Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and Ngos

Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and Ngos

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By (author) Mark Schuller, Foreword by Paul Farmer

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  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 20mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 24 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New Brunswick, NJ
  • ISBN 10: 0813553636
  • ISBN 13: 9780813553634
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 1, black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 758,542

Product description

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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Author information

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 .

Review quote

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. | "Schuller's analysis of the two NGOs is a singular contribution to our understanding of such organizations in underdeveloped countries."