In the presence of representatives of the Palestinian Authority, EU Member States, international donors, and Palestinian civil society organizations, the European Union announced today the results of the “2015 Mapping Study Update of Civil Society in Palestine”. The Study Update maps out civil society actors in Palestine, the current policy environment, and the challenges facing these organizations. The Study Update also provides practical recommendations for the EU’s future engagement with civil society at both the strategic and operational levels.
The study is a comprehensive document that highlights the needs for civil society engagement in several sectors in Palestine including governance at local and national level, economic development and private sector and water and land development. The study identifies the main actors on the ground among the Palestinian civil society and the challenges they face in participating in policy dialogue, local governance, decision-making and development actions especially in Gaza, Area C and East Jerusalem.
The Mapping Update is the fruit of positive collaboration between the EU-funded regional programme Civil Society South, the Office of the European Union Representative and the participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) themselves. It analyses the capacities and needs of civil society actors as well as the institutional context and legal framework within which they operate.
“Civil society has a crucial role to play in promoting inclusive and sustainable development, public accountability as well as respect for human rights and democratic values. As such, civil society organisations can serve both as partners and counter-weights to public authorities” said David Geer, the Deputy EU Representative.
“Palestinian civil society organisations are no exception. The EU will continue to work closely with civil society actors, as drivers for change. We also look to the Palestinian Authority both to continue to build on its existing cooperation with them and work vigorously to protect the democratic space within which they work”.
“By understanding better CSOs in Palestine, we will be able to properly capacitate them and improve their contribution to reform and the policy environment in general, thus enhance their much needed impact on the ground,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Damrawy CSF South Regional Team Leader. “It will allow us to design activities that will bring CSOs to focus together on specific issues for positive change and through policy dialogue and building coalitions and networks,” he added.
The capacity development, based on this mapping, will help improve CSOs work on national reforms, increasing public accountability and enable them to become stronger partners in the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy objectives.
The Civil Society Facility is a regional programme that aims at strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) in ten countries of the southern Mediterranean region to contribute to policy change and development and to hold governments to account. The programme, which covers Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and Syrian and Libyan communities, also aims at enhancing dialogue among CSOs and between CSOs and state actors and to build networks.
For further information:
The Office of the European Union Representative:
Shadi Othman 02 5415 867, 0599 673 958