The relationship between water, disease and poverty is a priority area of development in the Dominican Republic, though the extent of the challenges posed varies significantly between geographic areas. ECOPER has recently submitted its report on the evaluation of eight Manos Unidas projects aimed at improving access to water and sanitation in the Dominican Republic. ECOPER conducted a field mission to the country to gather information from beneficiaries via a survey and to interview local leaders and counterparts, in addition to other actors involved in development in the region.
Five of the evaluated projects began in 2004 and three started in 2009. Their ultimate aim was to reduce the incidence of disease in two provinces. In addition to improving access to water and sanitation, they sought to improve medical assistance and nutrition in the communities where they were implemented. This was to be achieved through the creation of water and sanitation systems, gardens for food production, community organisations, such as community water committees, and strategic alliances.