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The Excel file below allows users to play with the 2000, 2010, and their own population estimates to see how it affects the apportionment of seats for the US House of Representatives. Apportionment also influences the presidential Electoral College vote count for each state. To get the number of Electoral College votes for a state take the number of U.S. House seats and add two (recall that DC, which is not in the file as... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2010 at Research for Haiti
An Online Event sponsored by Overseas Development Institute and Humanitarian Practice Network. 26 October 2010 13:00-14:30 (GMT+01 (British Standard Time)) - Public event, Overseas Development Institute and screened live online Looking back, moving forward: Applying the lessons learnt from the Haiti Earthquake response - Events - Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2010 at Research for Haiti
An interesting brief article on the text-giving: Five-Digit Giving (June 14, 2010) | Stanford Social Innovation Review. At least one survey found that one-in-eight households said it used text-giving to donate to some cause. The cons of raising donations through text messaging: “Nonprofit leaders also worry that mobile giving will result in less money raised. “There is a fear that people who give smaller amounts through texting will not give otherwise,” says Katrin Verclas, a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2010 at Research for Haiti
The US Peace Institute is sponsoring a conference “Haiti: A Forward Look”: Haiti's reconstruction presents challenges and opportunities. How are international efforts contributing to lasting stability and growth? Experts will address these questions and identify key issues on the horizon for Haiti. Please note: This event will be webcast live beginning at 9:30am EDT on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at To RSVP, or for more information about this event, please visit Speakers: Lieutenant... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Well, it’s about time. Both the broad strokes and the details of US development assistance, down to the specifics of what (or who) gets funded, is often a political football. Aid work, as with domestic policy work, will always be influenced by changes in the executive and legislative branches, but it should also be subject to scientific review and professional standards. But as long as development work is housed at State, I worry that that... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2010 at Research for Haiti
You can read the transcript or listen to the pod cast of Development Drums’ Episode 20: Corruption which features an interesting conversation with Daniel Kaufman and Mushtaq Khan (see also) about corruption in development. This has been a frequent topic in discussions about Haiti recently. Sadly, discussions of corruption in Haiti often focus—to the neglect of the seriousness and nuance of the topic—just on Haitian officials. This is a real deficiency in the conversation. Any... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Oxfam has uploaded some photos on Flickr of development taking place at Corail Cesseleese, the large track of land the government has set aside for new housing and urban planning. Read more about Corail Cesseleese and see maps of this large area in this previous post. If you search flickr for the phrase Corail Cesseleese Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at Research for Haiti
South-South investments are an interesting phenomenon. Here’s an article that claims that the “largest foreign direct investment after the earthquake” in Haiti is coming from Vietnam. ­Vietnam's largest mobile network operator, Viettel has signed a deal to upgrade Haiti's fixed line network in the country's largest foreign direct investment after the earthquake. Under a public-private partnership structured by World Bank's IFC, Viettel will initially invest US$59 million, and an additional US$40 million over four years,... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at Research for Haiti
The National Academies Press is a great place to look for discussions and summaries about research on the cutting edge of the sciences. Their reports are often free to read online (sometimes free to download in their entirety as PDFs). Importantly, even when the topic is rather technical, the authors strive to keep the reports succinct and approachable by people outside the field (as best they can). Given the current situation in Haiti, many engineers... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Cloud forests along the southern peninsula of Haiti in the Pic Macaya National Forest are home to a variety of endangered frogs and birds found only in Haiti (see also this report). The Vermont Institute for Natural Science (VINS) has made several trips to the Pic Macaya in recent years to capture, tag, and document birds there. This 2006 brief, but very informative, report (with a couple of nice photos) is worth a look (a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2010 at Research for Haiti
More than two dozen organizations have signed a letter to Congress asking the US to purchase food aid in Haiti in order to play “a more constructive role” in food security policy. This echoes comments President Preval made earlier about food aid. They also mention the importance of identifying and tackling barriers to increased agricultural productivity, including: the absence of credit, anti­quated tools, dam­aged irri­ga­tion sys­tems, pro­hib­i­tively high fer­til­izer prices, sub­si­dized rice, and food aid... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2010 at Research for Haiti
In response to this earlier post about Gabions, Lori Moise sent in some photos she took just the other day of gabions being used in Haiti (the earlier post describes what gabions are). I believe these are along the Riviere Torcelle. Lori’s blog is here. Here are Lori's photos (cropped by me to save space) of the gabions: NOTE: Lori also has some incredible photos of the fort and old coffee plantation houses that were... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2010 at Research for Haiti
The Haiti News Project—citing Claude Gilles of the Media Operations Centre that Reporters Without Borders and the Canadian media group Quebecor established in Haiti (story on that effort here)—reports that Le Nouvelliste is preparing to begin print operations and has rehired 24 reporters; Le Matin is running biweekly from printing presses in the Dominican Republic. They also report that about half of the 50 (!) radio stations that were operating in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2010 at Research for Haiti
The company Wolfram is building an amazing reference resource that pulls together all sorts of data. You ask it questions much like you would a reference librarian. To get oriented: a page of topics they cover and an amazing video explaining what it can do. Some examples related to Haiti: Basic page on Haiti (note the many options to get more info in the orange-colored links to the right of each subheading). What is the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2010 at Research for Haiti
I could not find any footage of flamingos in Haiti. Do they still come to Haiti? Perhaps their return would be a measure of the restoration of healthy mangroves in various bays and at Etang Saumatre. This article from 1990 estimated that only about 900 flamingos (give or take several hundred) were still feeding or roosting in Haiti during non-breeding seasons. It also states that nesting in Haiti had not occurred since the 1920s due... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Here’s a graphic from the Washington Post showing where some land is located that the Haitian government is either taking or renting (not clear which) through procedures similar to eminent domain to use for resettlements (i.e., deconcentrate “tent cities”). Melissa and Orlando over on the Haiti Rewired forum identified where four of these five plots are on Google Maps. You can zoom in and see from the satellite photo option on Google Maps how they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2010 at Research for Haiti
The Social Science Research Council has an ongoing series of brief articles about Haiti on its web site. They keep adding to it bit by bit and are now up to 18 articles. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2010 at Research for Haiti
More than a dozen progressive organizations in the US and Haiti have sent a letter to Sec. Clinton expressing concern that the US government may hired private security firms to work in Haiti. The letter details (citing news and analytical reports) a list of human rights scandals that these firms have been engaged in, including child trafficking and murder. It also notes that private security firms …have routinely been implicated in accusations of financial mismanagement.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Arikia Millikan over at Haiti Rewired found this excellent video from the Earth Institute at Columbia University on the problems facing Haiti: A Future for Haiti: Science and Solutions for a Beleaguered Nation. The voice of the speakers are a little soft and sleepy at times, but for people wanting an introduction to Haiti’s problems and some discussion of basic guidelines for finding solutions, this is a great place to start. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Over at Haiti Rewired people have put together the start of a great list of links about current and past housing construction and architecture in Haiti. The list is a mish mash of things some of which are works in progress (hey, it is the internet!) but it is a great start and includes many photos of vernacular housing styles. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2010 at Research for Haiti
A lot can be learned by skimming postings over at Haiti Rewired. Some engineers were talking over there about putting all of the rubble produced by the earthquake in Haiti to use, and they mentioned a few terms I had never heard. Looking up these terms turned up some interesting uses for rubble: 1. Riprap: Riprap is the use of stones or rubble to prevent erosion against shorelines, roads, bridge abutments, or buildings. It can... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at Research for Haiti
A well argued, preemptive call against hiring shady mercenary firms to work in Haiti: Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti: Groups Caution Secretary Clinton on Private Military Contractors in Haiti Relief Efforts Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2010 at Research for Haiti
A far-ranging October 2009 paper from Abt Associates argues that: … there is a tendency to generalize that economic growth reduces poverty, when in fact it is the direct and indirect effects of the agricultural growth that accounts for virtually all of the poverty decline. This confusion is harmful to the objective of poverty reduction for three reasons: (1) rapid agricultural growth requires substantial public investment specific to the agricultural sector; (2) foreign aid has... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2010 at Research for Haiti
This is a pretty nice bit of freeware: Korektè Òtograf Kreyòl. Is is a Haitian Creole spellchecker for OpenOffice Writer, which is a freeware program that is very similar to Microsoft Word. You need to be able to read Creole to understand the simple instructions…or just open the program after you download it and OpenOffice Writer, then follow the instructions, then close and re-open OpenOffice Writer. Not bad at all! Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2010 at Research for Haiti
Claimed by both Haiti and the United States, you can see this tiny (2 sq mile) tear-drop shaped island here. The old light house and rail lines can be seen if you look closely. It is only infrequently inhabited by Haitian fisherman (it is about 6 hours from Haiti by boat, so the fishermen stay a few days and then return home). It also gets a rare visit by wildlife survey teams from the US.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2010 at Research for Haiti