In a stride towards sustainable development, the Advisory Committee convened for the second time during the second year of the SDLG-SRol program. Chaired by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) with members including the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), the Netherlands Representative Office (NRO) and VNG International, the committee gathered in Ramallah on Monday, November 20, 2023. The agenda was to delve into the progress made since the last Advisory Committee meeting and to present the new proposed planning cluster for South West Ramallah for approval.

The meeting opened with a comprehensive presentation showcasing the substantial progress achieved in the first cluster of West Ramallah. This cluster, comprising the localities of Nilin, Qibya, Shuqba, Kharbatha Bani Harith, Der Qaddis, Medea, Budrus, and Shabtin, has become a focal point for transformative development. Among the highlights were notable advancements in capacity building, the provision of essential ICT equipment, tools, and systems, the formulation of a regional master plan for the West Ramallah cluster, and the updating of annual capital and investment plans (ACIPs) for the eight participating Local Authorities (LAs).

The meeting showcased the tangible impact of ongoing collaborations with APLA, revealing current activities such as the development of the advocacy strategy and two study papers. These papers are to become crucial pillars supporting the evolution of LAs in Area C.

One of the pivotal moments of the meeting was the review of the Ministry's proposed area to be targeted in the next phase of the program. Through collaborative discussions and thoughtful deliberations, a consensus emerged on the selected area taking into account challenges faced and lessons learned from previous projects, studies, and interventions. The Advisory Committee's meeting propelled the program forward by outlining a set of directions and recommendations.

As the SDLG-SRol program embarks on its next phase, the echoes of this meeting resonate as a beacon of hope and progress. By empowering local communities, enhancing infrastructure, and fostering strategic collaborations, the program stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when diverse stakeholders unite with a shared vision for a brighter, more sustainable future.

Afbeelding 1