From the category archives:

at MIT

MIT efforts support humanitarian needs assessment in Haiti

It’s early May, and our team of hard-working MIT and Tufts students has been refining its analysis of data collected in Haiti and documenting lessons learned, which in the weeks ahead will be combined into a final report. They’ve spent many a day in conference rooms like the one shown here. There may be no windows, but there are plenty of electrical outlets. Most weeks, some half-dozen students would each work on a laptop, jotting notes on the whiteboard, debating the design of the analysis, and discussing locational coding and data elements. What do we call the intensive, work-until-you’re-done session? Now you know: it’s a “datapalooza.”

Later this month, we’ll share some reflections in a day-long “After Action Review” organized by MIT Lincoln Laboratory to further consolidate insights gained through the wider data collection and analysis effort in Haiti. The review is designed and run by colleagues from across Lincoln Lab and features others on the distributed team including Dr Louise Ivers of Harvard University and Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante.

The combined MIT team aims to share materials and participate in the wider dialog about how to better manage and assess efforts in humanitarian emergencies.

More background material appears earlier in this blog, but here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to: MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Center for Transportation and Logistics, and the Sloan School of Management have been collaborating on assessments to inform humanitarian efforts in Haiti in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. The project was designed to take stock of the state of food, shelter, water, health, and security for residents of Haiti [click to continue…]


Show me the data!

April 12, 2010

As the Chinese proverb goes: “May you live in interesting times” – and so we are! The data from the ACT assessment (NOT survey!) in Haiti has arrived, and Team Boston has been busy delving into the data and determining what valuable information can be gleaned from the answers to the assessment. Also, we were more »

Read the full article →

what is the US military role in Haiti? And why is the task so pressing?

April 8, 2010

People often ask me what the role of the US military is in the Haiti relief efforts and to describe how we are working with them. First, for more on the collaboration between MIT and our partners, take a look at this (slightly outdated) overview: MIT Haiti project overview 100317. We’ll update more as we more »

Read the full article →

“Mecca” for Public Health

March 18, 2010

(posted by Erica Gralla, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) Wednesday, Jarrod and I had the opportunity to visit Cange, where Partners in Health (PIH) began its first clinic (see To convey just how inspiring that is, Mischa (who has a masters in public health) told us it was like visiting “Mecca” for public health. If you’ve more »

Read the full article →

The Embassy, the UN Base, and the Digicel Building

March 16, 2010

(posted by Erica Gralla, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) Today was a day of contrasting locations. As usual, I awoke in a khaki-colored army tent, on an army cot with an army mosquito net zipped around me. My hair, washed last night, was nowhere near dry in the humidity here. I stopped at the bathrooms next to more »

Read the full article →


March 15, 2010

(posted by Jarrod Goentzel, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) We returned to the restaurant at the UN Logistics Base for dinner last night.  There is something nice about relaxing with people from different organizations all playing distinct roles in the effort here. Tonight my eye kept wandering to a guy sitting alone with his computer at the more »

Read the full article →

Hello Mond — from Team Boston

March 14, 2010

Meet Team Boston The MIT Haiti Data Project Team is now officially known as Team Boston.  We had a bit of trouble coming up with a name (“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” — Romeo and Juliet, II, ii, 1-2), debating between college names, more »

Read the full article →

Haitian Standard Time

March 14, 2010

(posted by Jarrod Goentzel, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) I arrived in Port au Prince today on a 2 hour flight using a large plane typically allocated to a lucrative international route.  Maybe it is a way for the airline to utilize its fleet during the offseason for European travel.  But I would like to think that more »

Read the full article →