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Duke and NCCU Join Together for Humanitarianism in Haiti Conference

Scholars from Duke University and North Carolina Central University will host, “Humanitarianism in Haiti: Visions and Practice,” on April 11 and 12 at the Franklin Humanities Institute in the Smith Warehouse on the campus of Duke University. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. each day. The conference will bring together high-profile government officials, donors, grassroots activists, legal advocates, international non-governmental organization (NGO) workers and interested citizens to assess delivery of relief and development efforts in the Caribbean nation.

Three years after a devastating earthquake killed an estimated 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million Haitians from their homes, the humanitarian and development effort continues to grapple with how best to deliver aid while contending with issues of transparency, efficacy and coordination between local, international, and government actors.  Meanwhile, critics of the aid effort point to examples of lack of accountability and local involvement in planning and implementation. The cholera epidemic introduced by United Nations soldiers in 2010 has killed nearly 8,000 Haitians and infected half a million more, further exacerbating tensions around these issues.

The two-day event will feature panel discussions in English, French and Krèyol (one of the official languages of Haiti) around four topics: Donor Politics, Practitioner Models, Public Health and Capacity-Building.

Confirmed panelists are:

  • Former Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis
  • Nancy Dorsinville, senior policy officer of the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti
  • Camille Chalmers, director of the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA)
  • Chenet Jean-Baptiste of the Institute for Technology and Capacity Building (ITECA)
  • Father Joseph Philippe, founder of FONKOZE
  • Marie Marthe St. Cyr, CEO of the Lambi Fund
  • Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
  • Jonathan Katz, author of “The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster”
  • Megan Coffee, founder of TiKay
  • Conor Bohan, executive director of the Haitian Education Leadership Project
  • Mark Schuller, anthropologist and author of Killing With Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs
  • Tatiana Wah, director of Haiti Programs at the Earth Institute
  • Viajaya Ramachandran, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development
  • Yasmine Shamsie, political scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Matt Marek, former head of programs for the American Red Cross in Haiti
  • Benjamin Krause, country director for J/P Haitian Relief Organization
  • Rebecca Alavarado, from the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State

This event is the culmination of a joint Duke-NCCU course “Humanities in Humanitarianism: The Haiti Project,” led by Dr. Joshua Nadel, NCCU assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history, associate director of the Global Studies Program and visiting faculty fellow, Duke Humanities Writ Large. The course analyzes the structure, coordination and delivery of international aid to Haiti. Nadel has been engaged in humanitarian and development efforts for many years. In 1996 and 1997, he worked as a research associate with the National Coalition for Haitian Rights in Port-au-Prince where his main task was researching the training and functioning of the Haitian National Police (PNH), and tracking cases of abuse. He continues to maintain relationships with groups working in Haiti today.

The conference will be lived streamed here http://sites.fhi.duke.edu/humanitarianisminhaiti/live-stream-the-event/ and participants can join the virtual conversation using #HaitiProject.

Humanitarianism in Haiti: Visions and Practice is sponsored by the Duke Humanities Writ Large initiative, the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Haiti Lab, the Department of History at North Carolina Central University and the Bank of America Foundation. The event is free and open to the public. To register for the conference, to view the event via live stream, and to find additional information, please visit the conference website at http://sites.fhi.duke.edu/humanitarianisminhaiti/.


Published: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
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