Major disasters over the last several years (including the 2004 tsunami and 2005 Pakistan earthquake) have taught valuable lessons on the role of prevention, better coordination and the effective use of the private sector. Are these lessons being applied in Haiti?
Speakers include Catherine Bragg, Sadako Ogata, Cameron Sinclair, Barbara Stocking, Nicolas Mariscal Torroella, and the discussion is moderated by Simon Maxwell.
Catherine Bragg currently serves as Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She was appointed to this position by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in December 2007. Bragg obtained a PhD in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany, SUNY, a Master of Philosophy in Criminology from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Throughout her career, she has served in various capacities in the Federal Public Service in the Government of Canada. In the Privy Council Office, she formulated policy advice to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. In the Department of National Defence, she worked on human resource issues. In the Department of Justice, she focused on evaluation and strategic planning.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Bragg served as the Director-General of the Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security Programme in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) since 2004. She is the Chair of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Donor Support Group and a member of the Advisory Group of the Central Emergency Response Fund.
Simon Maxwell became Director of the Overseas Development Institute in 1997. He is an economist who worked overseas for ten years, in Kenya and India for UNDP, and in Bolivia for UKODA; and then for 16 years at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, latterly as Programme Manager for Poverty, Food Security and the Environment. He has written widely on poverty, food security, agricultural development, and aid. His current research interests include development policy, aid, poverty, food security, linking relief and development, global governance and bridging research and policy.
Sadako Ogata is a Japanese diplomat, scholar and administrator. She served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 until 2001. She was appointed as the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency on October 1, 2003 and is still serving as of October 2009.
Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and executive director of Architecture for Humanity, a six year old 501(c)3 charitable organization which promotes architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises and provides design services to communities in need. Currently the organization working in seven countries on projects ranging from school building, tsunami and hurricane reconstruction to developing mobile medical facilities to combat HIV/AIDS.
Barbara Stocking joined Oxfam GB as director in May 2001. Oxfam is a humanitarian, developing and campaigning agency, whose purpose is to work with others to overcome poverty and suffering. During the last six years, Barbara has led Oxfam's response to humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, for the Tsunami and the Pakistan Earthquake. She has strengthened Oxfam's campaigning (eg Make Trade Fair, Education) and pushed for Oxfam's scale up of development work eg on Livelihoods and HIV/Aids
Nicolas Mariscal Torroella
Nicolas Mariscal Torroella is Chairman of the Board of Grupo Marhnos in Mexico.
UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg says one of the best areas to contribute money for earthquake relief in Haiti is the UN's cash-for-work program, which helps Haitians earn money while also helping their country. She also describes how, in recent years, Haiti has increased its preparedness for natural disasters.