Systems in Port-au-Prince

I just returned from a short trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Nearly two years after the earthquake Haiti still clearly shows signs of the disaster, though at the same time the city and country has already found some sense of normalcy–whether its a new normal or one that wasn’t too dissimilar from before the disaster is hard to say.The purpose of my trip was to meet and help a lot of different projects and groups in and around the city, but also to understand the landscape of collaboration and competition between service providers in the city. From foreign NGOs, social businesses, government groups, and local CBOs the current landscape of organizations working in Port-au-Prince is quite complex. The way these groups share information with each other and with the citizens of the city is a product of long term relationships and value structures in international development.

The contrast between local Haitian systems and foreign institutions captures the struggle between formal and informal systems. While of course, these lines are not rigid and there are plenty of exceptions and surprises, it is fascinating to see how the city and people of Port-au-Prince have begun to resolve Cheap Jerseys issues with emergent systems–a somehow unregulated city has lots of self-regulations that keep daily life going for most. On the other hand there are plenty of overly aand remotely  service delivery strategies that are being introduced into Port-au-Prince with various degrees of success. These two systems have very little dialogue with one another. It is the rare handful of projects I saw that bridge the local informal systems with the formal funding and expertise to really push boundaries.

Would you like to comment?

Leave a Reply