Inclusive and Sustainable Territories and Landscapes Platform

Marcos Martínez , Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), Vice Minister of Planning, shares the progress of the territorial approach in the Dominican Republic

"In the Dominican Republic, the territorial approach in development and public policy remains nascent and a sectorial approach is still predominant. " Says Marcos Martínez Vice Minister of Planning


Is a territorial or landscape approach adopted in the country’s development? At which level?  

In the Dominican Republic, the territorial approach in development and public policy remains nascent and a sectorial approach is still predominant. The sectorial institutions such as ministries (Agriculture, Health, Education, Public Works,…) directly intervene in the territories and plan their actions at a territorial level, but do not have a territorial approach in the sense of articulating their actions with other sectorial institutions to create synergies. The State does not have yet a territorial perspective; there is no planning nor implementation of the approach at any level. 

What are the most relevant strategic political instruments adopted for the implementation of the approaches/ or needed to be adopted in the future? 

Nevertheless, mandates exist that oblige the adoption of a territorial approach. The Law 498-06 of planning and public investment and its rules are the main tools to develop a territorial approach. The problem is that the law lacks coercive power; it does not include a specific tool that binds the State and its institutions to adopt this approach. The Law 176-07 of the municipalities and of the National District also frame the territorial approach. This law requires the development of interventions with territorial approach and has coercive tools, but is limited to the municipal level. Finally, to stimulate territorial planning, the Law of unique regions planning should be mentioned, a law that has not been approved yet by the Congress. 

Which actors implement/promote the two approaches? 

The main actors initiating the adoption of the territorial approach in planning and in policies and intervention are the International Cooperation and NGOs, but the government has yet to adopt the approach in its entirety.. 

What are the links between the adopted approach and a possible process of decentralization in the country? 

At a normative level, it is very clear that decentralization is essential to adopt a territorial approach efficiently. However, neither decentralization nor the adoption of a territorial approach are advancing, in spite of the Constitution providing the framework, the National Strategy of Development Law and the planning Law. 

However, there have been efforts to move towards regionalization. It promised to be a revealing experience that would encourage the common action of different sectorial actors (e.g. Ministries), with the aim of making progress in the adoption of the territorial approach. Although it did not reap large benefits, the effort of regionalization and decentralization succeeded in making important changes in the territories. In particular, local capacities were strengthened. There are much more technical capacities at local levels than before, and increased awareness of the importance of the planning process and of the adoption of a territorial approach in policies and interventions.  

Share this page