UNDP promoting civic engagement among young people and encouraging students to participate in school governance

UNDP works extensively in this field primarily to develop institutions and processes that are not only reflective of the will of the people, but also responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, particularly the poor. UNDP’s governance portfolio has managed to establish the right balance between support to the three branches of government - executive, judicial and legislative - while also supporting the private sector, and has worked to encourage the increased participation and inclusion of women in all branches of government. UNDP also places emphasis on local governance and public administration. In addition, attention is given to the reconciliation process and the need for a strong social contract between the State and its citizens, including the large and growing youth population.

As part of its support to institution development, UNDP is reintroducing the TOKTEN Palestinian programme in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. TOKTEN, Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals, started as a modality for technical cooperation in the occupied Palestinian territory in September 1994. Since its inception, the programme has proven to be one of the most successful human resource mobilization projects. The TOKTEN Programme has added significance for the Palestinians and was able to tap into the diverse and outstanding human resources of more than 10 million Palestinians residing abroad.

UNDP is constructing a data bank which will have information about the Palestinian Diaspora, including experts who are ready to contribute to Palestinian development efforts. The TOKTEN Programme will be the tool to facilitate their contribution. Through the TOKTEN Palestinian Programme, UNDP will recruit highly skilled expatriate female and male Palestinian professionals to serve as short-term volunteers (3 weeks to 3 months), thereby providing top level technical expertise, policy advice and research to numerous Palestinian institutions including ministries, universities, research centres, NGOs as well as private sector organizations.

For those interested in becoming a TOKTEN Kindly send your C.V. to

Strategic Priorities

Under the guidance of the Palestinian Authority, and in close consultation with development partners, UNDP focuses on five governance areas:

Focus Area 1: Rule of Law and Access to Justice:

As part of its Rule of Law and Access to Justice Programme, UNDP addresses both institutional and community-based needs in the justice sector. UNDP’s support will focus on:

  • Strengthening the capacity of rule of law institutions, specifically the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office, and the High Judicial Council
  • Providing support to the National Constitution Committee
  • Expanding access to legal services and legal aid at local and community level for the protection of communities, especially in Area C
  • Supporting the rule of law and access to justice within the Gaza Strip
  • Scaling up gender and juvenile justice, with a particular focus on labour law, the prevention of domestic violence, and civil/family law; and,
  • Strengthening linkages between law-enforcement providers and justice institutions within the broader framework of the rule of law

Focus Area 2: Local Governance and Public Administration

UNDP is scaling up its efforts to provide support to the Ministry of Local Governance and village councils to enhance local governance through service delivery. In specific, scaled-up development assistance will focus on:

  • Ensuring improved land management, territorial demarcation, and strengthened spatial planning by conducting a national spatial planning exercise
  • Strengthening the ability of the Ministry of Finance and local authorities to collect own-source revenues, particularly property taxes
  • Supporting capacity of key government institutions: the GPC and Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development (MoPAD), including through a review of civil service law, pension law, new retirement law, code of conduct and the feasibility of a national civil service academy
  • Establishing strategic policy units/technical advisory units in key line Ministries (e.g. MoNE)
  • Enhancing capacity of the MoPAD and key government institutions to conduct Monitoring and Evaluation of government plans including the PNDP and introduce an M&E toolkit.
  • Supporting APLA and local governorates strengthened to strengthen outreach to local constituents and improve service delivery

Focus Area 3: Inclusive Dialogue and Social Contract, including youth and women

The overall objective of this component is to anchor the work of Palestinian citizens in democratic governance and provide coherent and satisfying alternatives for social change. In specific, assistance entails:

  • Launching a national conference to facilitate the involvement of people and civil society organizations to participate in and initiate action to reduce poverty and promote equity;
  • Establishing a national civil society partnership framework, emphasising the involvement of women and youth
  • Empowering civil society to influence and manage change – including reconciliation – within the oPt;
  • Establishing a grant mechanism to promote collaborative initiatives among development partners (government, private sector and civil society organizations) to meet joint challenges, with specific budgets for women’s and youth organisations.

Focus Area 4: Reconciliation and Social Cohesion

UNDP seeks to support the peaceful engagement of parties for reconciliation and elections. This focus area is based on the key priorities of the unity government, as identified in the reconciliation agreement:

  • Organizing and running presidential, legislative and PNC elections
  • Resolving the civil and administrative challenges that resulted from the division
  • Unifying PA institutions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem; and,
  • Organizing the status of associations, NGOs and charities

Focus Area 5: International Representation

Support is required for skills in diplomacy for both Palestinians in public office and civil society, both at the national and international level. Based on the regional democratic movement, it is of importance that the oPt is well equipped with thorough analysis and qualified personnel. In specific, activities will seek to:

  • Supporting key knowledge products through investment in selected think tanks to work on research, advocacy, and training on good governance in Palestine;
  • Supporting the Government Media Centre to channel key PNA messaging to wider audiences and other media outlets;
  • Carrying out an Ambassadorial training programme to better represent Palestinians abroad;
  • Establishing a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) legal unit to support the diplomatic corps of the Palestinian Authority in its national and international efforts; and,
  • Supporting the Palestinian National Authority and independent bodies to monitor the implementation of the Statehood agenda, including the supply of performance indicators.