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Wednesday, July 26, 2006 

Aid, Aid and the Haitian Landscape for Development

The recent conference held by international donors about Haiti has raised some significant hopes for the country (see here and here), and its emerging government.

Amidst those perspectives, the Haitian government sees those pledges from donors as ways to tackle economic and social development schemes, and to stabilize its national security in the lights of rising violence.

In fact, in the eyes of some government officials, the potential of foreign aid disbursements could lead to sustainable development, and long-term reinforcement of the Haitian sovereignty.

As interesting as those arguments can be, several questions also emerge vis-à-vis the Haitian case, and the prospects of Aid Effectiveness. Let us recall among other things that increased aid has to be carried out in parallel to substantial reforms, and effective policy measures. Where such measures could be aimed to address matters of absorption capacity, and adjustments towards some constraints that might be liaised with the political economy framework.

Not trying to be over-simplistic about these matters, the effectiveness of aid, and the future of Haiti can be highly dependent on two factors, namely: Political Sustainability, and Quality, where those two characteristics could certainly help to bolster the country’s capacity to target specific social and economic programs, and at the same time strengthen their political jostling.

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