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Workshop on development in the Palestinian territories - News

Tuesday
August 9, 2011
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The Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at BZU held on 22 June 2011, a workshop entitled: "Development in the Palestinian territories: critical reflections in the current practices and discussion on the alternative prospects." The workshop was attended by a number of Palestinian and international researchers, concluding a research project by CDS in the context of the conflict .

The workshop focused on criticizing the development discourse and practices that dominate development in the Palestinian context, ignoring the reality of the nature and colonial structures of occupation that hamper development on the ground.

In his opening address, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Adnan Yahya, stressed BZU’s pursuit for creative contribution to the development of Palestinian society, and commended the CDS’s role in correcting and drawing development policies in Palestine.

The representative of UNDP/PAPP, Mr. Sufian Msha’sha’, emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Palestinian and international institutions in drawing development methods and practices, derived from the Palestinian reality, in addition to deepening the dialogue between the Palestinian development actors and donors in order to reach a common understanding about the theoretical frameworks for development in Palestine.

The 1st session was entitled “Current development discourse in the oPt,” in which the Director of CDS, Samia Botmeh, addressed the issues in development and aid discourse in the oPt, while Guy Burton and Mehrene Larudee presented the findings of CDS conflict development analysis report, and Peter Lundberg from SIDA talked about critical reflections by a donor on development practices and experiences in the oPt. Moreover, Bashar Juma from the Ministry of Planning addressed the economic framework of the national development plan, and Raja Khalidi from UNCTAD presented a critique and questions to the PA regarding the national development plan, 2011-2013.

The 2nd session as entitled: “Initiating discussion on alternative approaches to development in the oPt,” wherein Adam Hanieh from the School of Oriental and African Studies-University of London addressed the approaches to incorporating “Power” in development analysis and practice, and the independent researcher, Omar Barghouthi” talked about the social movements in the oPt, while Mods Lindegaard from the Danish Church Aid spoke about a donor reflection on pioneering approaches and frameworks on aid and development in the oPt.

The 3rd session was a roundtable discussion on alternative development practices in the oPt, focusing on the following issues:

* Views on the relevance and applicability of alternative approaches to addressing and incorporating colonial realities within the development agenda in the oPt.

* Practical examples of new approaches and practices being introduced to the humanitarian sector, among development practitioners and grassroots actors.

* Programmatic and operational implications of above approaches on the work of development agencies operating in the oPt.

* Donor and NGO perspectives on political feasibility of incorporating alternative approaches.

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