The U.S. Government: One Actor of Many in Haiti’s Recovery

Edouard Duval Carrié works on an art installation for the Duke Haiti Lab.

This site exists as an independent study project intended to serve the Duke Law School, Duke Haiti Lab, and other scholars interested in the legal rights of Haitian women. Its purpose is to provide a brief, yet informative synopsis of the involvement of the United States Government (USG) in furthering women’s rights in general, and in Haiti specifically.

The site is divided into primarily two sections. The first includes legislative initiatives within U.S. Congress with regard to Haiti, including (1) the Haiti Empowerment and Reconstruction (HEAR) Act; (2) the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010; and (3) the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).

The second section includes current USAID projects as they pertain to women and Haiti. These include the Women in Development (WID) and the Women’s Legal Rights (WLR) projects. I also include a detailed summary of the State Department’s spending plan for the $1.5 billion appropriated for Haiti in July 2010.

While the overall goal of this project is to provide insight into the actions and policies of the federal government and Congress specifically, I recognize that the USG is but one of many actors at work in Haiti’s reconstruction. There are countless NGOs, think tanks, and universities working to build a brighter future for, and more importantly with, Haitians.

For these efforts to truly be effective, I firmly believe that all three sectors–the nonprofit, the academic, and the public–must communicate more extensively. This site is a first step. Serving as a resource for students interested in studying Haiti at Duke, this site synthesizes the actions of one actor in one sector of Haiti’s reconstruction. While its reach may be limited, it is my sincere hope that it will be the first of many endeavors to bridge the often distant realms of academia and policy.

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