FEATURE STORY

Prizes Awarded to Young Haitians Researchers for Their Work on the Future of the Haitian Economy

November 11, 2014


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Une rue à Delmas 32

Groupe de la Banque mondiale

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A competition was held among Haitian researchers living in Haiti, Africa, Canada, and the United States
  • Three winners were awarded prizes today for their contributions; they presented their work at a panel discussion.
  • This initiative is part of a series of World Bank discussions being held to prepare for its upcoming country engagement strategy with Haiti.

How can Haiti’s growth be accelerated and how can this be done in a way that benefits the poorest?  A competition among Haitian researchers living in Haiti, Africa, Canada, and the United States focused on these two issues.  Three winners were awarded prizes today for their contributions and presented their work at a panel discussion attended by representatives from academia, civil society, government, and the international community.

The aim of this exercise is to create a forum to allow young researchers and students to share ideas and engage in objective discussions and analyses of growth challenges.  In addition to academia, these discussions could help other civil society groups fine-tune their search for solutions.

Raju Singh, the World Bank Lead Economist for Haiti who organized this competition, says “it is difficult to pursue development polices without statistical data and proper analyses. Academic research must therefore play a key role in economic policy discussions.” 

This is the backdrop against which discussions were held on issues related to inequality, inadequate competition and economic opportunities, and the absence of a social contract between the State and the people which, among other issues, were identified by the participants as impediments to growth.

Jean Ribert François, who won the competition’s first prize, stated that “the promotion of accelerated and inclusive economic growth not only calls for the establishment of infrastructure but also removal of the constraints related to physical capital, technology, human capital, the use of production factors, weak governance, and a culture of apathy and hostility to change.”

The contributions were reviewed by a panel of World Bank researchers and leading Haitian figures, including the Presidents of the Association of Haitian Economists, the Haitian Arbitration and Mediation Division, and the North-East Chamber of Commerce, as well as professors from the American University and the Autonomous University of Mexico.


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The winners of the competition



Prize winners:

First Prize: Jean Ribert François and Jose Minerve Cayo, Université d’État d’Haïti  

From Identification to Elimination of Obstacles to Accelerated and Inclusive Economic Growth

Despite the range of infrastructure established in Haiti, the promotion of real economic growth calls for removal of the constraints related to physical capital, technology, inadequate human resource training, inefficient use of production factors, weak governance, and a culture of apathy and hostility to change.

Second Prize: Carl-Henri Prophète, Centre d’Études Diplomatiques et Internationales 

Undertaking a Detailed Assessment of Haiti’s Growth 

Infrastructure weaknesses and microeconomic risks tied to governance are the most likely constraints on growth.  Reform options involve improvements in the areas of electricity and port infrastructure, government efficiency, and property rights.

Third Prize: Saintima Jean Carrington, Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales et Economiques

Toward Accelerated Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity in Haiti 

The author examines the reasons behind the persistently low growth rate over the past decade, despite expansionary monetary policies and public expenditure. He also underscores the importance of the issue of inequality.  Solutions proposed include reforming the tax and education systems and facilitating access to credit.

This initiative is part of a series of World Bank discussions being held to prepare for its upcoming country engagement strategy with Haiti.


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