Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Now Streaming

On May 2, 2014, the Focus On Haiti Initiative of the Institute for International and Global Studies (IGIS), and the Latin American & Hemispheric Affairs Program (LAHSP), hosted Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Sovereignty in a Fragile State: 2004 – 2014 at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C.  The symposium explored issues related to Haiti’s sovereign status by way of presentations and discussions on economy and development, cultural preservation and practices, and governance and international engagement.

The symposium brought together a diverse, multidisciplinary group of policy makers, practitioners, and academics from Haiti, the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil to discuss these issues.  Videos from the symposium’s panels and keynote presentation can be found below. Continue reading

‘Sisyphus revisited: grassroots development and community conflicts in Haiti’

In light of the recent political protests in Haiti, the Focus on Haiti team thought it would be appropriate to reintroduce an article previously published by Dr. Robert Maguire analyzing the relationship and distribution of power between the lower classes and elites in Haiti as our second Working Paper.

The article ‘Sisyphus Revisited’ relates the Greek myth of Sisyphus’s struggle, to push a boulder up a mountain only to be overwhelmed before reaching the top, to the struggle of lower class Haitians for recognition and respect from elites. Continue reading

“Conquering Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic” – Panel Discussion

By Nic Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant

On October 24, 2013, Representative Barbara Lee (CA) and the Global Health Caucus hosted “Conquering Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic: The Untold Story of Progress” at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The briefing featured representatives of public health organizations and advocacy groups to discuss new policy initiatives and partnerships for the elimination of cholera in Hispaniola.

Karen Goraleski, Executive Director of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, introduced the background of the event, a “call to action” in January 2012 that began a partnership between Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and a group of more than 20 international organizations to eliminate cholera on the island of Hispaniola by 2022. This international coalition led to the creation of the 2013 National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti. Continue reading

Fault Lines: Views across Haiti’s Divide

By Nic Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant


At the launch of Beverly Bell’s new book Fault Lines: Views across Haiti’s Divide last Sunday, I joined a group of more than thirty devoted readers, supporters, and colleagues overflowing the bustling back room of The Coupe in Washington, D.C. The book surveys the conditions in displaced persons camps, shantytowns, and rural villages in the year following the 2010 earthquake, but what makes the book truly unique is Bell’s use of street journalism and personal experiences to report sentiments at a local level. Continue reading

Historical ‘Anti-Haitianism’ and the Rulings of the Dominican Constitutional Court

By Scott Freeman, Visiting Scholar

The Constitutional Court decision made by the Dominican Republic two weeks ago is the most recent of the ongoing rulings that affect Haitian citizenship in the country (Reuters, BBC). The law stipulates that individuals of foreign descent born after 1929, the vast majority of whom are Haitian, could have their Dominican citizenship revoked. Such denationalization comes with heavy prices: schooling, voting privileges, social services, and health provision all hang in the balance for hundreds of thousands of Haitian descended Dominicans. Advocacy groups and scholars, as well as multilateral organizations (Unicef, Amnesty International) have vocalized and mobilized opposition to the ruling. Continue reading

Audio from “Humanitarian Aid Accountability: Expectations and Realities in Haiti”

We are happy to bring you the audio from our September 9, 2013 panel, “Humanitarian Aid Accountability: Expectations and Realities in Haiti.” Please feel free to link to this page and disseminate the discussion widely- it is an important one, for both Haiti and broader issues of humanitarian aid. Focus on Haiti was proud to facilitate. Continue reading

‘Haiti Through Clear Eyes’

Introducing the new Working Papers section of Focus on Haiti. The first paper is ‘Haiti Through Clear Eyes,’ a recent presentation by Dr. Robert Maguire addressing the contemporary social and political context in Haiti. Following this initial paper, we hope to expand the use of this section to post ongoing papers from the Focus on Haiti team.

Working Paper posts, including ‘Haiti Through Clear Eyes,’ are available through the menu tab at the top of the webpage.