Clinton Calls for Haitian Ownership of Rebuilding and Development

Yesterday, Secretary of State Clinton issued a strong endorsement of the idea that rebuilding and development in Haiti will work best if Haitians take the lead.  From Politico:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said plans to rebuild Haiti will always put the sovereignty and the leadership of the island country in the lead.

“That’s not only the right thing to do, but given what we have learned over many years about development, it is the smart approach,” said Clinton at a press conference in Montreal, Canada. “Now, we cannot any longer in the 21st century be making decisions for people and their futures without listening and without giving them the opportunity to be as involved and make as many decisions as possible.”

On Monday, Clinton huddled with senior UN officials and more than a dozen foreign ministers to discuss international relief efforts in the wake of Haiti’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

A follow-up meeting will be held at UN headquarters in New York in March.

“Sometimes people have pledging conferences and pledge money they don’t have any idea what they’re going to do with it,” she said. “We actually think it’s a novel idea to do the needs assessment first, and then the planning, and then the pledging. So it may seem different from what you’re used to, where people come together and make all kinds of promises, many of which never get realized because the follow-up work is never done in the way that creates confidence in the donors.”

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