You may have noticed a new list of links in the sidebar on the left called "Advocacy links." I put these up for anyone who is interested in delving into the world of MCC policy advocacy (particularly with regards to the effect that policies in the US and Canada have on Haiti and other countries in the global south). Also, this is a great segway into explaining what my new job is about.
As of this month, I am no longer working at the Plate-forme des Organisations Haitiennes des Droits Humains (POHDH) as a seconded capacity-builder/translator/consultant/grant writer/human rights researcher. My new job as "Policy Analyst/Advocacy Worker/Educator" (okay, so this job title could actually use some revision, too) is lot easier to explain and flexible enough that I'll be able to travel with Ben when he's working in the countryside (for that, can I get woot woot?!).
As MCC Haiti's Policy Analyst, I'll mostly be looking at the affect of various governmental and corporate policies on Haiti and proposing possible responses from MCC's advocacy offices (D.C., NYC, Ottowa and Bogotà), our constituents in the US and Canada, as well as projects and partner organizations here in Haiti. And I quote, "MCC has overarching goals of building capacity and empowering the disenfranchised, but often we find that even if a program or project is carried out to perfection, its full potential will not be realized because of existing policies and economic and political structures. The situation is made more complex by the possibility that some sectors of the MCC constituency in Canada and the United States may be benefiting from these same policies.
As such, the policy analyst and educator will seek to engage MCC partners and constituents in a dialogue and learning process on how to identify and establish a plan to address the root causes of problems facing Haiti today." (from my job description)
The kinds of issues that I'll be looking at include food security/sovereignty, trade policies, how governmental aid money gets spent (that would be CIDA for Canada, USAID for the States), foreign military intervention, immigration, deportation, etc. The goal of the international advocacy part of my job will be to inform constituents of how their own lifestyles and government policies directly impact the lives of Haitians, then to mobilize them to influence policy change. The national advocacy part will have me and a Haitian coworker working with MCC's partner organizations here on education and campaigns to engage the church and the public on social justice issues.
As with most MCC jobs, it's all about encouraging structural change that is just, loving and that honors the rights of all of our brothers and sisters worldwide. That is something I truly believe in and am thrilled to continue being a part of.