Report on the "For sustainable reconstruction" symposium in Haiti

From 3-5 December 2014, the Fondation de France and the French National Research Agency held a closing symposium on the ANR's post-earthquake "Flash Haiti" programme and Fondation de France’s programme for valorising local innovations. Titled "For sustainable reconstruction" and held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the symposium was attended by 150 persons. Following is a recap of this key event for Franco-Haitian scientific cooperation.

Five years having passed since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Fondation de France and the ANR decided to assess the research and local innovations that these two institutions support in Haiti.  Organised in partnership with the State University of Haiti (UEH), Quisqueya University (UNIQ) and the French Embassy in Haiti, the symposium allowed for an assessment of the scientific findings of the research projects funded by the ANR, and the lessons learned from the capitalisation process concerning the projects supported in Haiti by the Fondation de France.

An event in line with the first Haitian sessions on higher education

The symposium was attended by delegations from partner universities as well as numerous Haitian and French scientists who run projects that are funded by the ANR and the Fondation de France. It focused on sustainable initiatives – a reflection of the consensus concerning the need for joint construction.

National and international institutions, as well as NGOs, were also represented at the symposium.
In line with the first Haitian sessions on higher education ("Assises haïtiennes sur l'enseignement supérieur"), which was held in April 2014, the three days of exchanges were opened by Haiti's Minister of National Education and Professional Training, Nesmy Namigat. In reminding his audience of the need for higher education to be open to dialogue and responsive to the needs of society, Mr Namigat expressed the wish that "this cooperation will bring hope that Haiti's universities have a role to play in the transformation of Haitian life." 

Following an assessment of the initiatives carried out and an exchange of experiences, the prospects offered by the teams involved in the various projects were discussed, in particular via closer ties and tighter communication with Haitian political leaders and the country's socio-economic development policymakers.

The exchanges at the symposium also contributed to the national debate on the interplay between training, scientific research, societal expectations, and public-policy development.

The following topics were explored:

  • Earthquake, emergency and development
  • Rural environment and agriculture
  • Land-use planning; habitat and urban service offerings
  • Education, health and new digital technologies 

From left to right:  Yves Le Bars, President of the COS; Christine King of the ANR; Patrick Nicoloso, French Ambassador to Haiti; Nesmy Manigat, Minister of National Education and Professional Training; Michelle Oriol, Director of CIAT; Jacky Lumarque, Chancellor of Université Quisqueya; Jean-Vernet Henry, Chancellor of Université d'Etat Haiti; Henri Rouille d'Orfeuil, of Fondation de France. In the background is the children's exhibition of the ANR-funded RECREAHVI project.

Find out more:

  • To learn more about the various projects and oral presentations, visit the symposium website


Two post-earthquake initiatives for sustainable reconstruction

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010, thanks to unprecedented solidarity the Fondation de France was able to collect €35 million in aid for the earthquake victims, and to contribute to the reconstruction effort in Haiti. The Fondation de France decided to institute measures over a period of four years, by funding sustainable projects that meet the needs of Haitians to the greatest extent possible. By the end of this four year period, 361 projects had been funded that benefited nearly 900,000 persons. Apart from providing project funding, the Fondation de France also initiated a programme that aimed at analysing and leveraging the innovations realised in the field.  The goal here was to allow solutions that had proven successful to be either replicated elsewhere or implemented on a different scale.

In March 2010, the ANR issued a completely new type of call for proposals, the "Flash" programme, with a view to, on one hand, funding research related to the Haitian earthquake and on the other, promoting research centring around crisis management and particularly on how a society facing a major trauma adapts to radically changed circumstances. Within an unusually brief period, this call for proposals resulted in the launch of eight research projects very soon after the review process had been completed. Project funding amounted to a total of €3.4 million, the goal being to learn lessons from this natural disaster via empirical analyses, and to acquire data in a highly unusual type of setting that is rarely investigated during the post-crisis period.

The initiatives that were funded – whether in the field of health, education, agriculture, administration, or economic development – were designed to promote or strengthen Franco-Haitian partnerships, as well as to encourage long-term collaboration. It was important to the ANR and the Fondation de France that ongoing projects have a long-term impact on the networks of the relevant stakeholders, along with local populations and government policymakers. The ANR and Fondation de France initiatives also promoted the formulation of research questions that are solidly rooted in sustainable restoration of normal daily life, physical infrastructures, and economic, social and social solidarity systems.




Last updated on 21 March 2019
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