WBG Response to the Haiti Earthquake: Evaluative Lessons

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2010
Evaluation reports
Disasters, Earthquakes
World Bank

As Haiti faces the daunting task of recovery after the devastating earthquake, past experiences provide some lessons. Making a crucial difference to the effectiveness of actions seem to be the nature of the immediate response, diagnosis, project design and supervision, use of local capacity, private sector links, coordination among partners, including within the World Bank Group. Many of the lessons from previous episodes are relevant now; yet Haiti's distinct country conditions must also be kept in mind.
Indeed, several factors make the response in Haiti especially overwhelming: the breakdown of social order and a fragile security situation, the near-complete loss of governance structures, and the failure to impose even minimum quality standards on the construction industry. Complicating matters will be the unprecedented scale of the charitable donations earmarked for emergency relief, and the arrival of many agencies new to the country, tending to prioritize unilateral action over coordination.