This experience influenced me to question NGOs’ lack of attention to and monitoring of the Dominican government. While I believe it is important for NGOs to foster better relationships between Dominicans and Haitians, I am researching whether or not they would be more effective at eliminating discrimination and bringing humanitarian aid if they put a much higher priority and focus upon interacting with the government. This research project resonates with my future goal to work with humanitarian NGOs in Latin America to improve human rights conditions and empower marginalized groups. Seeking an answer to a research question is similar to building a jigsaw puzzle. This semester I have spent countless hours reading through books, articles, and NGO reports as I work to collect the “pieces” to my puzzle.
Recently, I found an article with potential- perhaps even a central piece to my puzzle! The article accuses American NGOs of perpetuating rights violations in the Dominican Republic by failing to monitor the allocation of money and other resources they have given to the government. While I have yet to find and assemble the rest of the pieces, I am hopeful that the finished product will contribute to the peace building capacity of the local NGOs.