RamallahThe week of February 7th was all about the kick-off of the inception phase for the SDLG programme in Palestine. The project team, together with a local governance expert, visited the key partners and stakeholders to introduce the programme, discuss the first steps as well as the higher objectives SDLG Palestine pursues: a more meaningful contribution of communities to the local planning process and at the same time a more responsive service delivery by their respective village councils. These goals are supported by components such as evidence-based political governance and an enabling environment.

The field visit also served a number of other purposes such as collecting information about the selection process of the clusters where the programme intends to work, drafting a detailed workplan for the inception phase and finetuning the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework.

The meetings with the Ministry of Local Government (MOLG), the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), the Netherlands Representative Office (NRO), UN-HABITAT and the Office of the European Union Representative were very insightful and provided us with plenty of information about existing initiatives and local planning needs to further detail the action plan for the inception phase.