Rural Development Project in the Jordan Valley - Area C - “Empowering Local Communities”

Palestine
Date: May 2016 - August 2020
Client: Ministry of Local Government / Palestinian Authority

Project overview

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has requested the French Development Agency (AFD) and, in general, the donor community to direct its cooperation efforts towards Area C in the West Bank, where development and humanitarian needs are vivid for Palestinians.

AFD decided to fund a new project targeting communities in Area C of the Jordan Valley, for a total amount of 5 million Euro of which 1 million will co-finance infrastructure projects under the “Access to essential social and public infrastructure in Area C” project implemented by the EU via the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF). This project has been implemented through the Department of Projects of the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), linking with Village Councils and Joint Service Councils for Planning and Development (JSCPDs) in the targeted communities. The Project Management Unit at MoLG central and Governorate levels and the Village Councils on the ground is supported by a Technical Assistance (TA) Team comprised of international and national staff.

The overall objective of the assistance is to build the resilience of Palestinian communities in Area C. This is defined as the ability of Palestinian communities to cope with a number of socioeconomic and political elements that threaten their assets, way of life, and their continued presence. It embraces the inhabitants of the target villages to make a living, obtain access to health and education services.

The planned outcomes are that target communities have (a) improved access to social services, economic opportunities, and to judicial system; and (b) the ability to determine and choose how to meet their own needs through community development planning.

The assistance is implemented under a community development approach based on participatory methods that strengthens community resilience to socioeconomic and political stresses. A strong focus on psychosocial wellbeing ensures that the approach responds both to immediate humanitarian needs as well as to the longer term development opportunities of the target areas.

The approach focuses on building the capacity of local institutions – Village Councils and JSCPDs – as an important precondition of sustainability for continued self-development actions after completion of the assistance.

The target communities for the support are the villages of Ein Shibli, Froush Beit Dajan, Al Jiftlik, Alzbeidat, Marj Alghazal and Marj Na’jeh.

Our missions

The Technical Assistance team was embedded within the Project Management Unit at MoLG central and Governorate levels and has had the following responsibilities:

  • co-managing and implementing the project within the PMU: co-responsible for the coordination and the technical and financial management of the project
  • supporting the MoLG in respect of the revisions to the Ministry’s Strategic Action Plan for Planning Support for Palestinian Communities in Area C
  • supporting and providing inputs for Area C strategy formulation; and supporting the development and publication of Area C Guidelines and Story Book
  • working closely with the MoLG, the Village Councils and the JSCPDs to oversee the community mobilisation, community development planning, and the design and implementation of interventions under the community development plans
  • ensuring financial and economic feasibility of actions under community development plans
  • identification, planning and preliminary design of social-economic infrastructure projects to be implemented via EU/MDLF
  • ensuring the integration of international experience, findings and best practices in the design and implementation of the assistance through institutional strengthening and capacity building of MoLG staff
  • building the capacity of the PMU and Local Governance Units (LGUs) in the fields of community empowerment and local governance
  • support in preparing the beneficiary villages for joint designation of a Planning and Zoning Committee
  • identification and detailed design of psychosocial support to be provided by a specialised operator.