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  • Author: Robert Maguire, Tara Nesvaderani
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Haiti's slow pace of recovery from the January 2010 earthquake is due to the magnitude of the calamity, pre-existing conditions, institutional weaknesses, resource limitations, a cholera epidemic and disputed elections. The pace of new cholera infections and deaths has begun to slow, although infections and death rates remain high in rural areas and risk of renewed high infection rates is significant. Following protracted controversy after presidential and parliamentary elections held in late November 2010, second round runoffs have been scheduled for March 20th with President Rene Préval remaining in office through mid-May. The unexpected return to Haiti in mid-January of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and the potential return of exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide have added to the country's turmoil and uncertainty. Scenarios for Haiti's future are based not only on the international community's ability to provide needed support, but also on the ability of Haiti's leaders and people to successfully elect a credible national government.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Jessica Henzelman, D. Roz Sewell, Jen Ziemke, Patrick Meier
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Crisis mapping is a growing field that seeks to leverage mobile platforms, computational models, geospatial technologies, crowd sourced data, and visual analytics to power effective early warning for rapid response to complex humanitarian emergencies. The second International Conference on Crisis Mapping convened from October 1 to 3, 2010, to discuss lessons learned from past and present initiatives and strategies for moving the field forward. Over 250 participants from major international organizations, the technology community, universities, and NGOs attended. Some of the main themes from the conference included the need to design environment-appropriate technologies, improve analysis tools and systems, create standards for the emergent field, engage local populations, and gain a better understanding of the challenges of operating in complex political environments.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Natural Disasters, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A year and a half after the Western Hemisphere's deadliest earthquake devastated Haiti, 650,000 victims still wait for permanent housing in more than 1,000 unstable emergency camps dotting Port-au-Prince. The first storms of the 2011 hurricane season have flooded 30 camps, forcing tent dwellers to flee and killing 28 persons nationally. Michel Martelly, who replaced René Préval as president on 14 May, faces an immediate crisis in the growing frustrations of the victims in the camps and those with near identical unmet basic needs who remain in the urban slums. Forced evictions, some violent, along with the reappearance of criminal gangs in those camps and slums, add to the volatile mix. Adopting, communicating and setting in motion a comprehensive resettlement strategy, with full input from the victims and local communities, is the first critical reconstruction challenge he must meet in order to restore stability. It will also test the capacity for common international action beyond emergency relief after a year of disturbing divisions within the UN country team and among donors over resettlement strategy.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Economics, Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Haiti's justice system remains dysfunctional and continues to pose significant obstacles to its democratic process, security, reconstruction and development. While some steps have begun with regard to the police, institutional reform in the sector has lagged, allowing further impunity and persistent criminal threats to citizen safety. Despite five years of pledges, the majority of Haitians still have limited access to justice, and mistrust of the formal judicial system is widespread. President Michel Martelly and parliament must work in a non-partisan manner to at last produce reform, including by modernising the 174 year- old criminal code and procedures and setting standards for judges, giving the judiciary adequate resources and creating efficient mechanisms that guarantee proper access to justice.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics, Poverty, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: No disaster is completely natural. The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 was no exception. Haiti's extreme levels of poverty and inequality exacerbated the devastation and determined who was vulnerable.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Reconstruction
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Marc Cohen
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The massive earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 devastated rural areas as well as urban, destroying crops, farm buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. Indirect effects touched almost every corner of the nation, as 600,000 people migrated to the countryside, increasing pressure on already stretched food and fuel resources. Internal displacement worsened food insecurity, which affected six out of ten people even before the disaster.
  • Topic: Development, Disaster Relief, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: Robert Maguire
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Efforts to build a better Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010 are complicated by the challenges of addressing urgent needs, including elections and the cholera outbreak, that run parallel to the rebuilding process and that present an enormous challenge to Haiti\'s under-resourced and weakened government. Enactment of the Haitian government\'s internationally-endorsed and ambitious action recovery plan is hindered by the apparent lack of an over-riding operational framework that will help to ensure not only implementation, but also coherence. Donors and other international actors would be wise to embrace Haiti as a country that has highly propitious fundamentals for successful economic growth, and to build on them. Without important shifts in political, economic and social paradigms, the prospect for Haiti\'s future as a better country that can sustain and expand progress and can improve prospects for all its citizens is clouded.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A series of crises in 2008 have increased the potential for serious trouble in Haiti this year. The politically motivated, violent April riots against high living costs caused widespread disruption and suffering, toppled the government of Prime Minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis and forced postponement of a donor conference. In August and September, four tropical storms and hurricanes killed 800, affected nearly one million, exacerbated food shortages and pushed yet more Haitians into poverty. Extensive damage was caused to infrastructure and agriculture. The global financial crisis is making it difficult for donors to meet commitments and reducing diaspora remittances. President René Préval and Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis, who took office in September 2008, need to secure the support of donors and parliament quickly for a wide-ranging stabilisation strategy or risk political instability and violence. These are major challenges in a year in which parliamentary elections will be held and constitutional reform is on the agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, Disaster Relief, Economics, Politics, Post Colonialism, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Hans Joerg Albrecht, Louis Aucoin, Vivienne O'Connor
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: USIP has been working with lawmakers and other reform constituencies in Haiti as they strive to reform Haiti's criminal laws that date back to the early 19th century. In March 2009, USIP commissioned two reports that were written by Louis Aucoin, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Hans Joerg Albrecht, the director of the Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law. At the request of Haitian lawmakers, USIP has also provided copies of the Model Codes for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice, a law reform tool developed by USIP's Rule of Law Program to assist in the drafting of new laws. From June 9 to June 11, 2009, USIP co-hosted a “Technical Workshop on the Modernization of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code” in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with the Haitian government and a number of international donors. The workshop brought together representatives from the Presidential Commission on Law Reform, the legal community and civil society, along with international organizations and donors, to discuss the problems with Haiti's criminal laws and how to improve them.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Crime, Poverty, Law
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Anita Swarup
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: ''The situation was bad before the hurricanes in 2008 – there was a drought - but after them it got worse and more complicated people lost what little they had – houses, crops, livestock – which creates a catastrophe of hunger in this area. We feel ashamed, we have to beg from the state and other international agencies'' Lissage Geneus, a local government official (CASEC) in Baie d'Orange.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti