Gaza and West Bank, February 20, 2019: Pal-Think for Strategic Studies concluded the successful implementation of 17 Joint initiatives where a total of 34 CBOs from Gaza and the West Bank worked together, many for the first time ever. This is the second phase within the project “Enhancing Cooperation among Palestinian CBOs to strengthen a future Palestinian state” executed in partnership with the British Consulate General Jerusalem.
It is worth mentioning that this project is one of a kind in Palestine and Pal-Think employed unique and innovative approaches to the design and execution of its actions, the focal aim is promoting, enhancing, and strengthening the links and collaboration between civil society organizations on the national level to support the process of developing good governance and civil sector to build the Palestinian state.
The efforts of the project passed through a series of stages from receiving proposals for joint community initiatives from CBOs in Gaza and West Bank; a total number of 42 initiatives from 84 CBOs were received, and filtered based on objective criteria including transparency and equal treatment with only 17 initiatives were selected for execution to address issues facing the Palestinian society. Later one, Pal-Think communicated 34 approved organizations in Gaza and WB who then provided action plans for their work including a description of the initiative, objectives, target group, implementation plan, schedule, and a detailed budget. Also, Pal-Think held meetings with the partner organizations in Gaza and with WB organizations via Skype. From 4-8 November, a comprehensive training programme conducted three months ago for civil society representatives in Gaza and the West Bank. The training incorporated the following themes: an introduction to project management, an introduction to human rights and gender equality, writing working papers skills, and social media outreach. see https://bit.ly/2Ud8xk6
The essence of the project comes true when the cooperating CBOs from Gaza and WB started implementing the 17 Joint initiatives. During December, January, and mid-February, each two partner organizations in Gaza and West Bank have developed their action plan and cooperated in implementing their workshops and discussion sessions via Skype, they have written working policy papers which represent the output for their collaboration. Pal-Think provided assistance and attended all the workshops executed; The initiatives tackled many social issues such as gender, women’s rights in public life, education and unemployment in Palestine, national divide and impact on civil peace, the role of youth in decision-making, the role of civil society in supporting reconciliation, media neutrality, and others.
Besides, the executed community initiatives and all the activities of the project had enough media coverage in local media outlets and radio episodes broadcasted via local radio. Pal-Think provided the CBOs with a volunteer mentor who proofread the policy papers written to enrich the work of the cooperated CBOs. Some examples of the community initiatives are: “Towards a better civil peace and community reconciliation, Women’s right to political participation and decision-making, Palestine 2022 – The initiative carries a symbolic signal to remind the state of its commitments in the national policy agenda that ends at the end of 2022, Strengthening the principle of civil peace and social justice, and Towards the true compass of the Palestinian media.” Here is a link to download a full summary of the 17 initiatives implemented: http://bit.ly/2T5Amyq
Last but not least, these community initiatives have had a multiplier effect on the target group and the whole Palestinian community and contributed to enhancing partnership and creating robust and long-lasting links & connections between civil society organizations in Gaza and the West Bank, thus paving the path for a better and prosperous Palestinian state.
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