The Dominican Republic (DR) is a relatively stable democratic country in the Caribbean that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, shared with Haiti. The Dominican Republic, a Spanish speaking nation, has much in common with the countries of Latin America, often being referred to as a microcosm of that region. At the same time, the DR has strong ties to the United States, with many living and working in the US.
With a mixed economy based largely on services (including tourism and finance), trade, manufacturing, telecommunications, and construction, the economy has enjoyed growth. Despite that, however, about three-fifths of Dominicans remain below the poverty level.
With a population of over 10 million, the population growth rate in the DR is greater than most other West Indian nations, with about three-tenths of the population under 15 years of age. The Dominican Republic has made progress in improving health outcomes over the past years, but there remains a number of areas where health indicators still lag.
Despite the country’s effort to develop a comprehensive approach and the many public and private organizations that support the nation’s efforts, the Dominican Republic still faces difficulty addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
According to UNAIDS, in 2019, an estimated 72,000 Dominicans are living with HIV, with approximately 39,000 on anti-retroviral treatment. An estimated 2,800 new HIV infections occurred in 2019 and gender prevalence amongst adults (15-49) shows women at 0.9% compared to men at 1%. While the epidemic is generalized, it is higher among certain at-risk and vulnerable populations.
Targeted Programmatic Support Across Countries (CDC1950)
(2020 – Present)
In September 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded AIHA a five-year grant, providing a vehicle by which AIHA can assist the CDC at the global and country level, in support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. So far, this project has operated in 10 countries including Haiti, the Philippines, Laos, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, Nigeria, Zambia, and Guatemala, as well as the Dominican Republic.
One of the goals of CDC1950 is to increase the capacity of civil society organizations to deliver needed health care services in their communities. One of the first activities to be undertaken in the Dominican Republic is to conduct an Organizational Capacity Assessment that will guide and tailor specific organizational capacity building program initiatives to strengthen civil society organizations to deliver essential health care services in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In Project Year 2 AIHA focused on the following:
Objective 1: Strengthen financial resiliency through planning for diversified sources of revenue
In accordance with gaps identified in Year 1, AIHA delivered trainings on Finance and Human Resources Management, M&E, Leadership and Communications followed by a two week-long on-line training on Social Enterprise and diversified sources of revenue. All trainings were followed up with in-country based mentorship. Upon completion of the training on Social Enterprise, participants submitted draft business plans that included a social enterprise scheme (e.g. a profit-generating activity).
Objective 2: Build capacity to implement and sustain social enterprise schemes
Small grants were provided to CSOs to address their capacity development needs followed by implementation of their social enterprise capacity development plans. A local consultant was hired to assist AIHA supported selected organizations in each country to implement their social-enterprise scheme.
Key Results of OCA-informed Training and Mentorship Programs:
- 10 KP-led CSOs participants trained in Financial Management
- 13 KP-led CSOs participants trained in Human Resources
- 12 KP-led CSOs participants trained in Social Enterprise
- 12 KP-led CSOs participants trained in M&E
- 16 KP-led CSOs participated in Special Training Series (Communication, Stakeholder Engagement, Volunteers/Interns)
- 7 KP-led CSOs attended at least 4 of 5 trainings with above 75% participation rate
- 113+ Cumulative Training Hours Implemented
- 60+ Cumulative Mentorship Hours Implemented
Key Results of Phase 3 Social Enterprise Initiative:
- 7 of 7 eligible CSOs were trained in social enterprise
- 2 CSOs submitted business plans for Social Enterprise mini-grants
- 2 CSOs awarded Social Enterprise mini-grants
CSOs from Dominican Republic will share their experiences, lessons learned and recommendations for follow-up in an on-line Learning Exchange Forum scheduled for November 2021.