When Academics Become Humanitarians: A Post-Disaster Programme by the State University of Haiti
This paper by Rachel Sénat of Habitat for Humanity Haiti contributes to the first of these themes. By exploring the evolving role of the State University of Haiti (UEH) in responding to disasters since 2004, she draws much needed attention to a category of actor that the humanitarian system generally neglects. The paper raises interesting questions about the strengths and weaknesses of actors such as UEH who are outside the formal humanitarian system; in some cases their ‘informal’ status is their strength, as they are not viewed with suspicion by affected populations. There may be disadvantages, however, as they often lack the resources they need to be effective, and have weak monitoring and evaluation systems, if any.