Workshop on development in the Palestinian territories - News

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

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.