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Rand: Building a More Resilient Haitian State

Authors: Keith Crane, Director, Environment, Energy, and Economic Development program, RAND Corporation, James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Charles P. Ries, Christopher S. Chivvis, Marla C. Haims, Marco Overhaus, Heather Lee Shwartz, and Elizabeth Wilke
January 4, 2011

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This Rand publication prescribes a course of action that international and domestic actors should prioritize in the massive effort to rebuild the nation.

Hope for a more prosperous and peaceful future for the Haitian people lies in building a more effective, resilient state. Haiti's state institutions are riddled with weaknesses in human resources, organization, procedures, and policies. State-building should be at the forefront of efforts to recover from the January 2010 earthquake. Devising lists of measures needed to repair the state's weaknesses is relatively easy, but formulating strategies to address those weaknesses is hard, and implementation is even harder. This report supports the development of a Haitian state-building strategy by identifying the main challenges to more capable governance, evaluating existing plans for strengthening government institutions and improving the delivery of public services, and proposing a realistic and carefully limited set of critical actions. The recommended priorities, in the areas of public administration, justice, security, economic policy, infrastructure, education, and health care, merit the greatest degree of Haiti's and international donors' policy attention and financial commitment.

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