINUSTAH soldiers] say, shaking their heads. “A lot of rape.”

That’s like there being a decade-long rape epidemic in New York City and a reporter not asking any public official, why? Followed by, what are you doing about it? Followed by, why aren’t you doing anything about it? — Snow wasn’t removed on time after a huge storm this holiday season and within hours every New Yorker knew the name of the head of the department of sanitation.  No reporter would’ve covered that story without answering the main question: “Who f%$ked up?”—and that’s just snow.  The same news gathering standard should apply to rape.

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