Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs

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Overview

After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, over half of U.S. households donated to thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in that country. Yet we continue to hear stories of misery from Haiti. Why have NGOs failed at their mission?

Set in Haiti during the 2004 coup and aftermath and enhanced by research conducted after the 2010 earthquake, Killing with Kindness analyzes the impact of official development aid on recipient NGOs and their relationships with local communities. ...

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Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs

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Overview

After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, over half of U.S. households donated to thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in that country. Yet we continue to hear stories of misery from Haiti. Why have NGOs failed at their mission?

Set in Haiti during the 2004 coup and aftermath and enhanced by research conducted after the 2010 earthquake, Killing with Kindness analyzes the impact of official development aid on recipient NGOs and their relationships with local communities. Written like a detective story, the book offers rich enthnographic comparisons of two Haitian women’s NGOs working in HIV/AIDS prevention, one with public funding (including USAID), the other with private European NGO partners. Mark Schuller looks at participation and autonomy, analyzing donor policies that inhibit these goals. He focuses on NGOs’ roles as intermediaries in “gluing” the contemporary world system together and shows how power works within the aid system as these intermediaries impose interpretations of unclear mandates down the chain—a process Schuller calls “trickle-down imperialism.”

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Editorial Reviews

Anthropology Review Database

"Killing with Kindness is a valuable and laudable ethnography of development- and disaster-aid in the 21st century."
PoLAR

"Killing with Kindness offers both engaging ethnographic examples and extensive analysis of the complex network of governmental and nongovernmental institutions through which Haiti and Haitians are ruled.
author of Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age - Faye V. Harrison

"Mark Schuller's ethnography of pre- and post-earthquake disaster Haiti  is profoundly riveting, poignant, and courageous. It offers a timely no-holds-barred critique and theoretically nuanced analysis of neoliberal NGO-ization and humanitarian aid. The book also provides an inspiring vision and thougtful recommendations for remedying the problems of 'trickle down imperialism.'  This is an important contribution that convincingly explains why we should care about what's happening in Haiti and the troubling implications for elsewhere—including right here in the USA."
Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan University - Mark Schuller

"Schuller's analysis of two NGOs is a singular contribution to o
Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

"Mark Schuller provides something that has been sorely lacking from this story—an ethnographic account of nongovernmental politics in Haiti, a country many now dub 'the Republic of NGOs.'"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813553627
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Schuller is an assistant professor of African American studies and anthropology at York College, CUNY. A writer for Huffington Post, he is the coeditor of four books, including Tectonic Shifts: Haiti since the Earthquake, and codirector of the documentary film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables Foreword by Paul Farmer Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Doing Research during a Coup
1. Violence and Venereal Disease: Structural Violence, Gender, and HIV/AIDS
2. "That's Not Participation!": Relationships from "Below"
3. All in the Family: Relationships "Inside"
4. "We Are Prisoners!": Relationships from "Above"
5. Tectonic Shifts and the Political Tsunami: USAID and the Disaster of Haiti Conclusion: Killing with Kindness?
Afterword: Some Policy Solutions

Notes Glossary References Index

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