The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has been cultivating partnerships in the Dominican Republic for the past three decades. In a Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening project that took place from 2011-14, IFES worked to break the barriers to full participation in democratic processes in the Dominican Republic. The project titled "Mainstreaming Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes," funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), allowed IFES to work closely with the country’s Central Electoral Board, political parties and candidates to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral processes.
IFES also partnered with La Red Iberoamericana de Personas con Discapacidad Fisica, a Dominican disabled people’s organization (DPO), to raise political awareness through public information campaigns, disability rights policy platforms and leadership trainings.
Promoting Political Leadership for Youths with Disabilities
In 2017, IFES began implementing its new project in the Dominican Republic, "Promoting Political Leadership for Youths with Disabilities," supported by USAID’s Disability Fund.
With this new project, IFES maintains its commitment to ensuring the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in future elections and engages in youth political education and leadership as a tool to promote and advance an all-inclusive, democratic society. Building upon on previous efforts, "Promoting Political Leadership for Youths with Disabilities" cultivates the leadership talents of youths with disabilities to engage in the country’s political processes. The project also aims to increase the organizational capacity of the Disability Alliance for our Rights, a network of local DPOs.