Côte Sud Initiative: Integrated Development in Haiti


CCC-14-0001.0 This case takes students into the world of international sustainable development. It looks at the challenges that confront a comprehensive development project (environment, education, health etc.) in the south of Haiti in 2012. The Côte Sud Initiative (CSI) is one piece of the government’s response to the devastating earthquake of January 2010 that leveled large parts of the capital and sent refugees streaming into the countryside, including the south. The project starts with data collection and is just gearing up to deliver services when, in March 2012, staff learn the chief funder is withdrawing. Readers follow CSI’s increasingly frantic efforts to secure other funds to sustain the locally popular initiative.

Among other elements present in the case are: changing donor priorities, an unstable government, unfilled key jobs, and cooperation/competition among international development agencies. It includes Haiti’s effort to adopt the Millenium Development Goals through creation of a Millenium Development Village. The case will draw students into the world of international donors, intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations and a national government all pursuing sustainable development goals. The case raises for discussion whether those goals are or can be aligned.

Ask students to consider what is required to implement ambitious and comprehensive development projects in an unstable political context. What kind of skills are required to negotiate such an environment? What role does science play in development projects? Consider the various international players. Is their work integrated? Does it serve the best interests of the host country? What happens to international development in the wake of a disaster like the earthquake—is it an opportunity for long-term change or an emergency with a short-term horizon? Finally, what is required for the multiple players in sustainable development to manage holistic projects?

Use this case in a course/class on international sustainable development, humanitarian aid, international affairs, project management, or organizational behavior.


This case was written by Eric Smalley for the Case Consortium @ Columbia and the Global Association of MDP Programs. Funding was provided by the Open Society Foundations. (0314)

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