Local-level human security in Haiti

How do people cope in the absence of a functioning state? This question is highly relevant to the case of Haiti, where the 2010 earthquake severely impacted an already much questioned government, and is taken up by Cordaid in its IS Academy research.

This research project aims to add to the emerging literature on local arrangements and governance in so-called fragile states , since the notion of 'fragile states' has obscured how societies under these conditions work and how people manage their lives. It comprises several studies around the question: How do people interact with each other and local governance institutions (state/non-state, formal/informal) to shape their own human security?

Five studies

The research comprises five studies:

  • A pilot study into rural livelihood strategies in Mombin Crochu, providing a basic insight into the role of non-state arrangements.

Three follow-up studies were conducted by student researchers focusing on more and less disaster-affected areas and taking different governance issues as a starting points:

  • Fulfilling basic needs in Petit Boucan, Gressier
  • The organisation of access to drinking water in Tisous
  • Land tenure and related conflicts in Mombin Crochu

Finally, a fifth study was undertaken by the coordinator of this project, Ms Talitha Stam:

  • Entrepreneurial strategies of female Haitian entrepreneurs, Madam Saras.