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Getting Greater Value from Post-Quake Aid to Haiti

The January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, killed over 220,000 people, displaced several million, and flattened much of the capital, Port Au Prince, also unleashed a tsunami of outside assistance. In the 28 months since the earthquake official donors have disbursed almost $6 billion in aid to help the people of Haiti, the equivalent of $600 per person for a country where per capita annual income is just $670. Where has all the money gone? On the second anniversary of the quake we set out to answer this question; our new CGD policy paper is the result. The short answer is that the vast majority of the money so-far disbursed has been paid to international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors. And while many of these organizations do excellent work, there is shockingly little information on how they used the funds.

U.S. Foreign Assistance Dashboard: Show Me the Data!

Yesterday, I was happy to see the MCC finally publish aid data to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, the government’s one-stop-shop for foreign assistance budget and appropriations information. But upon further examination of the website, I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated when I noticed the dearth of new data available in the tool. Nearly a year has passed since the Dashboard was launched in December 2010, and the U.S. government has yet to come up with the majority of its promised haul of agency data.