The Institute for Ethnography and Kreyol Oral Histories (EKO HAITI) was established in 2020 to echo and amplify the voices of Haitians from all walks of life. In pursuit of this mission, we have gathered an exhaustive collection of ethnographies on Haitian society. We also have created a repository for transcripts of focus groups and other interviews conducted by researchers to provide direct public access to the stories of ordinary Haitians – farmers, merchants, fishermen, aid workers, and others. For the next phase of our project, we are recording a series of oral histories.

The need for this platform is clear. Journalists, historians, anthropologists, aid workers, and others have written volumes about every aspect of Haitian society. But even the most brilliant ethnographies often fail to reach a general audience. Many of the thoughtful accounts provided by the people interviewed for journalistic and academic reports have never reached the outside world, making it into final reports as truncated quotes, if at all. EKO HAITI exists to provide these Haitian voices with a platform where they can be heard.

EKO HAITI invites anthropologists to make their research available on the site. We launched with dozens of theses and dissertations already uploaded, and we are still receiving more. EKO HAITI’s searchable collection of focus group transcripts already covers coffee, cacao, and mango farming; fishing; school feeding programs; and animal husbandry. We also have focus groups where participants provided oral histories of their experiences in camps for people who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake. We are translating more interviews on other topics and will post them soon.

WHO WE ARE

Timothy T Schwartz

Timothy Schwartz has conducted research and worked on the island of Hispaniola for 27 years. He has also worked and done research in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Montserrat, the Bahamas, and Kenya. He has designed, coordinated, done the analysis and written the reports for more than 100 major surveys and evaluations on issues from health to childcare to livelihood strategies to humanitarian aid program efficiency to the performance of engineering corporations on major infrastructural works.

Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a consultant and journalist with 30 years of experience concentrated in Haiti. He has led teams researching livelihood strategies, food security, cocoa production, construction, climate change, and other issues.  He has supervised surveys, conducted focus groups and open interviews, analyzed data, and written reports for numerous international donors and other clients, including the World Food Programme, the Clinton Foundation, USAID, the German Red Cross, and the Haitian Agriculture Ministry.

Stephane Grandvaux

Stephane is an international research and communication consultant with particular expertise in digital technology, public relations, and social research.   Stephane is also an experienced researcher in the fields of Maternal and Child Health, Food Security and Education, and has worked as a Public Relations consultant for local organisations in Haiti. Stephane strongly believes in a dialogical approach to local development that seeks to go beyond consultation to participation and beyond capacity building to consciousness-raising and empowerment. As an anthropology graduate Stephane is also interested in questions of representation and cultural identity.