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Hope for a more prosperous and peaceful future for the Haitian people lies in building a more effective, resilient state. Haiti's state institutions are riddled with weaknesses in human resources, organization, procedures, and policies. State-building should be at the forefront of efforts to recover from the January 2010 earthquake. Devising lists of measures needed to repair the state's weaknesses is relatively easy, but formulating strategies to address those weaknesses is hard, and implementation is even harder. This report supports the development of a Haitian state-building strategy by identifying the main challenges to more capable governance, evaluating existing plans for strengthening government institutions and improving the delivery of public services, and proposing a realistic and carefully limited set of critical actions. The recommended priorities, in the areas of public administration, justice, security, economic policy, infrastructure, education, and health care, merit the greatest degree of Haiti's and international donors' policy attention and financial commitment.

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Smith Richardson Foundation and was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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