MDGs: from Manitoba to Haiti? class=

MDGs: from Manitoba to Haiti?

Doug Hadden, VP Products

The Millennium Development Goals have mobilized international activity. The focus on MDGs has generated analysis on what works and what doesn’t work in development. Nowhere is the development conundrum more critical than Haiti . There is some controversy about the effect of aid in Haiti as demonstrated by a piece by journalist Ian Birrell theorizing that aid is responsible for the lack of development in Haiti and the recent rethink of aid policy by the Canadian International Development Agency.

Aid that Works for Haiti?

It may come as surprise that development innovation is alive and well in Manitoba. It comes as no surprise to me that my old friend, Dr. Pierre Plourde, is at the forefront. Pierre is focused on MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality as an initiative with EMS Canada. The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation is promoting MDG efforts by Manitobans including Pierre.

I remember when Pierre first went to Haiti during medical school. He’s also working in India and Kenya so has significant practical experience. There is no question that child mortality is a critical problem for Haiti. The approach of health capacity building as a key objective of the EMAS Canada program shows how development can be sustained. As Pierre explains, improvements in health care has economic advantages as does improvements in the economy improve health outcomes.

The Truth about Dr. Pierre Plourde

Pierre began his capacity building life by trying to explain Grade 13 calculus to me. I reciprocated by tolerating his irrational desire for performing in public. My sense is that my capacity building work turned out more successfully. But, Pierre has had enough time to perfect his training abilities. He can also be very convincing. For example, he did convince tourists, while on vacation in the Caribbean that his brother was a member of the Canadian national hockey team. He was expert in convincing his brothers to take less time in the shower by turning off the hot water heater.

One of my enduring memories of Pierre was his studying methodology during medical school. He stacked books in his room on the floor – well over a meter high. He studied from left the right and the stack on the right would slowly build. Meanwhile, he wrote notes with his compact script that he called “writing”.

Pierre also speaks French and has spent sufficient time in Haiti to speak Creole.