Assessing People's Needs: USAID in Haiti


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Situation

The world was shocked by news of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, killing over 100,000 people. This devastating disaster compounded the country's long-standing problems of political instability, chronic poverty, and widespread crime. As the U.S. government and the rest of the global community looked toward recovery and rebuilding, there was tremendous need for reliable information about the most urgent needs and reconstruction priorities of the Haitian people. However, conducting research in this environment presented daunting challenges, particularly since over 1 million Haitians displaced by the earthquake were now living in temporary tent communities.

Solution

Impromptu tent cities in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Impromptu tent cities in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) asked Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to develop methodologies to overcome these challenges so the Agency could better assess the needs of the Haitian public. To do so, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner established a detailed estimate of the displaced population by reconciling pre-earthquake census figures with the most recent government and NGO demographic databases. The firm also used satellite map imaging to locate camps and define a representative geographic distribution of interviews. The resulting survey - which included sub-samples in both organized and spontaneous camps - permitted the first deep understanding of the country’s post-earthquake opinion environment, including a detailed analysis of how opinions inside the camps compared with those across the broader population.

Methodology

Since 2007, working for USAID, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research has conducted in-depth research on Haiti’s most pressing issues based on nationally representative surveys. Confronted with the complicated challenges presented by the 2010 earthquake, the firm produced ground-breaking and in-depth research to help understand how Haitians have been affected by the earthquake and what efforts are vital to rebuild their country.