June 18, 2010
A map of Health-related projects in Haiti (InterAction, haitiaidmap.org)
This morning I came across a job announcement directly related to Deborah David’s database proposal to wrangle NGOs and the general concern that NGOs are “wild cards” in Haiti’s development. Not only don’t they typically coordinate social service delivery with each other, there are thousands of unregistered and unchecked NGOs in the country–perhaps encouraged by the same misperception that aid worker TFTH laments:
Somewhere along the line we’ve done a basic disservice to our donors, to our “Third Audience”, and to ourselves: We have allowed them to believe that relief and development work are easy, uncomplicated and inexpensive.
For all of the romantic oooh-aaaah sometimes associated with aid work, the general population continues to basically lack respect for both the nature of the problems being tackled by aid work, and also what it takes to do aid work. And whether it’s, “98 cents of your dollar goes directly to beneficiaries”, “your $100 buys a poor family a cow and gets them out of poverty”, or “feel good about making a difference while on vacation”, we’ve become totally seduced by the belief that solving the basic problems of the world can be done cheaply and easily.
Quite frankly, I could call myself an “NGO” and get away with it. In fact, I came across an online description of myself as a “humanitarian blogger.” What in the world does that mean? I’m no humanitarian. I’m a journalist–end of story.
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April 23, 2010
I heard through HAG (eh hem, the Haitian activist grapevine) about a site similar to DH, Koze Ayiti out of the Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami. It looks like we have the same basic goal of producing original news and analysis about Haiti. But there’re enough differences to make a potential partnership interesting. I hope this find confirms TFTH’s position that post-earthquake media coverage of Haiti is not only unprecedented, it’s different:
Never have I seen such intensive coverage of a disaster response effort. I am not talking about coverage of the disaster itself – images of crumbled buildings and people weeping for their dead and talking heads going on about numbers. I am talking about coverage of aid agencies and issues in the response.
That’s hot. Problems arise with media coverage too (i.e. so much ignorance you want to slap the reporter) so read the full post to get the gist. But all in all, this supposed development is a great thing for aid and government accountability.
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April 13, 2010
UN/DPI Photo by Eskinder Debebe
If you owned land would you want refugees living there? Rent-free? Indefinitely? Folks don’t even want their own family shacking up on their property much less strangers.
Land, was the answer that the aid worker who recently returned from Haiti gave when I asked him what was the most critical issue for Haiti in the next year. Want a home? Whose land are you going to use? Want a job? Whose land are you going to work on? Want a school? Whose land are you going to build on? Want a clinic? And so on.
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