The EU seems to have done the most work, of any effort I have noticed, when it comes to correlating different kinds of map data, such as
"These sites" based on their GPS locations, are at risk because when placed on geophysical map of slopes of hillsides, proximity to ravines etc. with prior year water patterns, implies they are about to get hit with landslide or flood.
Or combine satellite images of damage with street map, so people can zoom in, see where problems are.
Map of probable flood risk areas (in red)
Map of sites each with more than 5,000 inhabitants, known to the UN
(Amnesty International apparently found additional ones, that NGOs have ignored)
Chart of camps with GPS coordinates
The ownership of large parcels is needed for large camps ... but why
large camps? Why not small camps? The idea of big camps sounds like a
decision made by bureaucrats. Maybe a 100 or even 500 smaller sites
would be a quick practical solution.
The selection of camps is driven by land tenure, which I have written about extensively.
The new camps are on parcels of land the GoH owns.
GoH needs money, that they do not have, that the Donor nations may have promised, but they are acting like there is no hurry to pay, this money to compensate the land owners if seize their land for more camps, or for other recovery. It is no secret to the Donor Nations that have collectively pledged $ 10 billion, that this money is needed for this purpose. We have know this for at least 2 months. At the rate things are happening, I would not be surprised if we go another 2 months with nothing happening to resolve this.
I do not know how long the legal process if the land owners dispute this. I know that in the USA such disputes can go for many months. If they were to do this in USA, starting today, it could be a year before the land actually change hands. In Haiti the courts are backed up because of quake damage.
Thus, if legal process in Haiti like that in USA, plus impact of backed up due to quake damage, then it could be several years before other land is available for reconstruction, after the GoH gets the money to pay for the seized land.
Then the paperwork regarding who owns what, at least in Port au Prince and to the South where main quake, was in gov buildings collapsed in the quake, with the paperwork also gone.
I agree with the London video that the UN HQ should go out of town in the desert, with the people, who do not have good transportation, getting camps close to where there are potential jobs. But I don't see that happening.
In addition to the land tenure issue explained above, there is also the need for building codes in Haiti, which we have also discussed before. Apparently there are still none, but there are Gov of Haiti politicians resisting new construction until that issue is resolved.
See my attachment PDF April 5 JOTC with news of that lack of progress.
10 families own big parcels ... who specifically are these owners?
Haiti insiders call them "the elites."
There is a class divide.
The darker skinned tend to be the poorer people.
The lighter skinned (is mulatto the correct term?) tend to be the upper class.
I think Mark Weisz can speak to this better than I.
What else do these people own? Are these people part of the solution
to the future of Haiti or part of the problem ... but who are they?
I have often said the disaster in Haiti is a combination of natural disaster and human disaster. Human disaster is related to this class divide, also the conflict between Christian and Voodoo religions, also the extreme conservative attitude that women are a third or fourth class citizen, that in fact there are several groups of people who are below second class citizen. There is extreme lack of trust across these divisions.
40 million cubic metres is a lot of debris. How much needs to be moved
urgently and how much over a longer time.
Where is it being moved to ... and how is it being processed?
There were some reports on this that I saw over a month ago.
It seems to me that management of this is chaotic, and the volume is astronomical. Think WTC times 100, or cities of Europe bombed out at end of WW II.
If it was for me to decide priority on removal.
Roads blocked by debris ... I think they have got that part completed, but in the last week, some major highways have got blocked by landslides, and expectation is more will get blocked by flooding as the rainy season builds up, which is already 2" above average, as predicted by El Nino but ignored by powers that be.
Drainage channels blocked by debris, so as to relieve the pressure of flooding where the people are. My understanding is that the PAY HAITI WORKERS programs were intended to solve this, but those programs very underfunded, so way behind. Based on my understanding, this is mismanagement at the level of UN and Donor Nations and NGOs. In addition to the NGOs getting hundreds of millions from ordinary people, they also tell the UN FTS (Financial Tracking System) what is needed for particular purposes, then the UN does a flash appeal for more money for the NGOs to carry out what they asked of the FTS, then when they get the money, it goes to the NGOs based on the budget requests thru FTS. The Flash Appeal to pay for this was in February. It is no secret to the Donor Nations that have collectively pledged $ 10 billion, that this money is needed for this purpose. However, the NGOs spent maybe 1/3 of the money donated by the ordinary people, also got some money thru FTS. So the failure of the donor nations to pledge or deliver money in response to the Flash Appeal for specific projects are being blamed, but I don't believe they are exclusively to blame.
Get Hurricane shelters implemented.
Replace damaged homes with safe homes, so as to relieve the pressures from over 2 million homeless (last count the official homeless inside Port au Prince had gone from 1.3 to 1.5 million, the count of people gone to rural areas in range of 600-700 thousand people, plus we continue to see evidence that there are many clusters of people inadequately served).
Clear debris from agricultural land, so the farmers can resume their livelihoods.
Replace critical infrastructure with safe infrastructure, in which some priorities need to be set, what's most critical. I see the bulldozers have started to remove rubble from the national government buildings. I consider them critical infrastructure because government needs to function, but I do not consider them to be as critical as drainage channels or decent shelter for the population rendered homeless by the quake.
What is the financial and economic picture around the debris removal
activity? My impression some time back was that contractors were being
paid to move debris ... then they would be paid to process it into
useful building materials ... and then they would be paid to buy it to
That's the plan. I think reality is
Pay contractors to move it out of the way.
Repeat step 1 an infinite # of times.
The classic model of excessive cost in relief and
development ... when it might well be feasible to set up a "business
sector" that did all the required processes using essentially one set
Where the debris is going is another sore point. It seems to me that it is basically being moved out of the way. On HEDR in the first few weeks after the quake, there were many many ideas bandied around about constructive uses, which kind of died down when we recognized the Ground Zero spiritual implications.
Among my attachments:
PMCC Situation Report which includes where they are on Debris movement
PMCC = Project Management Coordination Cell
You could compare two consecutive reports to see quality of progress implied
CWGER update from end of February with some figures on PAY HAITIANS to do debris removal where
· CWGER = Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery
I like the fact that 70,000 people are being paid (note that the idea
of a paid volunteer seems a bit weird) for their labor by the UN. What
a novel idea (sarcastic)! My impression is that all the UN staff and
most NGO staff are being paid in order to work in Haiti. Why should a
Haitian work and not get paid ... and the answer should not be because
they are poor and in a developing country and not part of the ODA or
Not sure the Red Cross is my idea of the best agency to be doing the debris work
460 spontaneous camps ... where might one find a list of these camps,
where they and the status of each.
is 10 page WASH (Water Sanitation Hygiene) cluster PDF report from March 29 (the most recent WASH that I have downloaded). Note that this summary report total is 1,000 camps, not 460.
is 10 page OCHA (UN agency overall humanitarian efforts) PDF report from April 12 (most recent OCHA that I have downloaded). Note this summary report total is 1,373 camps, not 460.
There are several elements of confusion in camp counting.
There are spontaneous camps and there are camps organized by relief effort.
There are camps in Port au Prince metropolis.
There are camps in other urban areas.
There are camps in rural areas along side roads connecting urban areas.
This is key management information,
and by now it should be pretty well organized. If not ... why not?
What is the service status in each? Which of these camps are "red
camps". The military survey presumably shows where and which camps are
The last report I saw & shared, the spontaneous camp count was over 1300.
This is the number that the NGOs had found, done some kind of assessment of, were trying to service. Amnesty International and other outfits had found numerous camps not on the UN NGO service radar screen. We constantly hear stories on Ushahidi and other places about places not on the relief radar screen.
"Red Camps" can be interpreted 2 ways.
There are the camps at risk of flooding, landslides, which have already had trouble from rain causing sanitation overflow, or people waking up in the water.
There are refugees in red zones, which for a combination of reasons are to be refused any kind of relief.
The idea that people are behaving just like "economic man" should not
be a surprise. Why are there differences in service between the
different camps? Is it the people in the camp or the people organizing
the camp? Who is in charge at each camp?
There are several sets of people in charge of a camp
(a) There is some kind of democratic process in each camp, where the population select people from among their own numbers (volunteers with particular skills) to manage what's needed ... think of them as Village Mayor, Village Town Council, within the camp
(b) There are NGOs who are regular visitors to a particular camp ... think of them as teams of workers, who have some team leaders
Some camps have both a+b, some have a but not b, some have b but not a, some have neither.
(c) There are the criminals who rape girls as young as 2 years old, and engage in other uncivilized behavior, terrorizing the camps.
One of my attachments
here is attachment is 10 page OCHA (UN agency overall humanitarian efforts) PDF report from April 12 (most recent OCHA that I have downloaded). At the top of page 3 there are some statistics on camp management, and related topics:
Of these identified 1,373 sites, 289 have Camp Management agencies registering an overall coverage rate of 21%.
Relevant to that above figure that most of the camps do not have local management, another of my attachments
is April 2 PDF update which talks about training in camp management and gives some mapping info on the first of the relocation places.
I sense there is a sad lack of management information ... all sorts of
summary information ... repeated but not organized. If I was in the
middle of this I would have a list of all camps ... and a status brief
for each every week ... presented in a tabular form showing the
changes ... hopefully improvement ... week by week. Something like
this must exist ... if not I would be very surprised, and if not I
would also be absolutely disgusted.
There are over 10,000 NGOs in Haiti. The relief work is organized into a dozen industry clusters, some of them with sub-clusters. Most clusters have on the average maybe 100 NGOs cooperating with that cluster, some a little more, many much less. Some NGOs are active in more than one cluster. Figure that maybe 1,000 of the larger NGOs and other actors (UN agencies, foreign governments) are working with the clusters, and over 9,000 NGOs and other actors are functioning totally outside the cluster system.
These NGOs are supposed to supply the cluster leadership with weekly reports on what they have accomplished, what is in the pipeline, what is needed. It would appear that not all NGOs in any given cluster are in fact filling out all the paperwork requested.
There are also regular meetings of these clusters, where to be effective, an NGO needs a staff member permanently located at the site of one meeting after another, to represent the interests of the NGO there, to inform the cluster management what that NGO doing, and to have good communications with the rest of the NGO staff out in the field.
Do the math
10,000 NGOs 20 clusters and sub-clusters = 200,000 relief members assigned to the meetings, get nothing else done other than the meetings.
That math is what would be needed for the system to work, to get the info everyone wants.
In fact most NGOs are getting a job done, instead of participating in the meetings and cluster paperwork. Because of the disaster situation in Haiti, there are not good alternatives.
Then the UN combines their info into these Situation Reports, many of which I have downloaded, some I have shared. Very few of them are structured to easily show what got accomplished since the last progress report. A human being would have to compare data from two consecutive reports. Some NGOs then take that data and issue Progress Reports in which the line is extremely blurred between what that NGO did all by itself, and what credit they are sharing with all the other efforts.
Hard work of the international community ... yes, but also very
expensive, are arguably very disorganized. It is now more than three
months after the earthquake, and the dataflows are not showing the
sort of progress one would expect. Frankly ... not sure what is
getting done any more!
I think the correct spelling is Petionville.
Pietonville Camp ... 44,000 people in temporary shelter on a golf
course! Who is in charge? How much of the nearly $2.5 billion or
resources made available to Haiti has been allocated to this camp ...
including $1.5 billion allocated to Haiti by the USA according to a
document from the UN Special Envoy's office!
As I have stated earlier, money and resources allocated to Haiti is often fictional compared to what has actually been spent.
One of my attachments is the UN Special Envoy financial report PDF March 29 on eve of March 31 donor's conference. It hows money needed, promised, gap (unfunded mandates), actually delivered, spent.
One of my attachments is April 9 PDF from USAID that gives a lot of break down of where money expended, through which organization into which community. It is not at the level of detail you want to see, but more like budget of police dept, fire dept, hospitals, etc. for a major city like Brooklyn or South Side Chicago. This is about as good as it gets.
The camp on the golf course ... IMAT went there soon after it got started. You might get time line from Stephen. A chunk of its occupants got moved to the camp in the desert because that chunk was on a steep ravine that was getting regularly flooded.
I expect the rest will eventually need to be moved because Petionville is a gated community where many of the "elites" live, who do not want a homeless camp in their back yard. At some point, whoever owns the golf course will call on the police to have them all evicted because the economy of the golf course getting back in business will be more important than the homeless currently there, just like what happened with the national sports stadium, and a few other cases I recently cited, under the heading of "war crimes".
"A recent UN memo" ... I am reminded of my early years in England
where "management by memo" was practiced! It does not work!
Race against time ... the Red Cross is proposing! Who is actually
doing? If anyone?
(1) evaluate/confirm ... this should have been done and done well
weeks ago ... except that the management dimension and data of this
whole effort has been catastrophically discounted by those running
The people on the ground are doing what they can, with their hands tied behind their back for many reasons.
(2) evaluate/execute ... who besides the Red Cross?
The other 10,000 NGOs in which maybe 100 or so are huge like Red Cross.
(a) containers ... I saw this proposed almost 10 weeks ago / whatever
happened! Who got in the way?
Lots of people propose the obvious. Getting into Haiti, getting approval to do it, is a whole other subject. Before the quake, Haiti was one of the most hostile nations to capitalism that existed outside of communism, and after the quake it is worse.
It is extremely difficult for new volunteers groups to get into Haiti to get anything meaningful accomplished.
Even well established groups have trouble. There was one story of a Red Cross relief cargo. The trucker shows all the paperwork to the SINGLE border crossing person, who finds something wrong. The trucker gets that fixed, then gets back in line with the other 50 truckers at the border. Each time the border crossing person finds something different that is wrong. This had been going on for a week, with no end in sight when the journalist visited the border crossing to report on the situation. The suspicion was that the border crossing person was in need of a bribe to let anything through.
See my most recent posts to HEDR thread about GoH rule changes, which was triggered by a new member who is about to go to Haiti in a week, and only now asking for guidance getting cargo in. Since our exchange he has called around, found that Fed X says they will ship to Haiti, he has sent 1 test package to see what happens, will let me know.
The people on the ground have their way of doing things, usually do not welcome newcomers, viewed as tourists. Well some are, but most are not.
(b) prefabricated steel frame buildings ... many proposals for this
have been circulating for weeks, but no interest from the people
controlling the money ... and now crisis. Again, who got in the way?
(c) modules ... many ideas in play, for several weeks now! Who stopped
b+c same as a
There are logistics problems for big programs ... but they are less
when there are many small programs with competent motivated
supervision. Bureaucrats and supervisors are not the same! Skill
levels may be low, and literacy may be low, but brain is present in
the working population probably in more abundance than with the
bureaucrats that know how to run a meeting but not to actually build
anything. Clear goals ... good supervision ... modest money ... and a
lot can be done in a short time!
Adequate ventilation, interior lighting, access to latrines, kitchen
facilities, security, camp management are NOT the problem to be
addressed in the next immediate days and weeks
If you had to share one toilet with 900 other people, you might disagree about access to toilets not being a priority. I was thinking about this a week ago when I was in toilet with indigestion & thinking how many minutes, over 1 hour accumulated I had been in there that day, and if other people were sharing it, maybe 40-50 people could share it, but I don't know about you, I cannot "hold it" for 20 days until my turn comes again, I would be in the back yard along with many other people, stinking up our neighborhood big time.
If it was your wife and daughter getting raped every nite, you might disagree about security not being a priority.
... and temperature and
humidity are also a given ... it is protection from weather (rain and
wind ... flood and landslides) that is the urgent priority. These
details are either already in place, or can be added when people are
If the people are moved to camp sites not at grave risk of flooding, landslides, eviction, and in shelter that keeps out the rain water, then supplying them with security against rape, and adequate toilets, that can be carried on by personnel other than those who are supplying shelter from hurricanes. The main issues in the way of both paths is land tenure, and matching promised money with where needed.
The issue of temporary ... or not. Any temporary measures will become
permanent unless the socio-economic circumstance of Haiti is
progressing. The "official plan" talks about this but it is not clear
how there will be implementation of it.
Did you see the "expanded" versions of PDNA?
* PDNA PDF 13 page summary March 24
(PDNA = Post Disaster Needs Assessment)
* PDNA PDF 55 page more detail March 31
* PDNA PDF 55 BIMStorm priorities mark up 1-A Bob Smith
* PDNA PDF 55 BIMStorm priorities mark up 1-B Bob Smith (I don't have capability of checking to see if later copy has what changes not in earlier copy)
* PDNA PDF 115 pages March 31 Goh 1.5 meg
An urgent issue is how to get
people "safe" for the next 6 months!
3 Relocate 250,000 people to camps not yet built ... Who is it that
should be paying attention to this and making something happen? Years
ago, I had some experience handling a flow of refugees that amounted
to more than 1 million over a period of about 6 months ... part of the
solution was multiple camps ... as well as every possible
collaboration with local communities to help. Most of the initiatives
worked ... some did not. Almost all the "planning" was done "on the
fly" because people were at risk today and needed help by tomorrow!
The summary details:
Interesting but not actionable as a summary ... I want to know about
each camp ... and more especially I want to know who is in charge of
each camp ... both NGOs and local people.
One of my attachments
is an Excel listing Priority Camps for moving people out of danger. It includes
number of people need to evacuate,
who is in charge there, both NGOs and local people
One of my attachments
is an Excel on Sanitation issues, which includes
number of people population there
who is in charge there, both NGOs and local people
types of problems there, including flooding
How much resources are flowing to each camp ... and why are there
differences. My guess is that many of the problems are people and
organizational ... good leadership and oversight makes a huge
difference ... so who is doing well and who is not. Where are the data
about this ... and if no data, why not. This is not complicated ...
this is the basics of old fashioned management and supervision.