The IDEAL Palestine Program is entering its last year. The five participating municipalities have established Local Economic Development Councils and identified several economic projects for the benefit of their community. The project team used the temporary halt due to the COVID-crisis to take stock and reflect on the next stage. For which they invited Maita van der Mark, Associate Expert Good Governance and Inclusion, to guide the team in the development of a participatory approach in LED decision-making processes. With the understanding of the local context, where municipal elections are projected for May 2021 and where the COVID-crisis is still likely to be present coming year.She presented to  the team a set of options within a modular framework, that can be adapted to the local needs of each participating community.  During an interactive online workshop, facilitated by the expert, the project team chose to proceed with the module ‘Community Communication’.

Expert Maïta van der Mark: “In these challenging times it is crucial to stay close to what local governments can achieve with their staff and given budget. And then to take it a little but meaningful step further from there. To experience the magic moment of  ‘one plus one makes three’, when local government and community really meet and cooperate.”

The module will give the local municipal teams the necessary practical tools and theoretical framework to reach out to and engage citizens for an inclusive realization of the chosen project. This specific approach has been used before with success in other VNG International-led development programs.