Students meet Minister of Local Governance, discuss challenges, solutions

Students from the Master’s Program in Government and Local Governance in the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University met with the Minister of Local Governance Hussein Al-Araj at the Ministry of Local Governance’s headquarters in Ramallah on March 14, 2018.

Al-Araj presented the ministry’s vision for the future of local governance and the challenges that face this area, especially centralzation and decentralization, local economic development, and financial sustainability for local governing bodies, which each need legal reforms and great effort to achieve a suitable level of local development.

The meeting comprised an open discussion in which students asked Al-Araj a variety of questions and asked that the ministry provide the master’s program with a list of the most pressing problems so that they could be addressed in the students’ research studies and papers, a suggestion which was well-received by Al-Araj and the rest of the ministry staff.

Hiba Rimawi, a student in the program, suggested that the Ministry of Local Governance train a group of students, such that they fulfill the tasks of a virtual minister’s position and partake in the decision-making process.