The Civil Society Programme is strengthening the capacities of Palestinian civil society organisations
Title: Strengthening Civil Society Organisations in the Palestinian Territories
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories
Lead executing agency: Our partners are civil society organisations.
Overall term: 2019 to 2023
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play a significant role in Palestine. They advocate for human rights as well as fill in gaps of service provision. Despite being well-rooted organisations, Palestinian civil society faces numerous challenges. Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza are becoming increasingly authoritarian and limit the space for civil society participation. In addition, organisations are faced with Israeli forces regularly cracking down on Palestinian CSOs. This is particularly challenging in East Jerusalem, where their work is severely restricted by the Israeli Occupation Authorities.
Amid such a challenging socio-political environment, it is crucial to strengthen civil society, especially organisations working with vulnerable groups like women, youth and persons with disabilities.
In line with the Leave No-One Behind (LNOB) principle of the Agenda 2030, Palestinian Civil Society Organisations are better equipped to strengthen political participation among the Palestinian public.
The Civil Society Programme (CSP) supports more than 20 civil society organisations and coalitions in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip who represent and advocate for the rights of youth, women, and persons with disabilities. It aims to increase the political participation of the population in line with the Leave No-One Behind principle of the Agenda 2030. To reach that objective, CSP is active in the following key areas:
Organisational Capacity Development
CSP supports the organisational development of partners in areas such as project management, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), as well as COVID-19 recovery and preparedness. This contributes towards improving their effectiveness and resilience. Partner organisations identify their strengths and needs for development using the Organisational Capacity Self-Assessment Tool (OCSAT). Consequently, CSP and the partner organisation work together to create an organisational development plan to work on long-term organisational needs.
The programme supports partner organisations to strengthen their digital competencies by developing inclusive digital tools and approaches to represent the needs of marginalised communities and foster their participation. CSP also trains partner organisations on digital rights and digital security.
CSP also supports the development and implementation of participatory national and international advocacy strategies. This aims at ensuring that CSOs implement strategies to represent the interests of severely marginalised groups in processes at national level.
Citizen Participation in Local Planning
CSOs are strengthened to reflect the concerns of marginalised population groups in planning processes at sub-national level. The aim is to ensure that their needs are included in Strategic Development and Investment Plans and in Annual Capital Investment Plans at city and village levels.
Leave No One Behind
In addition to working with Palestinian CSOs, the programme is responsible for mainstreaming the Leave No-One Behind (LNOB) principle of the 2030 Agenda in programmes of the German Development Cooperation in Palestine. The team provides advice and awareness-raising to staff of the German Development Cooperation and its partner organisations.
Post Covid-19 Recovery and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support
CSP aims to ensure that people who have been left behind are included in preparedness and recovery plans as well as community services. The CSP contributes towards developing the capacity of CSOs to deliver MHPSS services, increase their resilience to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and enhance partners’ digital tools to deliver MHPSS services.