A long term building capacity model that prepares for effective disaster relief

Sidney Coupet, Reza Nassiri, Oluseyi Aliu, Christopher Coppola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Doctors United For Haiti (DUFH) is an organization that brings healthcare volunteers to Haiti with the aim of sharing knowledge, skills and building relationships that develop a network of capable local healthcare providers. This network can be adapted to coordinate relief during emergencies, such as the 2010 earthquake, as well as to provide an opportunity for effective transition from emergency relief operations to more long-term healthcare focused operations. DUFH volunteers visit Haiti and work along-side local providers throughout the country that work all health sectors. They form an integrated team that delivers quality care and identifies opportunities for improvement within healthcare facilities in Haiti. The relationships built are symbiotically beneficial because local Haitian providers receive professional support and empowerment from knowledge transfer, while volunteers receive an international experience that is transferable to their home institutions. These integrated teams provide a platform to coordinate and implement disaster relief plans around the country in a decentralized fashion. This model allows Haitian nationals to be legitimate partners in relief operations that have historically mostly excluded them. Haitian ownership is encouraged in that it provides an opportunity for local healthcare providers to function and become more competitive as providers in their own country. Very importantly, it can make it easier for international aid organizations to safely and confidently transfer responsibilities back to Haitian providers after acute response to disasters and emergencies. The DUFH model can prepare Haiti's own providers for future disasters and simultaneously strengthening Haiti's healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacity building
  • DUFH
  • Disaster relief
  • Doctors United for Haiti
  • Global health
  • Haiti
  • Healthcare education
  • Integrated delivery team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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