It is time for a new conversation. Suppose immigrants living in the United States and the foreign aid professionals charged with “developing” their homelands talked to each other? Both share the same goal–development–but they barely communicate much less collaborate. Could countries develop faster or fairer if they did? Instead of wondering, I created Develop Haiti to model the possibilities of this new conversation within international development.
My goal is to grow the site from one main contributor, me, to include a small network of journalists on the ground in Haiti as well as in Miami, Washington, DC, Boston and New York City. If successful, DH could easily be replicated for other diaspora communities worldwide, i.e. Develop Uganda, Develop Liberia, etc.
What you get from DH
If the Haitian diaspora wants reliable and fact-based news, analysis and opinion about how Haiti will rebuild from people-in-the-know, Develop Haiti is your online home. It is also the place to learn and be inspired to do large-scale development for the Haitian public, not just piece-meal support for individual families.
If foreign aid professionals and donors with Haiti portfolios think it smart to maximize their impact by incorporating all available human capital into country plans, then Develop Haiti is your home, too. Besides Haitians, only the Haitian diaspora has more at stake in or more commitment to Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction. After all, Haitian immigrants, like those in other diasporas, send home more in remittances (US$1.3 billion in 2008, alone, or 20% of GDP) than official aid flows.
There’s more to my vision for this site but the main components are: 1) collaborating with the crowd that gathers here 2) showing what development looks like, stateside, and its impact on reconstruction in Haiti, 3) showcasing diaspora efforts in Haiti that go beyond remittances and 4) encouraging conversation between aid professionals and the Haitian diaspora.
Please subscribe if you like what DH is doing and want to help us grow. And as always, diaspora member or aid professional, talk to me. It’s your site, too.