Due available resources (Abramson et al, 2007; Kirsh

Due to the
complexity of operations of all the different actors, there is a need for
coordination during disaster situations, to increase efficiency, effectiveness
and harmony of relief efforts (Abramson et al, 2007). When there is no
coordination, it can lead to further losses in lives and properties (Kaynak and
Tuger, 2014). Coordination, which the United Nations led, is a process of
ensuring a collaboration of all the actors involved in responding to a
disaster, through dissemination of information, strategic planning and
efficient use of available resources (Abramson et al, 2007; Kirsh et al, 2012).
The United Nations staff and infrastructure was affected by the earthquake, however,
they still provided technical support in organising relief efforts and setting
up clusters to manage different critical sectors (Kirsh et al, 2012).  Command, which describes the agency in charge
of operations and with the authority to coordinate efforts of others, is
essential for coordination and was provided by the government of Haiti, albeit
ineffective (Haver, 2011). Command should be geared towards guiding all actors
towards the achievement of a common goal despite varying interests (Comfort,
2007). The government of Haiti, despite being devastated by the impact of an
earthquake, set up a response framework within weeks to guide recovery efforts of
all agencies involved (Kirsh et al, 2012). In addition, teams and military
personnel provided by countries such as the United States, together with other
organisations led the search and rescue efforts (Kirsh et al, 2012).

The cluster system
was introduced in 2006 as a means of facilitating collaboration and partnership
among international agencies and organisations in a particular sector involved
in relief efforts (UNHCR, 2017). It helps in defining roles of the different
agencies to achieve a common agenda, effective management of available
resources and provision of technical assistance to disaster relief
organisations (IASC, 2006). Following the earthquake in Haiti, numerous
international organisations, countries, and agencies provided support to the Haiti
government. The health cluster was one of the 12 clusters formed after the
earthquake and was led by the World Health organisation (Dhillon
and Annunziata, 2012). Although, the cluster system in theory, aims at improving the work of
aid organisations, it was not associated with improvement in collaboration or
efficient use of resources in Haiti (Dhillon and Annunziata, 2012). According to Kirsh et al (2012)
about 400 organisations were in Haiti to provide health care, including
military teams of countries and individual volunteers. This led to a situation
where it was difficult to coordinate their activities. Apart from the large
number of health organisations, most were largely inexperienced with little
knowledge on working in such complex situations (Haver, 2011).  Collaboration requires effective
communication, and this was hampered due to inadequate data collection systems
and information sharing within the organisations (Haver, 2011). In addition,
more efforts were put by the health organisations on immediate emergency care,
with little planning for long term care and rebuilding of ailing health systems
which led to an increased burden on the health sector (Kirsh et al, 2012).

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Review of
literature shows that there was little cooperation between international
non-governmental organisations who came in to help in Hiaiti and local
organisations; leading to duplication of efforts, inefficient operations and
confusion in relief efforts (Akl et al, 2015; Dhillon and Annunziata, 2012; Kirsh
et al, 2012). Benefits of interactions of health organisations involved in
relief efforts in Haiti with the local health agencies included rebuilding of health
facilities that had been destroyed and also provision of medical workers to
fill the gap in health workforce (Kligerman et al, 2015). A large proportion of
these health facilities had both local and international staff providing free
medical care for citizens; thus facilitating information sharing and skill
transfer between the staffs (Kligerman et al, 2015).  Nevertheless, these short term benefits can
limit the development of the health system, as it is largely dependent on the
donor organisations. Effective collaboration between the organisations and the
national health ministry’s should focus on the health needs of the country,
rather than organisation agenda in order to ensure sustainability of the health
system (Kligerman et al, 2015). Other issues of poor staffing, poor knowledge
and experience, insufficient resources and ineffective communication between
local and international organisations impacted the interactions between
agencies negatively (Kirsh et al, 2012). In conclusion, there is a need for
templates that facilitate collaboration and provide information and training
for organisations that want to participate in relief efforts. Also, community
engagement and participation is essential for the success and sustainability of
coordination and collaboration for disaster management (Patrick, 2011).