Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP)

Brief Description

Poverty reductionA beneficiary who now owns a sewing workshop as a result of the DEEP intervention

The objective of the programme is to improve the living conditions of economically deprived and socially marginalized Palestinian families. This phase aims to test various approaches for poverty alleviation based on sustaining peoples’ livelihoods at the household level. As a result, the project will develop a model for poverty alleviation that is relevant to the Palestinian context and that can be replicated at larger scales.

This model, once scaled up and expanded, will contribute to the revitalization of the Palestinian economy through supporting self-employment and micro-enterprise development as means to reduce employed, achieve higher economic growth and reduce poverty. The project aims to significantly expand the opportunities for members of deprived families to become entrepreneurs through facilitating access to financial and business development services. This will enable potential entrepreneurs within these families to start up micro enterprises that ensure a sustainable source of income for the entire household.

Families that are not able to own and manage a self-employment activity in the short run, and particularly those raising youth who may be prepared for entrepreneurship in the medium term, are targeted with special innovative assistance, ensuring the development of their household capacities and assets over the short term and long term empowerment.

Purpose: Empowering chronically poor and hard hit families and graduating them from being recipients of humanitarian assistance to becoming economically independent and productive households, through providing access to a package of financial and non-financial (Promotional Social Safety Net Activities) services that address their needs.


Micro grants and micro finance components

  • Economic Empowerment is now an integral part of the National Social Protection Strategy – No longer restricted to cash assistance
  • In addition to the 9,560 family owned enterprises, the projects generated approximately 23,000 paid and sustainable jobs  (Total 32,560) – 47% for women
  • The new income supports 215,000 people of which 60% are children
  • 43% of the projects are owned by women entrepreneurs
  • 79% of targeted families closed poverty gap by more than 50%
  • 96 % of beneficiaries reduced their dependency on others by more than 75%.
  • The programme trained and equipped 320 field practitioners in 22 Civil Society organizations on how to implement economic empowerment related approaches (from conducting livelihoods assessments – engineering of projects and finance modalities)
  • Establishing the first national Islamic microfinance APEX to supply 8 national MFIs. The current value of the revolving fund is USD 18 million

Capacity Development component

  • DEEP has built the competencies of 310 staff members of the executing NGOs in the field of sustainable livelihood approach, PCM, and Feasibility study.
  • Also tools, manuals, forms and templates were developed to ensure the proper targeting of the poor families, the assessment of their conditions and capitals, and harmonization of the execution throughout the different NGOs.
  • A special capacity development programme was designed for MoSA to meet their technical needs especially in the economic empowerment of poor families.  

In order to enhance the monitoring of project processes, DEEP developed a dynamic and user-friendly database, which is updated and maintained on a continuous basis. This database is now in the process of being adopted by the Ministry of Social Affairs to establish the first national unified deprived families database.

Challenges and Constraints

The concept of graduating families from poverty as the expected result from any intervention sets new rules for developmental work, which requires a transformation in how organizations target their beneficiaries, their attitudes towards poverty alleviation, and the required knowledge and practice. Redesigning the results based approach for poverty alleviation on the government, civil society, and community levels are the greatest challenge. UNDP measures its value-added in leading this model on how it can impact the way duty-holders respond to the needs of the marginalized and the economically vulnerable.

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