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ERIC Number: EJ972722
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-1
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1931-1362
International Aid Offers Promise, but Roadblocks Remain
Lloyd, Marion
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan 2012
In the aftermath of the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, international humanitarian groups and volunteers poured into the country, bolstering what was already one of the world's hot spots for nongovernmental organizations. But the magnitude of the disaster--an estimated 300,000 were killed and one million left homeless out of a population of 10 million--far surpassed the response capacity of the international community. It also highlighted the need for a more strategic approach to development, centered on capacity building in a long-neglected sector in Haiti: higher education. Without university graduates, no country can survive. While the international community has long focused on improving basic education in Haiti, it has paid little attention to higher education, leaving the country dependent on outside experts to design everything from sanitation systems to economic policy. The same could be said of the Haitian government, whose decades-old neglect of higher education has left the national university in shambles and fueled the proliferation of poor-quality private institutions. Perhaps ironically, however, the destruction of much of the country's main universities in the earthquake has the potential to prompt a change in thinking, both on the part of the government and international donors. So far, though, major reform efforts have yet to get off the ground. A government report released in 2011 says that half a billion dollars is needed to rebuild and revamp the higher-education system. Yet higher-education officials there say they still go begging for money. Many of the international partnerships created to help rebuild the system have not gotten very far, and it remains unclear what impact they are having. The cholera epidemic in the country last year, as well as the violence following the disputed November 2010 presidential elections, further complicated the already daunting working conditions in Haiti. Political infighting has been a problem, too. And there is a lack of coordination among the different partnerships--a chronic problem with international-aid efforts in Haiti.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Haiti