With increasing COVID cases and climate change impacts, the Dominican Republic has seen its fair share of challenges. This includes one of the biggest recessions in the last 17 years, causing an increase in poverty from 21.0% in 2019 to 23.4% in 2020, as well as the recent climate crisis impact, the Fred storm, that caused 300,000 people to lose power and 500,000 people to lose access to water in August 2021.
Action Dialogue and the International Co-operation Week
Taking place one year into the new government administration and in the context of the pandemic recovery, an Action Dialogue was recently hosted by the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Economy, Plantification and Development. Ahead of the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit (12-14 December), the Dialogue is a key initiative of the Global Partnership aimed to scaling up effective partnerships at the country level to tackle today’s urgent challenges.
The 2021 Dialogue was part of the country’s International Co-operation Week titled “Creating strategies for an inclusive and resilient recovery” (November 28th- December 3rd) and marked its second year response to the recent challenges that the island has faced. After a week-long exchange of knowledge and internal dialogues around international co-operation, 100 development actors representing all sectors participated in the country’s multi-stakeholder dialogue in Santo Domingo. The dialogue delivered concrete plans on how partnerships in 2022 can be made more effective, that is to say, country owned, focused on results, inclusive of all actors and transparent (the four effectiveness principles).
Actions and Measures for Effective Development Co-operation
The most important goal of the Action Dialogue was to reflect on the challenges, measures and actions needed to enhance the effectiveness of co-operation and eventually develop a Multi-Year Plan for International Co-operation in Dominican Republic.
Taking lessons from 2016 and 2018 when the Dominican Republic last tracked its progress against the effectiveness principles (as part of the Global Partnership monitoring exercise), the Action Dialogue looked ahead to how the country can work towards effective development outcomes in the post-pandemic situation.
The Dialogue announced various tools, instruments and actions, aligned with the country’s national priorities, which would build back better for achieving the SDGs in Dominican Republic as we inch closer to the 2030 deadline. These include:
- Formulating new co-operation plans and guidelines through the participation of local authorities – a step towards better country ownership at all levels of government. Specifically, prioritizing territorial spaces for co-operation, aiming to increase the number of initiatives directed towards the territories.
- A National Information System of International Co-operation for Development (SI-SINACID) that has compiled 102 qualitative and quantitative variables to monitor the country’s development co-operation so quality data and focus on results can inform better governmental decisions. This year's thematic reports have been published along with the 8th annual International Co-operation Report to promote mutual accountability and transparency among partners. This annual report presents the Vice Ministry’s outcomes of the 2020 co-operation initiatives, emphasizing the connection between territorial development and international co-operation.
- The Ministry's Institutional Strategic Plan includes an indicator that measures the percentage of initiatives aligned with the National Development Strategy. This allows for more effective coordination and implementation of development co-operation, in line with the country’s own SDG priorities.
Looking Ahead: Solving Common Challenges Better Together
On the other hand, the Dialogue also shed light on key challenges that the country needs to resolve by collaborating with its partners. These include:
- Continuing to incorporate international co-operation initiatives and resources into national account systems.
- Ensuring projects have defined methodologies that more clearly link projects with national priorities
- Identifying and replicating model experiences to promote multi-stakeholder spaces and conditions where all available resources can be pooled and used effectively
- Defining transformative and strategic initiatives in specific sectors, ensuring that all sectors have effective and substantive participation in this process.
- Establish commitments for the timely reporting of international co-operation information so to share SI-SINACID data updates with the different co-operation actors and public in general.
Looking ahead, the 2021 Action Dialogue identified progress made at the country level when it came to effective use of development co-operation resources. Continuing dialogues on shared challenges will contribute to further develop the country’s first Multi-Year Plan for International Co-operation, led by the Directorate for the Analysis and Coordination of International Cooperation (DACCI), eventually promoting the development of strategic policies on international co-operation.