On Haiti

I’ve been busy over the last week with all manner of academic work (preparing for classes, committee meetings, applications to our graduate program, etc.) and haven’t had a chance to update the blog, but I did want to pop in here after I heard the news about the horrific earthquake in Haiti. I am sure many of you want to donate money, so I wanted to post a link to this very interesting article on how to choose a charity.

What do you need to know? First and foremost, is your favorite charity already working in Haiti? Have they had personnel there for years, with contacts in affected areas? Do the really know the country and the local leaders who will help deliver aid quickly and equitably to those who need it most?

If an organization isn’t already set up and ready to go in Haiti, your donations are going to go to help them build an infrastructure, set up offices, and hire staff. It makes more sense to donate to an organization that already has these elements in place. This might seem obvious, but in the aftermath of the destruction caused by the tsunami of 2004, organizations who had never worked on the ground in affected areas raised hundreds of millions of dollars, much of which never reached its intended recipients and succeeded only in bolstering the stature of the organizations.

As for me, I donated to Doctors without Borders, who seem to have a decent record in Haiti. Please give, if you can.

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