Country Palestine
Region Middle East
Duration Start 1 January, 2012 till 31 December, 2016
Field of expertise Improving Access to Basic Services
Policy field(s) Local economic development
Inter-municipal co-operation
Institutional development
Public policy and planning
Funding Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Project code LG.01.PS
Objective: Employment, food security and improved legitimacy of local government
Target group: 12 local governments on the West Bank
Intended result: Enhanced capacity of local governments to support Local Economic Development (LED)
Activities: Financing of municipal projects, workshops, on-the-job coaching and training

It is not always easy to work in the Palestinian Territory. This is not because people are not open to cooperation and the exchange of knowledge, on the contrary. But the political sensitivity is substantial, in numerous areas. Nevertheless the authorities in the Palestinian Territory and VNG International want to continue their earlier cooperation. This resulted in the LGCP Palestinian Territory programme, which focuses on Local Economic Development.
The Palestinian Authority sees the local approach as crucial for sustainable development, lower unemployment and greater food security. The Dutch government supports this approach, because it promotes the selfsufficiency
of the people. The LGCP confirms this.

At present Palestinian local governments often lack capacity and funds for stimulating local economic activity. 12 local governments on the West Bank will therefore be supported by the LGCP. The programme is implemented under the umbrella of the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), in which the most important donors work together with the Palestinian Authority. Local governments can submit applications for financial and technical support of projects and services which enhance their local capacity.

Particularly smaller and more remote local governments are not sufficiently succeeding in creating a conducive economic environment. They are lacking capacity and resources. Citizens, civil society and local businesses are
often insufficiently involved in policy development. A number of bigger local governments show how things can be done differently. The municipality of Bethlehem was the first to establish a Council for Local Economic Development, together with the private sector and the civil society. The LGCP also applies this participatory approach in the selected municipalities. This will take place under the auspices of the MDLF. Cooperation with this fund
guarantees that the LGCP aligns with the policy of the central government, and of the donors who also opt for promoting local economic development.

What do we want to achieve?
- Commitment and enhanced capacity of the selected local governments to improve their services in the area of Local Economic Development.
- More effective municipal policy and the establishment of strategic business alliances.