Wednesday, December 22

Haiti Aid Watchdog National Conference on the Impact of the aid

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - FEBRUARY 26:   Women s...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Accountability and Transparency of Aid to Haiti is much bigger than 2% of money from USA to Haiti via USAID actually making it to Haiti contractors, where 98% goes thru Washington DC beltway bandits. I posted links to that story here:


Out of every $100 of U.S. con­tracts now paid out to rebuild Haiti, Hait­ian firms have suc­cess­fully won $1.60, The Asso­ci­ated Press has found in a review of con­tracts since the earth­quake on Jan. 12.

An audit by US AID's Inspec­tor Gen­eral (IG) found that more than 70 per­cent of the funds given to the two largest U.S. con­trac­tors for a cash for work (CFW) project in Haiti was spent on equip­ment and mate­ri­als.

I cited various places:
  • USAID claimed this unavoidable because that equipment was not in Haiti.
  • I shared documentation showing that equipment really is in Haiti.
  • IG said clearing rubble is essential to the rebuilding effort (I agree).
  • USAID said that's a means to an end - getting money into Haitian economy by paying people to move rubble around, that's what's important, not the rebuilding
So long as USAID is in charge, able to disregard what the IG says, and so long as US Congress has forgotten they have oversight authority over USAID, then nothing will change there.  But aid to Haiti is a hell of a lot bigger than what USAID is doing.

There's also the scandal of nations around the world promising specific sums of money and not delivering.  Check out here
the various links to international assistance tracking.

Tens of thousands of NGOs etc. claim to be doing certain stuff in Haiti.
There have been independent audits of what they allegedly did.
It does not matter if it is an agency of government or an NGO.
No correlation has been found between what they claim to be doing, and evidence of what got done, found by the audits.

Some of this may be due to where there are expenditures not showing up clearly in the financial reports.  On Haiti Rewired discussion of recovery architecture, we learned of a building boom in Haiti of housing, not for quake survivors, but "mansions" for aid workers.  Rent, to stay there, is probably showing up in financial reports as some kind of aid to Haiti.  Ditto costs to transport volunteers to Haiti to do work, which local Haitians could be hired to do.

There have been a parade of investigations into the quality of the aid provided to Haiti, and the quality of the information from the providers of that aid.  These investigations produce recommendations how to fix the problems, then nothing happens.  People are getting frustrated.  I say there needs to be follow up, how come the humanitarian aid community for the most part is living in the 18th century, unable to apply 20th century technology, let alone 21st century technology?  How come the people with extremely sensible recommendations cannot get any traction?  How come the aid organizations, which produce "lessons learned" reports are unable to apply those lessons to their own operations?  How come we have tens of thousands of NGOs not talking to each other, while they trying to do work which can be done more effectively thru mutual cooperation?

This conference is an attempt by Haitian Grassroots organizations, and others, to go to that next step, of dealing with the failure of recommendations and lessons learned to be applied.

A major part of this is the people of Haiti deciding what is right for their nation, and taking charge of the recovery effort.

Alister Wm Macintyre (Al Mac) pro bono volunteer

Haiti Research shared with / posted at  "And you people wanted to boycott Hot 97, Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds? Where is the logic? Thank him for being a scapegoat to bring light to this situation that is really going on."

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