Robert D. Lamb
Director and Senior Fellow
Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3)
CSIS Americas Program
In 2011, Haiti embarked on a five-year plan to reform its education sector. Now at mid-term, that effort is widely believed to have faltered, a victim of Haiti’s low absorptive capacity. When Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe gave a talk at CSIS on April 18, he asked his Education Minister, Vanneur Pierre, to respond to an audience member’s question that implied the school building program must be corrupt since there was so little to show for the large investment of international resources.
CSIS has recently completed research on the sources of absorptive capacity and found that this sort of “blaming the victim” mentality, while common, is not always justified. While it is true that many aid recipients do not have adequate capacity for implementation, it is equally true that many aid programs are designed and implemented without an adequate appreciation of local desires, resources, capabilities, and challenges.
Join Robert D. Lamb, author of CSIS’s absorptive capacity study, and Carl Meacham, director of the CSIS Americas Program, for an interactive discussion with other experts on Haiti and education-sector reform.