August 9, 2010
Street vendor in Jacmel, Haiti. (Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak, Flickr)
by Deborah D. David
Of all the obstacles to face when returning home to Haiti, I never would have guessed my own people would be one of them. Years ago when I was preparing to graduate college, an organization in Port-au-Prince hired me to work with ti machann, street vendors. I was really excited; I’d written my senior thesis about microcredit in Haiti. What my university work could not prepare me for however, was the resistance of my Haitian co-workers to the “just come” in their midst.
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June 17, 2010
Guest contributor and diaspora member Deborah D. David suggests a publicly-accessible database to help wrangle NGOs.
The NGO-led development model in Haiti is not ideal, especially if Haiti is to ever thrive on its own. Former President Bill Clinton recognized as much at last year’s Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress in Miami, when he revealed that Haiti had the most NGOs per capita after India—the second most populous country on earth. Haiti had truly earned the nickname, “Republic of NGOs.”
Four days after the earthquake, Save the Children distributes food, water and supplies at Hospital Espoire in Port-au-Prince (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Clinton recognized then that while the thousands of non-governmental organizations in Haiti provide necessary social services, they must better coordinate with each other for greater impact. More importantly, they must ultimately cede responsibility for providing social services to their rightful owner: the Haitian government.
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