This study is based primarily on in-depth tape-recorded interviews with hundreds of Haitians and Dominicans on both sides of the border. Fieldwork was undertaken directly by the two co-authors of this report. Murray assumed primary responsibility for interviews and chapters devoted to the Dominican side of the issues studied, and Smucker to the Haitian side of the border. Smucker accepted prime legal responsibility for the execution of the contract and for communication with USAID. He also undertook the final editing and synthesis of the report. In all other respects the work was totally collaborative.
The following document is presented to Save the Children in fulfilment of a contract for consultation on the design of a project in rural Haiti. It will begin with an identification of the two competing approaches to project organization in the rural areas that have surfaced as controversial discussion points between SCF and the USAID mission in Haiti. This controversy should be seen in a positive light. It permits a rethinking of these issues in light of SCF objectives and philosophy, and the design of a compromise approach which permits effective work in rural Haiti.
This report presents certain preliminary observations on the functioning of the Gros Morne Project. It is based on information during a brief field visit made during December of 1982. Both authors, at different times, had been approached by Project Staff with a view to possibly carrying out a formal evaluation of the project. This visit, however, was made as a preliminary contact, not as part of the formal evaluation. Because of the brevity of the visit, the information presented in these pages should be construed not as definitive findings, but as "carefully analyzed impressions."
In this report, we will present a somewhat detailed description and analysis of the food-related beliefs and behaviours of a community of Haitian peasant cultivators located in the Cul-de-Sac Plain. Our intention is to synthesize for readers interested in Haitian peasant life a complex body of information which we gathered on matters specifically related to food. This entails descriptions not only of community nutrition beliefs and ideals but also of actual community behaviour with respect to the preparation and distribution of food.
The present report has been commissioned by USAID in Haiti as an attempt to provide a conceptual overview of the soil conservation projects that have been operating in Haiti during the past two and a half decades. Recent studies commissioned by USAID have referred in a convincing but general way to the central role which deforestation and soil erosion play in the contemporary impoverishment of the rural economy, and few persons would dispute the contention that reforestation and general soil conservation constitute a sine qua non for any serious rural development in a country which has nearly 80% of its surface in the form of slopes.
The following pages will briefly sum up and analyze the information relevant to family planning gleaned in several months of fieldwork in a Haitian hamlet. This period of exploratory research has been a useful preliminary not only for settling in learning the language and becoming acquainted with and acceptable to the members of the research community but also for isolating and clarifying the genuine issues around which the success of a program of voluntary fertility control will ultimately hinge. These issues, which should be the object of more exact study, are by no means self-evident.