Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Affairs

First Advisor's Name

> Emel Ganapati

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Meredith Newman

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Milena Neshkova

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kevin Grove

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, women IDPs, Haiti, disaster management, participation post disaster, gender post disaster

Date of Defense



Professor N. Emel Ganapati, Major Professor

Despite a growing body of research on gender and disaster, little is known regarding the long-term recovery priorities and participation of internally displaced women in the long-term recovery process. Focusing on this important scholarly gap in the public administration literature, the overall goal of this study is to understand the long-term recovery processes of populations displaced by the 2010 Haiti earthquake through a gendered lens. The study’s specific aims are to: (1) understand the rebuilding priorities of IDPs in Haiti through a gendered lens; (2) determine factors that enable or hinder IDP women’s participation in decision-making processes; and (3) assist policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and international aid agencies in addressing the priorities of women IDPs. The dissertation is based on a qualitative research study. Its data collection methods include semi-structured interviews (n=97), focus groups (n=63), participant observation, and a review of diverse secondary sources. Despite some similarities between the recovery priories of women and men IDPs in the short and long-term, women IDPs in Haiti had several additional priorities due to: (1) the traditional roles they play in the household; (2) their perception inside and outside the household as passive “victims” that needed help; and, (3) the location and conditions of IDP camps (e.g., increased risks of sexual assaults and violence) within which they lived. Their participation to voice their priorities were limited to participation in informal settings (e.g., camp committee meetings) in camps managed by the government or international aid agencies; and were affected by the following: (1) organizational factors (e.g., diverse range of organizations with diverse organizational cultures); (2) formal institutional factors (e.g., lack of participatory mechanisms customized for IDPs); (3) policymaker-related factors (e.g., stigma towards the IDPs); (4) IDP related factors (e.g., lack of trust); (5) place-related factors (e.g., lack of access to transportation); and (6) social capital-related factors (e.g., women’s groups). This study provides useful information to public administration scholars and policymakers who are working to support individuals living in the camps while those individuals rebuild their communities and livelihoods.




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