The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has played an active role in election cycles in the Dominican Republic for the past three decades. Most recently during the 2012 presidential elections, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), IFES worked closely with the Central Electoral Board, political parties and candidates to ensure the improvement of inclusion among persons with disabilities. Furthermore, IFES partnered with La Red Iberoamericana de Personas con Discapacidad Física, a disabled person’s organization (DPO) in the Dominican Republic, to raise awareness through public information campaigns, disability rights policy platforms, and leadership trainings.
From 2011 to 2014, IFES, in partnership with the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening, worked to break the barriers to full participation in democratic processes in the Dominican Republic. Specifically, this project, entitled “Mainstreaming Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes,” promoted increased inclusion of persons with disabilities in elections and political processes and encouraged implementing partners to mainstream the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
IFES is committed to ensuring the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in future elections in the Dominican Republic with the establishment of a new program and recognizes the education and cultivation of youth leadership as a tool to promote and advance an all-inclusive, democratic society. Building on the successes of the 2012 project, “Promoting Political Leadership for Youths with Disabilities,” supported by USAID’s Disability Fund, will cultivate the leadership talents of youths with disabilities to engage in the political process and build the capacity of the Disability Alliance for our Rights (ADIDE), a network of local DPOs. IFES will work to promote the participation of youth with disabilities in governance, political and democratic processes and enhance ADIDE’s internal organizational capacity.