Support to Village Councils in the West Bank

Project completed

Switzerland will support Village Councils in the West Bank to improve the delivery of basic services in rural areas with a focus on those situated in Area C. Switzerland’s support aims at empowering selected local government units to deliver needed public services, while supporting an enhanced engagement of women, youth and people with disabilities, to improve local accountability processes. This intervention will be realized through dedicated funding to a local governance programme implemented by GIZ.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Occupied Palestinian Territory
Democratic participation and civil society
01.07.2019 - 31.03.2023
CHF  1’182’500
Background The Palestinian Authority (PA) has allocated scant resources to developing rural areas situated in Areas B and C of the West Bank: local government units (Village Councils) are generally unable to provide basic public services and they are often not in position to maintain available public infrastructure, what has further increased social and economic marginalization. Village Councils in Area C (covering ca. 300’000 persons) face additional challenges posed by the illegal and discriminatory planning system implemented by the Israeli Civil Administration: their access to/control over land and natural resources as well as to public services are dramatically constrained. As a consequence, the economic, political, institutional and social development gaps among urban and rural areas have continued to widen, what has led the PA to initiate systematic efforts to improve the capacities of Village Councils to deliver basic  services and to encourage joint efforts and investment to reduce their number.
Objectives Improving the performance of selected Palestinian Village Councils (VCs) with special attention to those in Area C, as well as ensuring vulnerable groups (women, youth and people with disabilities) participate actively in local planning processes.
Target groups
  • Local authorities in VCs
  • Citizens in rural areas of West Bank with a focus on women, youth and persons with disabilities
  • Staff of Ministry of Local Government directorates
Medium-term outcomes
  • Citizens in 35 – 50 Villages in Area C of the West Bank actively participate in planning and implementation of the public service delivery and are able to hold their representatives (Village Councils and Joint Service Councils (JSCs)) accountable in a systematic way. (On average 40 thousand citizens will benefit from the programme).
  • Build capacity of VCs and MoLG staff in spatial planning, management and financial management, Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), and networking.

Expected results:  

  • Improve the capacities for strategic development and spatial planning in 35 - 50 Village Councils.
  • Foster constructive authorities-society relations
  • Improve capacities for local financial management.
  • Improve relations between the municipal and national administrative tiers as well as among local authorities (vertical and horizontal relations).

Results from previous phases:  

  • 70 VCs around the West Bank (in majority in Area C) received capacity development packages (citizen participation, etc.)
  • Social accountability tools have been increasingly utilized and  mainstreamed  by  VCs
  • An assessment of the capacities of VCs was conducted, which was shared with relevant Ministries and development partners
  • IT equipment, accounting software and related training were delivered to participating VCs.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • This project is complementary to Local Governance and Services Improvement Programme (LGSIP) designed by the World Bank, which is aligned to the MoLG’s Village Support Programme.
  • Capacity development activities of GIZ are coordinated with Enabel and World Bank.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’182’500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    858’686
Project phases Phase 3 01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.07.2019 - 31.03.2023   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.11.2016 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)