Large investments in extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining have the potential to be a springboard for development, but these investments often have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency and environmental catastrophe. How can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources? An executive training program coming in June at Columbia University will be tackling this question.
Haiti Dialogue Series: Should funds be more effectively channeled through the Haitian government, a decentralized finance program could help streamline financing and reinforce local government planning efforts. As part of the Haiti Research and Policy Program dialogue series, Tatiana Wah was joined by Leslie Pean to discuss possible approaches to achieving the call for decentralization in Haiti that has been a part of the country’s development plans for decades, with renewed efforts after the 2010 earthquake. Most current international aid and development funding circumvents the government ministries at the national level. The lack of dedicated local budgets, as well as a weak incentive structure to attract or retain skilled professionals who are capable of complex governance, is a considerable hurdle for any decentralization proposal in Haiti.
Haiti Dialog Series: Author Jonathan M. Katz joined the Haiti Research and Policy Program’s dialogue series to discuss his new book and two years reporting on the Haitian recovery after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Katz argues within his book that the international aid money has become a missed opportunity to address core development challenges in Haiti and that the country remains equally vulnerable today as it did prior to January 10th, 2010.
Glenn Denning grew up in Brisbane, Australia, loved the outdoors and hated the idea of working in an office. And, he really didn’t have any urge to go to other countries. Then he happened to overhear a conversation in a hallway between two students. That bit of serendipity sent him on a road to a life overseas; to key roles in “green revolutions” in Asia and Africa; and eventually to an office at Columbia University, and the Earth Institute.
Dr. Prabhjot Singh, an international health systems expert at the Earth Institute who helped design community health worker systems for the Millennium Villages Project across 10 African countries, has won a $40,000 Young Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.