The Lights Turn Off, But The Future Is Bright - How the power crisis affects social livelihoods in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker

Second Advisor

Davina Durgana


This research paper focuses on how the power crisis is impacting the social and economic livelihoods of the citizens in the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic, an island located in the Caribbean, for years has been in a vulnerable state due to its exposure to flooding caused by tropical storms. Coastal communities are not only vulnerable to flooding issues but electrical as well. Citizens must adapt to frequent power outages that occur multiple times during the week and for long period of times. Therefore, it is important to understand the various ways power outages may be impacting social and economic livelihoods, and further, how climate change impacts (i.e., flooding, storms, and sea level rise) may exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities. The 3-E model for sustainable development seeks to integrate three major themes which are interdependent; a) environment b) equity and c) the economy. Based on past and current research gathered from various stakeholders related to the issues of economic, equity, and environmental perspectives, this paper also explores the potential for alternative and innovative technology such as solar panels that can enhance coastal community resilience to power outages caused by storms and flooding. By focusing the “lens” of the study through the experience of the urban poor population in Santo Domingo, the importance of new technology that empowers the poor such as solar energy is apparent and consistent with overall “sustainability” principles for the Dominican Republic in a changing global economy, environment, and society.


Latin American History | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Political History | Social History

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