Perceptions of Service: A Case Study of Post-Earthquake Haiti

Allison Mousel,
DePauw University

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Abstract: This study examines the perceptions of service held by service providers in post-earthquake Haiti. Data came from a case study of a group of service providers who spent three weeks in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and analysis was performed on the responses to a questionnaire distributed to this group. Results reveal discrepancies and commonalities between self-role and perspectives and that of the other, or the projected role and perspectives of other service providers and the general local community.

Introduction: Through a case study of post-earthquake Haiti, this study attempted to answer the question: What are the perceptions of service held by service providers after a disaster? The information was derived from the service providers themselves. For this study, a service provider was defined as a person or organized group that aids those whose needs cannot be self-supported nor supported in their community. This case study assumed that the learning gained from service was a form of public pedagogy. Public pedagogy was defined as the teaching and learning that occurs outside of the formal education system in alternative learning spaces (Windle, 2009). The project attempted to gain deeper insight into the lessons that service providers learn from working in a distressed community. It assumed that the interaction itself was a teachable moment (Lough, 2011).

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