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Expert Highlights that it is Necessary to Invest in Youth Training for the Development of a Dominican Volunteer System

Santo Domingo, August 13, 2018

Megan D. Beddow highlighted the importance of volunteerism during the presentation of her study “Key Factors of Dominican Volunteerism” in Funglode.

It is necessary to invest in training, simplify processes and establish mechanisms of responsibilities in order to contribute to the development of a volunteer movement in the Dominican Republic, explained expert Megan D. Beddow during the presentation of her recent study on “Key Factor of Dominican Volunteerism.”

Beddow highlighted this important issue during the presentation of her latest study this past Friday, August 10, at the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode), in an event organized in coordination with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD).

In relation to the opportunities provided by the volunteer sector in the Dominican Republic, Beddow mentioned the Constitutional support and current statutes that encourage the registration of these organizations. She almost mentioned the existence of an active civil society; economic growth; the country’s geopolitical position; the religious traditions and sharing the same goals of the international global agenda.

Regarding threats, Beddow also mentioned the complexities of the registry process; economic inequality and the limited promotion of informal and local organizations, as well as cronyism, corruption and public mistrust, as well as the centralization of power registered in Santo Domingo.

“In the Dominican Republic the institutional weaknesses, economic and social inequalities, and the lack of confidence in the political leadership are factors the significantly reduce the benefits of a civil society and the human development needed for an emerging and strong volunteer system.”

The activity was headed by Yamile Eusebio, GFDD’s director in New York City, who revealed in her introductory remarks that the goal of this investigation is to establish the foundation for future research projects on this issue because the bibliography on this particular subject area is scarce.

Other attendees at the launching event were Severin Carminati, Program Officer of Alianza ONGand Liberato Bautista, president of the Conference on NGOs (CoNGO), which has a consultative status before the U.N. Economic and Social  Council (ECOSOC).

Bautista discussed the role played by Funglode to encourage civil awareness among young people through the U.N. Models that it organizes through the Dominican Association of the United Nations.

He also explained that in her research Beddow recognizes the lack of formal academic research on this complex network of organizations, and explained how they function. Bautista also commented on the importance of the private sector in the development of volunteerism.

“This is excellent reading material in respect to the relationship that can exist between a local NGO and an international NGO,” explained Bautista.

Carminati also referred to the importance of having civil society accompany and support the implementation of public policies and the Objectives of Sustainable Development.

He also highlighted that it is necessary to develop the capacities of individuals who work in these non-profit institutions and emphasized that the youth sector is key in this process “because we can change young people through the civic awareness of their particular community.”

Beddow carried out her research as part of her participation in the GFDD/Funglode Fellows Program, between May and July 2015.  The principal objective of her research is based on the need to examine the ways that the internal characteristics of the non-profit organizations can be adapted to their immediate context to improve the legitimacy perceived, financing and efficiency.

The publication is part of the Series of Studies and Reflections, whereby GFDD and Funglode provide society with the results of research projects, academic articles and speeches that touch upon the crucial issues of today’s modern world, from the local, regional and global perspective.

About the Author
Megan Beddow is an academic from Florida and an expert in not-for-profit organizations. She has more than 10 years’ experience in designing programs and management projects in the U.S., Mexico and Chile. She participated in the Fellows Program between June and August 2015.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Sociology and Spanish from Florida Southern College, a Masters in Public Affairs, and has specialized in the international management of not-for-profit organizations. She also has a Masters in Caribbean and Latin American Studies from the University of Indiana.

Beddow believes that her work may be useful to professionals, the financial sector and politicians who want to contribute to strengthen civil society.