An economic chasm separates the two countries sharing the island of Hispaniola. Until the mid-twentieth century, both had roughly the same GDP, but while the Dominican Republic (DR) has enjoyed decades of economic growth, Haiti’s economy has languished, crippled by political turmoil and natural disasters. Although both countries have roughly the same population—nearly 11 million—the DR’s economy is ten times bigger.
This case study documents the use of the value chain approach to channel infrastructure program design from a direct implementation approach toward longer-term, market-integrated relief 1 in Haiti’s most conflict-prone cities. Worldwide, donor-funded infrastructure and housing programs focus primarily on completing projects without examining how they might work through markets and private-sector actors, which risks undermining local businesses and slowing economic recovery.