Dominican Republic

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), alongside its disabled persons organization (DPO) partner La Red Iberoamericana de Personas con Discapacidad Fisica (LA RED), worked to increase awareness of the political rights of Dominicans with disabilities ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. The program targeted a ranged of stakeholders, including the Central Electoral Board (JCE), political parties, and candidates. The program achieved the following results:

  • IFES facilitated the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the JCE and 18 local DPOs.
  • IFES and LA RED reached 2,279 persons with disabilities through regional and municipal-level workshops intended to provide election information and get-out-the-vote.
  • Eighteen different DPOs developed a political platform and presented it in a forum attended by four presidential candidates, who signed the platform committing to implementing its provisions if elected.
  • A get-out-the vote TV spot was produced by IFES and aired by the JCE on eight TV channels and social media.
  • IFES trained 22 persons with disabilities to be election access observers.
  • IFES and LA RED also conducted a skills-building training targeting 16 emergent DPO members, who prepared to deliver sensitization talks in their communities.

As part of this program, IFES and its Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening partners published a handbook, Equal Access: How to Include Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes, which provides governments, civil society and the donor community the requisite tools and knowledge to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in elections and political processes.