Pact launches program in Dominican Republic to address citizen security through empowered civic actors

September 15, 2023
Members from Pact, the U.S. Government, the Dominican government and civil society at the launch event in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on September 12, 2023. Credit: Tasmy Gómez/Pact.

This week, Pact launches the USAID Civil Society Strengthening Activity in the Dominican Republic, a $12.5M program funded by USAID that aims to increase the ability of at-risk communities to prevent crime and violence by strengthening an enabling environment that supports citizen engagement on security issues.

By convening key stakeholders from government, civil society, the donor community and other key groups, Pact seeks to highlight the diversity of actors who play an important role in addressing one of the most prominent challenges facing the Dominican Republic – ensuring the security of all citizens, especially women, youth and marginalized communities.

In alignment with the Government of the Dominican Republic’s National Citizen Security Strategy and USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy, the program aims to make progress toward this objective by supporting efforts to improve civil society advocacy related to citizens’ security interests; increase media focus, including investigative studies, on citizen security issues; and strengthen legal and policy frameworks that support crime and violence prevention. 

“An important aspect of the Civil Society Strengthening Activity is its focus on strengthening civic actors to play an important role as agents of positive change. Through effective engagement, advocacy and reporting, they can contribute to a holistic solution toward the prevention of crime and violence in their communities," said Cecile Saborio, the program’s Chief of Party.

Marking the conclusion of a six-month inception phase, during which Pact and its partners sought to understand the underlying dynamics and contextual factors affecting citizen security in the Dominican Republic, a half-day launch event kicked off a 4.5-year dedicated effort to empower, support and strengthen local and national civic actors to channel the voices of their communities to advance public interest, fundamental freedoms and accountability.