Event: Haiti and its Future: Political Breakdown and Need for Reform

On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, the Focus On Haiti Initiative and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) will cohost a discussion with Jean-Claude Fignole, Haiti Program Director for Oxfam America. Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, Senior Associate at WOLA, will moderate the event. The discussion will focus on the future of Haiti’s politics and the durability of Haiti’s long-term development.

The event will be hosted at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 505, from 2:00PM-3:30PM. For more information and to RSVP, please email foh@gwu.edu.

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Focus on Haiti Introduces Series on Cholera

After a lull in media coverage, Haiti’s cholera epidemic resurfaced in international news. A new scientific publication has been released, citing that the most likely source of cholera in Haiti was MINUSTAH, the UN peace-keeping mission in Haiti. This goes against previous findings from the same council two years ago, and sparks further debate on culpability of the epidemic, and the effects of international institutions in Haiti.

As the epidemic continues, Focus on Haiti introduces a new series of posts on cholera. The series will be fundamentally interdisciplinary. Cholera’s effects, after all, are multifaceted. Even individual effects are both profoundly physical and emotional. Cholera’s genesis in Haiti begs analysis from both the social sciences and the natural sciences. The epidemic raises questions of public health, and international legal responsibility. And throughout these interdisciplinary conversations lies critical questions of foreign interventions in Haiti.

This series seeks to follow the web of cholera, to find what is uncovered by following the threads in different directions. The perspectives shared here will hopefully spark debate, and raise concerns so that media lulls do not dictate our awareness of these realities.

Our first post investigates the medical and scientific research on cholera. Read on.


-Scott Freeman

Fall 2013 Haitian Development Course Offering at George Washington University

This fall, Dr. Bob Maguire will teach a class entitled “Post-Disaster Development: Haiti in Comparative Perspective.” (IAFF 3183- 11)

The class will be held on Thursdays from 12:45-3:15.

The course examines Haiti, its earthquake of January 12, 2010 and the aftermath as a means of addressing key questions in that sequence and the quest to build back better. The class view of Haiti will be informed by its history, political economy, pre-quake development challenges, and what has happened in the two-plus years since the earthquake. The class will begin by getting to know Haiti in its historical, developmental, and pre-disaster setting. Critical to knowing Haiti is to understand its political economy. The class will then turn its attention to the earthquake of January 2010 and what happened in its immediate aftermath. The third part of the course delves into challenges that confront Haiti in the quest to build it back better. The course concludes with comparative case studies and a glimpse into the future, particularly through the lens of prevention, urbanization, and climate change.

GW course registration information can be found here.