Is democracy now the greatest good for Haiti?

February 3rd 2011

As I sit here, having given up on hearing Préval announce Haiti's election results tonight, I can't help but wonder what semblance of democracy Haiti salvages, and whether it matters.

A number of events over the last few weeks call into question the idea that democracy is always concerned with the greatest good for the greatest number. Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier's return to this island after twenty-five years is a case in point.

Rebuilding Haiti: What has been achieved?

January 28th 2011

There has been a great deal written in the international press about how little has been achieved in the year since the earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince on the 12th January 2010. Reasons given tend to be either that the Haitian government is corrupt or incompetent, that the Haitian people are disorganised, or that development agencies simply are not responding adequately. Millions of dollars sent by the international community appearing to be falling into a black hole.

A lively landing in Haiti

January 22nd 2011

On Monday I arrived in Port-au-Prince to conduct the next phase of my project with Dr. Heather Horst and Dr. Espelencia Baptiste on mobile phones, money, and movement of people in Haiti. Last year we were researching the flow remittances around the country. Since we left, Digicel and Voilá have both launched mobile money services (TchoTcho Mobile and T-Cash respectively). We're back to witness the rollout and see how people are using it.

One year since Haiti earthquake

January 14th 2011

Wednesday 12th January marked the one year anniversary since the Haiti earthquake. Port-au-Prince is still a mess: little rebuilding has been done, and thousands of people are sti.ll living in makeshift camps where cholera poses a grave threat. An anthropology blog called Savage Minds is posting a 'Reflections on Haiti' series this week to address the continuing nature of the crisis.