Breakfast Forum

Haiti: A Fragile Country the World Forgot

29 sep 2020 08:30 09:30 ENG

Ingvill Konradsen (Prosjekt Haiti), Leiv Marsteintredet (UiB) og Marianne Tøraasen (CMI). 

In January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. The earthquake was the deadliest natural disaster ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere and caused enormous damage in the already deeply impoverished and politically fragile Caribbean nation. International organizations and volunteers flocked to Haiti to help, spending enormous sums of money (5.2 billion USD) on the emergency relief effort.

Ten years later, Haiti is not better off. Much of foreign aid efforts has been ineffective. For the past two years, Haiti has gone through a socio-political crisis. An economic downturn, periods of food and gas shortages, and accusations of corruption against President Jovenel Moïse have led to violent protests that have paralyzed the country for months. Today, Haiti is facing COVID-19 while criminal gangs control large parts of the country, and the president is ruling by decree. What happened in Haiti? And what does the future look like?Ingvill Konradsen and Marianne Tøraasen in conversation with Leiv Marsteintredet. 


Join the seminar on Zoom. 


Ingvill Konradsen is the Co-Founder and General Manager of the Haitian/Norwegian non-profit Prosjekt Haiti, established in October 2000. She is also project leader at the Norwegian Centre for Rural Medicine (NCRM) at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. Prosjekt Haiti runs several educational programs for children and women in Haiti including health education and a free health clinic for youth. At UiT, Ingvill is leading a collaboration to develop the program Rural Health for Peace in Colombia, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Service. Konradsen has a Master of Human Rights from the School of Advanced Study, University of London and additional training in project management, social entrepreneurship, health and human rights. Her professional background includes working as an advisor to the Mayor of the municipality of Saint Louis du Sud in Haiti, Project Manager at the Centre for International Health (UiT- The Arctic University of Norway/University Hospital North Norway), and two periods working at the UN in Ecuador and Haiti.

Leiv Marsteintredet (UiB) is professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. Marsteintredet works mainly with the Latin American region focusing on democracy, political institutions, political crises and conflict. Marsteintredet is also the editor of a special issue on «Justice, Nationality and Migration on Hispaniola» (Iberoamericana. Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2016) and has worked on the topic of migration and human rights in the neighbouring countries of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Marianne Tøraasen (CMI) is a PhD fellow in Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen and the Chr. Michelsen Institute, specializing in gender and politics. She is currently studying the Haitian judiciary from a gender perspective, with a particular focus on the role of women judges. Her PhD is part of the project “Women on the Bench: The role of women judges in fragile states” (University of Bergen/CMI/ODI). Since 2018, she has spent five months conducting field work in Haiti during periods of serious social unrest.


Please note that according to corona virus regulations all participants must keep a distance of at least one metre from each other and maintain good hand hygiene. If you have any respiratory tract symptoms you should stay at home. According to the infection control measures, we need to have an overview of who is present at all times and thus kindly ask all who plans to participate to sign up beforehand via this link. 

Seating is limited, so first come, first served.


Photo: Banco Mundial América Latina y el Cairbe on Flickr