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Unique Scholarship Portal (Beca tu Futuro)

The Unique Scholarship Portal (Portal Único de Becas “Beca tu Futuro”) is a web platform that aims to concentrate all scholarship opportunities in a single portal. In this way, it documents and manages everything from the publication of the call for applications to the awarding of scholarships. The portal benefits all the citizens of the Dominican Republic who wish to apply for a scholarship. Moreover, the portal serves as a management tool for the scholarships' evaluators and the stakeholders from the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCyT), with a front end user interface and a back office for management.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The portal benefits all the citizens of the Dominican Republic who wish to apply for a scholarship at a national, international, research and language level. It was designed to address a major challenge identified in scholarship calls. Announcements were published in a web banner through the digital media in the webpage of the MESCyT in documents with .word and .pdf formats, which did not allow for filtering by type or category of the scholarship. Therefore, the information was not being recollected nor was it measurable or reusable in terms of who received a scholarship, where the scholarship holder was located and in what field they worked or studied in. In addition, the evaluation and adjudication processes lacked transparency and the notification procedure was done manually by the evaluators via email, which involved preventable delays. Likewise, there was no follow-up of the scholarship holders on the academic performance, nor a method of reporting the results of the calls.

The main objective of the portal is to concentrate all the scholarship opportunities either government funded or part of an international cooperation with a third state or organization. In doing so, the portal is democratizing the access for education for all citizens, thus making it a more transparent and inclusive process. The portal benefits all the citizens of the Dominican Republic who wish to apply for a scholarship. Moreover, the portal serves as a management tool for the scholarship’s evaluators and the stakeholders from MESCyT.

The Portal is characterized for including all the stakeholders in the education ecosystem under three types of users:

  1. Administrator: The admin has all access to the platform, from creating and managing users to the call and scholarship modules. This user is reserved for the MESCYT Technology department, which is the one that provides constant support to other users.
  2. Educational institutions: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are the centers where scholarships are offered. They have the function of adding the academic offers of the careers they teach to be chosen for the calls.
  3. Offerer: They are the organizations that coordinate and finance scholarships. These can be public organizations, such as the MESCYT, international cooperation agencies, non-profit organizations, and private organizations.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

The Unique Scholarship Portal is innovative because it gathers all the scholarships opportunities from a national level in one platform. In doing so, it provides a fair opportunity for every applicant, improving the workflow and processes for both the final user and the administrators of the scholarships. It is also innovative because:

  • It is a responsive portal of rapid charge, with an intuitive user interface.
  • Allows the applicants to apply to more than one scholarship opportunity, whereas the previous platform only allowed one. Even though, only one scholarship is granted.
  • Each academic offer includes a description, the syllabus, level, and academic credits, thus offering the applicant all pertinent information to make an informed decision.
  • Dynamic application forms which facilitate the recollection of information.
  • Dynamic notification system and messaging, which keep the user informed at every stage of the application.
  • Management module for the scholarship holders with a grade index, thus providing accountability for the offeror and the MESCyT.

What is the current status of your innovation?

The Unique Scholarships Portal is being implemented with 8 announcements that have been launched with international and national opportunities. With more than 128,873 requests and 41,059 completed requests, 5,516 scholarships have been granted and there are two scholarships calls in process. The portal has been established as the sole channel of publication for scholarships. Two other governmental institutions have been trained in the backoffice management in the evaluator and coordinator role. However, MESCyT maintains the role of administrator of the portal and creates the users’ profiles for organizations. This ensures the continuity and sustainability of the tool as it does not depend on one entity.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

MESCyT is the main partner in this project as it is the appointed governing body of the Portal. Cooperation agencies i.e., Chilean Cooperation Agency and the Korean International Agency were important partners in the implementation process. Likewise, the educational institutes like national and international universities and technical centres played a key role regarding updating their academic offer in the portal and facilitating the admission process for MESCyT students. This project is the result of a comprehensive research and benchmarking investigation that included: Crehana, Carolina Fundation, Edx, Domestika and Becas Sin Fronteras. It is relevant to note that the portal was designed following the design thinking methodology and invovled focus groups.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

The citizens were the main beneficiaries of the Portal, they enjoyed a comprehensive and easy application process which resulted in increased access to the scholarships opportunities. Likewise, government officials received a working tool that facilitated evaluation, follow-up, and reporting, overall improving their working processes. The education institutions reported greater satisfaction in the reach of the call and organization of the process and selection of applicants.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Already the portal has proven its scalability: there have been 148,372 users registered with 128,873 requests and 41,059 completed requests which totals 5,516 scholarships granted only in 2022. Furthermore, the portal has been institutionalised as the only tool to launch scholarships calls with 8 calls already published by different actors independently from MESCyT. As to the latest count in 2022 the Portal had registered more than 130,000 applicants. Of those, 10,000 national and international scholarships to benefit an equal number of young Dominicans from different points of the country, so that they can achieve or expand their professional training and turn their dreams into a reality.

The portal has a built-in dashboard which aids in reporting the status of the scholarships by economic area, municipality, and gender. So far, the Portal has launched five calls of scholarships, and we expect that every scholarship call will be made using the platform in the upcoming years. More than 30 educational universities have been registered in the platform and more than 100 academic offers are with the universities.

Challenges and Failures

At the early stages of the implementation process a lot of resistance to change was encountered, especially at the technical level such as the coordinators and evaluators from the Scholarships Departments. Also, as the Portal had an extraordinary acceptance our servers were overwhelmed in some moments, and the data was not being timely rendered , mostly in the portal. It is important to note that these technological issues were corrected as they came and are usual in website deployment with high demand. Likewise, at the beginning there was not much guidance in the application process, and officials experienced a high number of calls regarding the Portal. These difficulties were addressed through a communication campaign which included demonstration videos and frequently asked questions.

Conditions for Success

  • Policy and laws: The creation of the portal was supported by a presidential decree which instituted the National Scholarship System. This decree mandated the creation of the portal and its compliance.
  • Motivation: The project was motivated by the need to aggregate transparency and modernise the scholarship adjudication system. Also, it was human centred in its design, ideated to provide a seamless navigation experience so that everybody was able to access and use the portal.
  • Supporting infrastructure and services: The Portal was not created from zero, there was a portal which served as a reference and a benchmarking analysis was carried out. Also, internal processes were already in place, which were then systematized and included in the architecture of the platform.


This innovation has the potential to be replicated in the issuance of social aid or other services that suposse in other organisations or goverments as the portal has the following characteristics:

  • Evaluation module: In terms of qualifying and evaluating the applicants, this can be customized via the forms.
  • User website: allows for registration via national ID, application forms, messaging system for communication between officials-applicants.
  • Backoffice portal: administrative tool for evaluators and coordinators.

Lessons Learned

Change will always bring resistance from people, managing that resistance is essential in assuring the success of the project. Expect a lot of questions and be ready to answer them. During the entire process people are going to have questions, establishing a collaborative space can help save time when providing answers. Manage the quantity of meetings. In order to not fall on the typical paradigm weekly meeting that goes nowhere, try to establish meetings based on the expected milestones of the project, so as to discuss them and provide feedback. Define an evaluation and monitoring tool from the early stages of the deployment, as to recollect the early data and feedback.

Supporting Videos

Year: 2021
Level of Government: National/Federal government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

Innovation provided by:


Date Published:

29 July 2023

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