Posts and articles written by aid workers related to the Haiti relief efforts
Posted on January 18, 2010 at 9:19 am
This post will be continually updated with posts and other information on the Haiti recovery efforts written by aid workers themselves. Post suggestions are welcomed.
After a disaster everyone wants help to arrive as quickly as possible. Unfortunately disasters often damage air and sea ports, destroy bridges, and make roads impassable. This is one of the reasons why it is so critical that communities prepare for disasters so they can take care of immediate needs themselves. Here are some great resources from logisticians experienced in disaster relief.
Logistics questions around the Haiti earthquake – A Humourless Lot – discusses the importance of good logistics to the success of relief work, common logistical challenges, and how this relates to Haiti
The Unique challenges of #Haiti’s emergency logistics – Roxanna Samii blog
Earthquake in Haiti: relief effort stalls – Guardian.co.uk- an interactive map showing the problems with the ports and roads
If you are really interested in the nitty gritty of the logistics for the Haiti relief effort here is a link to the logistics cluster website (clusters are coordination efforts by the UN)
The challenge of reverse logistics in global health – A Humourless Lot - looks at the problems that arise when too much is sent or things have to be sent back
The importance of disaster preparation
After every disaster the first people on the scene to help are neighbors, friends, families and local disaster response units. Due to the logistical issues outlined in the section above, it may take days before international teams arrive to help. Disaster preparedness in local communities is key to saving lives.
Photo Essay: Remembering Haiti Before the Quake – Sphere – Reminisces about a trip to Haiti discussing disaster preparedness just weeks before the earthquake.
On not caring about Haiti - Humanitarian.info – Laments that there was not this type of support to help them with their endemic problems before the quake
After large scale disasters there are hundreds of governmental and nongovernmental organizations rushing to help. The ability to get clear information as to who is doing what where is critical to ensure that needs are met and that organizations are coordinating with each other. A lack of coordination and duplication of effort are common problems in disaster response. Two ideas to address these problems are an online information portal, and a centralized location to collect and distribute donations to decrease the competition and increase coordination between organizations.
Ushahidi in Haiti: What’s Needed Now – wait… what? – Looks at the problem of communication and coordination after disasters and the potential impact of the new online information portal call Ushadi.
Coordinating Relief Aid: Is it time? – Philantopic – Discusses revisiting the idea of a single donation point to decrease the negative effects of competition between nonprofits and increase coordination
Articles looking at what the real health concerns are after a disaster
Why dead bodies do not cause epidemics – from ICRC – discusses how the rush to bury the dead after a disaster is misguided. That the health hazards are neglible and efforts should instead be focused on taking care of the living.
If Haiti is to ‘build back better’ - Miami Herald – Op-ed written by Paul Farmer. Note – Paul Farmer is the co-founder of Partners in Health, an organization responding to the earthquake
Haiti’s Coming Public Health Challenges – from UN Dispatch – discusses health situations immediately after a disaster
Children in Emergencies: Applying what we know – wait… what? A must read for any interested in issues surrounding children after a disaster.
Child Trafficking Major Concern After Quake – Pound Puppy Legacy – a round up of articles looking at adoption concerns in Haiti
Children are best left with their families – The age.com.au – looks at why it’s best to leave children with their families after a natural disaster rather than taking them out of the country
Well intended efforts to help vulnerable children after disasters may do more harm than good. The numerous calls to rescue Haiti orphans and ship them to other countries brings up the very real concern about child trafficking. I’ve written in posts about the surprising number of children in orphanages that actually have one or more living parents or contactable relatives who would care for them if they had additional help. There are also issues with unscrupulous orphanages adopting away children with living parents and profiting from the fees charged for their services. After the 2004 tsunami there was a lot of misinformation spread about orphans.
As blog posts or other articles from aid workers on this issue become available I will link to them. Until then I would recommend the guidelines I wrote for funding orphanages based on the United Nations Guidelines for the alternative care of children.
Child protection risk for lost children in tsunami devastated areas – Plan – written after the tsunami in response to the proliferation of information and pictures of children put on the internet. While well-intentioned these efforts may put them at risk of exploitation.
What the aftermath of a disaster is like
Surviving Earthquakes – Getting Humanitarian Aid Right – Discusses the issues faced by earthquake survivors in the days following the earthquake
How the media affect donor understanding of disaster relief
A numbers game – Wanderlust – Discusses the fact that most people saved after a disaster are saved by local people but the media focus on the rescues made by international search and rescue teams that save relatively few people in comparison
Messaging, the media, and Haiti – Chris
Endemic problems in aid
Too Much of a Good Thing? Making the Most of your Disaster Donation - Aid Watch – looks at the impact of the outpouring of funding
Don’t give money to Haiti now – Stanford Social Review – talks about the need for long term funding down the road
IRIN podcast on Haiti: Sanjana Hattotuwa on technology platforms and Paul Currion on building back http://bit.ly/4UjW6J