New Research Project Provides Donors, Haiti’s Government With List Of Development Priorities

Project Syndicate: Changing the Narrative About Haiti
Bjørn Lomborg, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“…Focusing on the problems … tells us little about where donors or Haiti’s government could make the biggest difference. A new research project, Haïti Priorise, funded by the Canadian government and led by … the Copenhagen Consensus, does just that, by generating data about the most powerful opportunities to boost prosperity and health for generations. … In their top-ten list are six proposals that would take advantage of the short window before and after birth when the largest difference to a child’s life can be made. … The panel’s findings reveal powerful, lasting benefits from investments that focus on a child’s earliest and most crucial years. But ensuring that those children can one day contribute meaningfully to Haiti requires improving conditions for doing business. Many people believe the biggest barrier to the economy is the lack of reliable electricity. The eminent panel’s top-ranked proposal is to reform the public utility, Electricité d’Haïti (EDH). … [Haïti Priorise] provides NGOs and government officials with the intellectual ammunition to advocate for more funding for effective solutions, and it gives donors and elected officials a wealth of data on which to base tough decisions. Prioritizing problems, and then focusing on the most effective solutions, is a narrative that would benefit every country” (5/19).