Fresh Ideas for Haiti

February 04, 2010

Humanitarian relief efforts remain an urgent concern in post-quake Haiti. At the same time, the disaster has prompted soul-searching and debate in the development community. Why haven't previous efforts to assist Haiti resulted in a more resilient society? Can top-down aid approaches work in a society with chronically inadequate institutions? Are there alternative ways to help that might work better?

CGD has contributed to this debate by offering fresh ideas for Haiti. Some of these, such as Ruth Levine's Q&A on development in Haiti and her suggestions for special attention to the needs of girls during resettlement, draw on both professional expertise and personal experience in the country. Others, such as Michael Clemens's proposal for a Golden Door Visa for victims of the quake and others trapped in extremely poor countries, apply new research weighing the effects of different ways to help the world's poorest people. And some challenge conventional wisdom, such as David Roodman's For Haitians' Sake, Drop the "Drop the Debt," posted after he quickly provided the basic facts and figures on aid to Haiti.

Following is a list of ideas and commentary on the quake and post-quake development efforts.

Death Toll from Haiti’s Earthquake in Perspective
2/19/10 Mead Over

Beyond Relief: Helping Haiti
2/18/2010, Arvind Subramanian 

Why Not Do for Haiti Now What We’ve Already Done for Africa?
2/5/10 Kimberly Ann Elliott

For Haitians' Sake, Drop the "Drop the Debt"
1/29/10 David Roodman

One More (Insurmountable?) Challenge for Haitian Reconstruction
1/28/10 Todd Moss

Reactions to My Proposal for a New Visa to the United States
1/25/10 Michael Clemens

Suspend Haiti's Debt—And Take Official Lenders beyond Lending
1/25/10 David Roodman

Mind the Girls: How to Take Care of the Adolescent Girls in Haiti during the Resettlement
1/25/10 Ruth Levine

Haitian Recovery, Sweatshop Jobs, and the Role of Trade Preferences
1/25/10 Kimberly Ann Elliott

Through the Looking Glass: Haiti and U.S. Development Leadership
1/22/10 Nancy Birdsall

Can We Provide Better Financing for Food Aid in Emergencies?
1/20/10 Vijaya Ramachandran

Six Important Lessons for Disaster Relief
1/17/10 John Simon

Haiti Aid Facts
1/15/10 David Roodman

Development in Haiti: Q&A with Ruth Levine
1/14/10 Ruth Levine