Helping Villagers Tell Their Own Visual Stories of Rebuilding – Haiti


On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm devastated southern Haiti. Soon after the storm, the Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development (INURED) based in Port-au-Prince Haiti implemented a post-disaster study in the most affected areas of Grande-Anse and Sud. The general goal of this long-term study is to use a variety of methods to understand and document the methods and local resources communities utilize to rebuild their lives following a disaster.

FROM L to R: Sanjeev Chatterjee, Gonzalo Mejia, Herns Marcelin and Toni Cela at the University of Miami during an editing session.

The Project

Supported by a grant from the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas at the University of Miami, Media for Change (MfC) is working with INURED in video documentation of the larger project. MfC team members Sanjeev Chatterjee and Gonzalo Mejia and working closely with INURED’s Dr. Herns Marcelin and Dr. Toni Cela on this ongoing project.


Community members in three communities of the study were trained in video documentation. 3 Zoom Q4N cameras were provided to community members who are now visually documenting their efforts to rebuild. They conduct interviews and gather visual evidence of the work being undertaken on a regular basis. The digital material is then sent to INURED headquarters where all materials are logged and tagged. The material then comes to Miami where an archive is being currently organized and short films are being created for various academic and informational purposes.

The objectives of this mixed methods study, which included surveys, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, ethnographic observation and mapping, were to determine the impact of the disaster on affected communities, assess their perceived needs, and identify and map local resources and assets that are critical for an equitable recovery and reconstruction.

           -INURED report AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW, Resources, Capacities and Equitable Recovery of Devastated Communities in Haiti


The goal of this study is to better understand how communities muster internal/local resources in their efforts to recover and reconstruct after a disaster. This information can be crucial for external aid organizations to better align their efforts with affected communities. To read INURED’s initial report click here.

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