Past Programmes and Evaluations

Dominican Republic: Street Theatre Programme

Past Programme / Evaluation |
Dominican Republic Street Theatre programme

Duration: January 2013 to January 2016
Regions/countries: Dominican Republic
Minorities: Dominico-Haitians

What was this programme about?

To use street theatre and community consultations to increase Dominico-Haitian citizens’ participation in public life and access to services, such as health and education. This project empowered Dominico-Haitian people to speak out for their rights, whilst challenging discriminatory views in the wider community.

Read about our previous Street Threatre programme in Botswana, the Dominican Republic, Kenya and Rwanda and watch a film about it here.

Why did we deliver this programme?

Many Haitians migrated to the Dominican Republic to seek work around 60 years ago. Today, Haitian immigrants and their descendants face discrimination in all areas of life. Haitians are the poorest members of Dominican society and earn 60 per cent less than average Dominicans. They often do not have access to proper nutrition or adequate health care due to poor pay, their illegal status and fear of deportation.

What did we do?

  • Train community leaders in the use of theatre as a social tool and community education.
  • Create and perform plays to be performed by community members.
  • Raise awareness of the services available to members of Dominico-Haitian communities, e.g. through “surgeries” and promotional materials.
  • Local and regional media and advocacy campaigns – involving Dominico-Haitian community leaders.
  • Produce and distribute a film about the project.

Who ran it with us?

Our Dominican partner MUDHA challenges both gender discrimination and racism in the Dominican Republic by empowering women, providing them with access to basic social services. It has built schools and health clinics in bateyes (settlements) and established day care and adult education programs. MUDHA also challenges laws and practices that maintain women and children of Haitian descent in conditions of poverty.

The evaluation

The evaluation found that the project was well designed and relevant – despite a significant change of context mid-way through implementation.  As a capacity building project it was significant that the evaluation found that:

“The 12 leaders’ training is the main impact of the project.  … The leadership and empowerment of the 12 community leaders is remarkable. There has been personal growth in them and they have understood their own reality as part of a community of victims of exclusion. They assumed a social commitment through the work of raising awareness and accompaniment to their communities. A minority of them developed an important relationship with local organisations (neighbourhood committees) and management with local governments.”

Another finding was that:

“The screenings of the “Our lives in transit” film and other advocacy activities led to a greater visibility of the issue of statelessness in the Dominican Republic and contributed to open a space of dialogue with representatives of the Dominican government in Geneva, United Kingdom, Madrid and Washington. “

And that:

“The plays effectively contributed to raising awareness amongst the Dominico-Haitian community, building on their knowledge and empowerment and leading to greater involvement of community members in gaining access to basic services. Especially, it is highlighted the understanding and willingness to unify the community to manage solutions to these problems. “

And regarding the methodology chosen, it shares the following learning points:

  • Street theatre is an effective tool to educate, raise awareness, mobilize vulnerable populations and communities, and to advocate with social actors and decision makers.
  • Choosing young people from communities to train them for street theatre and community leadership was an excellent choice of this project.
  • Training in the communities was a wise coordination decision, as it did not take the 12 leaders out of their environment, it connected them with their own reality, and it kept a relationship with community youth as they could observe the training.

The evaluation report noted challenges and constraints for the project including the change in context regarding removal of nationality from the community, as well as challenges linked to staff turnover, the decisions about where to locate key staff and differences in approach to partnership and cooperation by different partners working together on the project.

Download the full evaluation report in English.

La evaluación

La evaluación concluyó que el proyecto estaba bien diseñado y era relevante, a pesar de un cambio significativo de contexto a medio camino de la implementación. Como proyecto basado en el fortalecimiento de capacidades, fue significativo que la evaluación concluyó que:

‘El liderazgo y empoderamiento de los 12 líderes/as comunitarios/as es un aspecto relevante, se ha producido un crecimiento personal en ellos, han comprendido su propia realidad como parte de una comunidad víctima de exclusión, asumieron un compromiso social a través del trabajo de información y acompañamiento a sus comunidades; una minoría de ellos/as desarrolló una experiencia importante de vínculos y participación en organizaciones sociales (juntas de vecinos) y de gestión ante gobiernos locales.’

Otra conclusión fue:

‘Una mayor visibilidad a nivel internacional de la problemática de apátrida en República Dominicana como resultado de la presentación de la película “Vidas en Transito” y otras acciones de abogacía, contribuyó a abrir la puerta del diálogo con representantes del gobierno dominicano en Ginebra, Inglaterra, Madrid y Washington.’

Y que:

‘Las obras contribuyeron de manera efectiva con la sensibilización de la comunidad DH, en el crecimiento de la conciencia y el empoderamiento, en una mayor participación y preocupación de los comunitarios por los problemas de carencia de servicios básicos y de manera especial se destaca la comprensión y disposición de unificarse para gestionar solución a estos problemas.’

En cuanto a la metodología elegida, comparte los siguientes puntos de aprendizaje:

  • El teatro callejero es una herramienta eficaz para educar, concienciar, movilizar a las poblaciones y comunidades vulnerables, y abogar con actores sociales y tomadores de decisiones.
  • Elegir a los jóvenes de las comunidades para capacitarlos para el teatro callejero y el liderazgo comunitario fue una excelente opción para este proyecto.
  • La capacitación en las comunidades fue una sabia decisión de coordinación, ya que no sacó a los 12 líderes de su entorno, los conectó con su propia realidad y mantuvo una relación con los jóvenes de la comunidad, ya que pudieron observar la capacitación.

El informe de evaluación señaló los desafíos y limitaciones del proyecto, incluidos los cambios en el contexto de la eliminación de la nacionalidad de la comunidad, los desafíos relacionados con la rotación de personal, las decisiones sobre dónde ubicar el personal clave y las diferencias de socios que trabajan juntos en el proyecto.

Leer la evaluación entera en Español.

flag_yellow_highThis programme is funded by the European Union. This content is the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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