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Despite its rich culture and natural beauty, Haiti remains trapped in the context of a fragile state paradigm where long-term planning and policy making are continuously undermined by the urgent short-term needs.

With extreme poverty, high natural disaster risk and severe environmental degradation, the Government of Haiti and local communities must be able to shift policy-making and strategic planning towards long-term growth strategies. We partner with Haitian stakeholders to offer evidence-based and costed models for long-term and contextually relevant development programs.

2014 Haiti Policy Dialogue Series – The Haiti Research and Policy Program hosts an ongoing Dialogue Series that links Earth Institute researchers with key figures of the Haitian diaspora, Haitian policy experts, foundations, Haitian scholars and government officials. For more information and to view the previous discussions click here: View Events

The Haiti Research and Policy Program

The Earth Institute has been active in Haiti since 2006, with a commitment to designing, advising and demonstrating science-based methods to achieve sustainable development at the national and local scale.

Under the direction of Dr. Tatiana Wah and Alex Fischer, the Haiti Research and Policy Program provides policy advising and technical assistance to government partners in Haiti. Our research, analysis, and advising work focus on the critical need for enhanced science-based, regional and national scale data collection and monitoring systems. The Earth Institute creates planning, policy and programming tools with the Haitian knowledge networks, university research communities and government agencies. Our work in Haiti demonstrates the powerful interdependence of research, planning and policy to inform dialogue and guide development planning efforts.

Often the absence of reliable information means that recommendations are based on outdated or makeshift sources, compromising the effectiveness of development programs. Despite the numerous individual surveys and studies by local and international agencies, there remains a lack of national standardized systems for rapid assessment, monitoring, and data management.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Earth Institute expanded our research programs to provide high-level policy and programmatic advising specifically to address recovery efforts and pathways towards long-term development. Earth Institute teams launched a major effort sponsored by the United Nations in the South Department of Haiti to support the government’s reconstruction and decentralization efforts. This resulted in an extensive, multi-sector data collection and analysis program to provide data-driven tools and to develop tools for monitoring efficacy of programs.




Components of the program include:

Applied Research

Our Haiti Research and Policy Program mobilizes research teams across ten centers at the Earth Institute, addressing core multi-sector issues including health, education, agriculture, environment, disaster vulnerability, sustainable energy, planning, tourism and local community development.
Click here to learn more about our Applied Research programs.

National Policy Advising

Our teams collaborate with government ministries and development agencies to apply science-based and data-driven sustainable development solutions and policy recommendations. We are focused on programs ranging from national scale data collection and management to health systems to agricultural and nutritional policy.
Click here to learn more about our National Policy Advising programs.

Knowledge Networks

Part of our model for ensuring long-term impacts is to work in partnership with local universities and practitioners to enhance the knowledge networks and ensure research needed for institutional and human capacity building. The University Partnership program seeks to strengthen local institutions that can accumulate knowledge and lead planning processes.
Click here to learn more about our Knowledge Networks.

Contact and Affiliated Centers

For more information contact Program Director Dr. Tatiana Wah or Associate Director Alex Fischer.

Partner centers at the Earth Institute include: