Contradictions and complexities abound within the aid industry, causing it to struggle to make headway in a sputtering reconstruction process. The good news is that, unlike a few years ago, there is near unanimity on the need for a strong Haitian state to direct the aid flows. The bad news is that state capacity is wanting — and no one is quite sure how to build it. How do aid agencies act responsibly in the interim with few functional public institutions to coordinate the aid?
Managing our water commons thoughtfully in an age of growing energy demand and climate change is a considerable challenge, especially when the World Bank ignores its own advice to wean ourselves off large dams. That study by the World Commission on Dams finds large dams inconsistent with environmental and human rights standards. A global movement, including activists from Our Water Commons, continues to press to rein in the dam industry, invest in truly green solutions and apply common sense principles for how we manage our water.