Major humanitarian crises caused by civil wars or natural disasters such as recently in Haiti mark humans and cause a wave of solidarity. But do our generous donations actually have the desired effect or do they conversely provoke an unhealthy dependence?
In the form of a film documentary choosing the example of Haiti, we will examine the issue of necessity and usefulness of traditional development assistance and offer solutions for improvement. If, thanks to development aid, houses and roads are built - does it actually stimulate the efforts of the locals? Or could it be the opposite?
Henceour key question: Is foreign aid really contributing to development?
The efforts and concrete results of international aid organizations in the poorest countries in the Third World are almost invisible. To understand why, we must solicit feedback from the base. We'll examine the aid receivers, who are going to be the basic tenor of our film. Moreover, experts, development advocates, journalists and sociologists will give their feedback and shed light on the missing pieces of the development problem. Our documentary will observe the effectiveness of aid in Haiti in the past as well as in the present.
Among others, the documentary will include the views of the following experts:
- American PhD Anthropologist, Timothy Schwarz
- German journalist and development expert, Kurt Gerhardt
- Haitian economist, Pierre Marie Boisson
- Haitian psychologist, Roseline Benjamin
- Haitian nun and aid worker, sister Rose Andrée
- Dutch journalist and aid expert, Linda Polman
- Haitian volunteer worker, Louino Robillard
Few donors have any idea whether they are giving to the best organization in the area they want to improve, or even whether their giving is doing what they want it to do. Our documentary will help the viewer with suggestions to understand where his or her donation will have the best impact.
To comprehend the aid system better, we will spend time with Haitians in poor areas such as tent camps and slums, talk to them to get to know their reality and needs. We will find and spend time with well working NGO initiatives, which demonstrate a good example and a way into the future. At the same time, we will show negative sides of the NGO system, its mothering mindset, its lack of understandingthe aid receivers and its exploitationby politicians as well as locals.
Filmmaker is Alice Smeets, cameraman Frederic Biegmann, and cutter David Mollers. Buy Access