Undergraduate Comparative Studies student Jacob Bogart has won an Autumn 2013 Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship for his upcoming work on NGOs in Haiti titled "Help or Detriment? The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Post-Earthquake Haiti."
He writes, "After the 2010 earthquake that displaced over a million Haitians, nearly 10,000 non-governmental organizations (NGO) flooded Haiti, promising aid and relief to those afflicted by the crisis. Now, 3 years later, thousands of Haitians still live in tent cities, having only ever received promises of aid. Our research from five tent camps in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti shows that NGO interaction with tent communities is top-down, where NGOs prescribe aid to a community while failing to engage in dialogue with the community itself. Our interviews with the Haitians living in tent camps reverses this trend by engaging in a dialogue on what they need from NGOs, what role they would like NGOs to have in their community and Haiti, how NGOs can best help them, and their experiences and interactions with NGOs. This research aims to provide insight into the experiences of Haitians on the receiving end of aid and how NGOs have affected their communities."
The scholarship will fund research expenses for spring semester, such as books for a literature review, program costs, and poster expenses. Jacob hopes to travel to a conference with these funds and present a finished thesis as well.