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Occupied

Palestinian Territory

Local Governance in Complex Environments

Project Assessment

The DGTTF Lessons Learned Series

United Nations Development Programme


Occupied

Palestinian

Territory

Local Governance in Complex Environments

Project Assessment


Authors: Heba El-Kholy and Necla Tschirgi

Project coordination: Claudia Melim-McLeod and Noha El-Mikawy

Language editor: Jane Main Thompson

Designer: Keen Media

UNDP Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are the

authors’ and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations,

including UNDP, or its Member States.

For further information please contact:

United Nations Development Programme

Regional Centre Cairo

1191 Corniche El-Nil, Boulac

P.O. Box 982

11599 Cairo, Egypt

www.undp.org/arabstates

United Nations Development Programme

Bureau for Development Policy

Democratic Governance Group

304 East 45th Street, 10th Fl.

New York, NY 10017

Oslo Governance Centre

Inkognitogata 37

0256 Oslo, Norway

www.undp.org/governance

www.undp.org/oslocentre

United Nations Development Programme

Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People

4A, Ya’kubi St.

P.O. Box 51359

Jerusalem

www.undp.ps

Copyright ©2010 by the United Nations Development Programme. All rights reserved.

For any errors or omissions found subsequent to printing, please visit our websites.


Contents

4 Abbreviations

5 Acknowledgements

6 Preface

7 Executive summary

7 Main findings and lessons learned

7 Effectiveness

7 Innovation

8 Catalytic effect

8 Sustainability

8 Relevance and strategic positioning

8 Lessons learned

10 Introduction

10 Purpose, scope and methodology of the assessment

11 The political economy of corruption in

the Occupied Palestinian Territory

14 Project Promoting Local Governance Integrity

in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2007)

14 Background and strategy

16 Findings and lessons learned

16 Effectiveness

17 Innovation

17 Catalytic effect

18 Sustainability

18 Relevance and strategic positioning

19 Lessons learned

21 Annex I – Codification of tools and instruments used

22 Annex II – List of persons interviewed

23 Annex III – Bibliography


Local Governance in Complex Environments

Abbreviations 1

CCA Common Country Assessment

APLA Association for Palestinian Local Authorities

BCPR Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery

CSO Civil society organization

DGTTF Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund

EU European Union

LGU Local Government Unit

MDG Millennium Development Goals

MOF Ministry of Finance

MOLG Ministry of Local Government

NGO Non-governmental organization

OECD/DAC Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/

Development Assistance Committee

OGC Oslo Governance Centre

oPt Occupied Palestinian Territory

PA Palestinian Authority

PLC Palestinian Legislative Council

PLO Palestine Liberation Organization

RCC Regional Centre in Cairo

UNDP/PAPP UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People

USAID United States Agency for International Development

1 The abbreviations and acronyms relate to those used in the main text, not those that are found

only in the Annexes.

4


Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

Acknowledgements

This report is published by the UNDP Democratic Governance Group through

the Oslo Governance Centre (OGC), in cooperation with the Regional Centre in

Cairo (RCC), with funding from the UNDP Democratic Governance Thematic Trust

Fund (DGTTF). The RCC and OGC are grateful to the authors, Heba El-Kholy and

Necla Tschirgi, the language editor Jane Main Thompson, the UNDP Programme

of Assistance to the Palestinian People, and all those interviewed and consulted

in the preparation and writing of this assessment report, who are listed here

in alphabetical order: Isam Akel , Nasser Al Shaikh Al, Ibrahim Bisharat, May

Dagash, Frank W. Ehling, Vanessa Farr, Eng. Mazen Ghanaim, Reginald Graham,

Maya Halaseh, Shinji Hirose, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Shifa Jayousi, Dr. Nu’man Kanafani,

Ghassan Kasabreh, Geoff Prewitt, Gerhard Pulfer, Raul Rosende, Zackaria Sabella,

Imad Saed, Amjad Sharif, Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, Municipality of Tobas, Roberto

Valent and Ghada Zughaiar. Javier Fabra has provided invaluable support to the

coordination of this publication series. The project has been coordinated by Noha

El-Mikawy and Claudia Melim-McLeod.

May 2010

5


Local Governance in Complex Environments

Preface

The Millennium Declaration from the Millennium Summit in 2000 emphasized

the centrality of democratic governance for the achievement of the Millennium

Development Goals (MDGs). World leaders agreed that improving the quality

of democratic institutions and processes, and managing the changing roles of

the state and civil society in an increasingly globalized world, should underpin

national efforts to reduce poverty, sustain the environment, and promote

human development.

The Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF) was created in 2001

to enable UNDP Country Offices to explore innovative and catalytic approaches

to supporting democratic governance on the ground. The DGTTF Lessons

Learned Series represents a collective effort to capture lessons learned and best

practices in a systematic manner, to be shared with all stakeholders, to serve as an

input to organizational learning, and to inform future UNDP policy and

programming processes.

6


Executive

summary

This report provides a forward-looking assessment of the

project Promoting Local Governance Integrity in the Occupied

Palestinian Territories, implemented by the UNDP’s Programme

of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP). The

assessment is based on both a desk analysis of documents

and on interviews with key actors during a short mission

to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). These were

supplemented by additional information provided by the

UNDP/PAPP following the mission. The mission was part of

a larger cross-practice mission fielded by the Bureau for Crisis

Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), Regional Centre in Cairo

(RCC) and the Oslo Governance Centre (OGC), which took

place from 9 to 13 November 2009. The project assessment

was the responsibility of the RCC and OGC team only.

The project received funds amounting to USD 150,000 from

the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF) in

February 2007 and was to be implemented over 12 months.

Full project implementation, however, was delayed until early

2008 due to heightened political instability.

According to the project document, the main objective

of the DGTTF project was to create the necessary enabling

environment for promoting integrity systems at the local

level, based on the principles of accountability, transparency

and active participation. The three stated outputs of the

project were: (a) designing a participatory tool for assessing

the integrity, accountability and transparency of the local

authorities; (b) applying the tool in at least 30 local authorities

and analysing their integrity systems and performance; and

(c) developing an intervention plan to improve the

accountability and transparency of the Palestinian local

authorities based on the outcomes of the assessment.

7

Main findings and lessons learned

Effectiveness

The project fully achieved one of the three planned outputs.

The production process of the integrity tool took almost a year

and was the core activity of the project. The project resulted

in the production of what appears to be the first integrity

toolkit in the oPt to assess transparency and accountability

at the local level. The toolkit addresses integrity issues in five

specific areas in the work of local councils: (a) local council

board decisions; (b) financial unit; (c) engineering unit; (d)

procurement unit; and (e) community participation.

The partial achievement of Output 2 and the non-

achievement of Output 3 were a result of unanticipated

internal and external challenges, as well as a limited budget

and time-frame. In the eight months between the design

and the early implementation phases, the project faced

constraints outside its control which resulted in the waning

of political will and a number of operational obstacles. Some

of these, in retrospect, should have been better anticipated as

possible risks, and strategies to deal with them incorporated

into the design of the project.

The project objective was overambitious given the timeframe

and available financial and staff resources, as well as the

complex and endemic nature of both conflict and corruption

in the oPt. The challenges of making a dent and modifying

structural relations that define local corruption would have

required adoption of a more holistic approach to the problem,

a much longer time-frame, stronger partnerships supported

by a high-level policy dialogue, and greater resources. The

outputs of the project were realistic; however, they were not

strongly linked to the stated impact or objective of ‘creating

an enabling environment’. The outputs, in the best of cases

and if all three were fully implemented, would most likely

have had only a limited impact on the broader objective, since

they were not coupled with a more integrated and holistic

approach to address the root causes of corruption.

Innovation

The project, including the integrity tool produced through it,

was clearly innovative in the context of other initiatives in the

oPt, as well as in the Arab world at large. The project addressed

a strategic democratic governance deficit for which there was

strong popular demand. It also entailed an element of ‘political

risk’ as dealing with issues of corruption goes against vested

interests. The timing of the project was initially favourable,

enabling UNDP to capture local and national momentum


for action at an opportune moment. The tool promoted the

novel idea of ‘integrity monitoring’ as a guide to capacitybuilding

and continuous improvement in performance.

Catalytic effect

While innovative and addressing a critical and relevant

democratic governance deficit, the project was not as

catalytic as it could have been. The tool is yet to become

standard practice in any Local Government Units (LGUs) and,

judging from our discussion during the visit to one of the

municipalities in which it was tested, it does not appear to

be used in all of the 15 municipalities it was tested on. It is

perhaps too soon to see catalytic effects as the project has

only recently ended. However, the project is apparently not

well publicized among key civil society organizations, donors

or the Association for Palestinian Local Authorities, and the

team did not see evidence that it has triggered more work

in this field by other stakeholders or the government. The

team received communication from the Local Governance

Chief Technical Advisor, after the completion of the mission,

that the project actually ‘provoked legal amendments of the

existing LG system to allow a better degree of transparency

and accountability for the first time ever in the oPt’.

Sustainability

There was no provision in the project for measuring the

impact of the tool on changes in capacity, attitudes,

perceptions and ultimately performance of LGUs (and the

broader enabling environment) over time - measurements

that, in any case, go beyond the short-lived cycle of a DGTTF

project. The sustainability of the project, including creating

continued capacity to adjust and adapt the tool, can only

be assured if the project interventions are closely integrated

within a longer-term UNDP anti-corruption and transparency

governance strategy.

The project was not part of UNDP/PAPP earlier Local

Governance Support Programmes which had focused largely

on physical and participatory planning and supporting

infrastructure for service delivery. UNDP/PAPP 2008-2011

strategic framework, however, incorporated a more specific

focus on supporting accountable and transparent governance,

including local governance, with ‘supporting responsive

governing institutions’ as one of two outcomes under the

democratic governance objective. The project is thus clearly

linked to the overall outcomes of the strategic framework.

However, it was not clear to the team how strategically

integrated the project was into the broader democratic

governance strategy of the office, both substantively and

operationally. The impression of the team was that the project

operated as a ‘stand alone’ initiative, and may have been

Local Governance in Complex Environments

8

isolated from the mainstream programming and operations

of the office. The office, however, still has an opportunity to

build on this foundation and more strategically integrate the

project into a broader national transparency strategy and into

its newly formulated local governance programme. Based

on the important outputs of the project, UNDP/PAPP has

apparently recently done so. The UNDP Governance Team

Leader informed the team, after the mission was completed,

that integrity and anti-corruption measures are currently

one of the six pillars of agreement between the Ministry of

Local Government (MOLG) and UNDP, as designated in an

MOU signed in March 2009. We were also informed by the

UNDP/PAPP upon our return from mission that the MOLG

has officially requested UNDP/PAPP to design a second

phase for the project (2010-2012) to apply the toolkit to 132

municipalities. This is an important achievement and would

significantly strengthen the sustainability element.

Relevance and strategic positioning

The project may have missed an opportunity to strategically

position UNDP as a key actor in the field of transparency at the

local level. However, this is a missed but not a lost opportunity,

as some seeds were clearly sown. Project resources were very

limited and it is understandable that the small investment

available to the office was put into the tool development

process instead of developing a strong advocacy, marketing

and partnership strategy to make the tool more visible, attract

broader interest, and ensure its endorsement and application.

Still, the relationship with some key partners, such as specific

municipalities and the MOLG, was strengthened as a result of

the project.

Lessons learned

a Adopting a holistic, longer-term approach is critical

for building responsive and accountable institutions.

Creating an enabling environment to fight corruption

requires a long-term, integrated strategy and structural

reforms. A local governance integrity tool is a pragmatic

and potentially strategic entry point for addressing

broader systemic corruption issues. However, it needs

to be an integrated element in a broader strategy that

can address issues of prevention, enforcement, capacitybuilding,

public participation, strengthening of both

national and local institutions, working with other UN

agencies as well as the international community. ‘Stand

alone’ projects that address only one element, and that

are not implemented within a broader set of reforms

with a longer-term vision and strategy, risk having limited

impact.


a

In conflict contexts, a high degree of flexibility and

creativity in project modalities and procedures is

necessary to be able to adapt project activities and

resources to fluid political situations and quickly changing

scenarios. A context- and conflict- sensitive approach to

project design and implementation would help to better

anticipate and manage external risks and to adjust the

project accordingly.

a Policy dialogue, advocacy, and partnership-building are

key. When working on sensitive and potentially ‘risky’

issues, it is critical that a sound technical approach is

combined with sustained high-level policy dialogue.

Political commitment of counterparts for such projects is

likely to vary over time and with changes in leadership.

To manage these risks, and make use of opportunities

and momentum, key technical elements of projects

need to be supported by high-level and sustained policy

dialogue and explicit partnership management. Advocacy

and partnership- building should be seen as integral

elements of a strategy in support of technical processes,

and should be properly resourced. Project managers may

need broader support from senior management to take

on these additional roles.

a To have sustained impact, DGTTF projects must

be integrated within the overall longer-term country

programme both substantively and operationally.

Strategically positioning UNDP in emerging, less

conventional and ‘risky’ fields requires engagement of

both the project manager implementing the project,

and of other staff and senior management. While this is a

Country Office (CO) responsibility, DGTTF guidelines and

follow-up should explicitly address this issue.

a It is important to ensure that key donors are aware of

capacity-building tools, not only after they are developed,

but also early on in the development process. Getting an

early degree of awareness and engagement of donors in

any capacity-building initiative (and tool development

process) during the development phase increases

the likelihood of such tools gaining early support and

eventual application. It is important to strive for this even

in the case of DGTTF-funded projects, since sustainability

and catalytic effects are important programme criteria.

Anticipating points of resistance and sustained

management of relationships with donors during the

project, as well as an outreach and dissemination strategy

Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

9

once the tools are developed, are key activities. These often

require broader office engagement to ensure inclusion of

project initiatives in regular donor coordination platforms

and in ongoing policy and reform dialogues.

a Ensure that expectations match reality. Related to the

above, it is necessary to be more realistic about the

potential effects of short-term outputs and time-frames

in achieving overarching and longer-term objectives,

particularly in highly precarious political contexts and in

countries in conflict. In situations with structural external

constraints over which UNDP usually has little control,

causal links between project outputs and impact should

not be overstated.

a In order to strengthen DGTTF grant-making, followup

and support to COs, it would be important to

differentiate between types of contexts. Reviewing the

DGTTF funds allocation processes in light of different

types of support and criteria for different typologies

of countries, and incorporating a more structured and

regular methodology for both follow-up and ‘real time’

learning from the field, would enhance the overall impact

of the Fund. It would also generate more learning about

the particularities and complexities of programming in

countries affected by conflict. In this context, stronger

partnerships between the DGTTF and the Regional

Bureaux are also recommended. This would also bring

innovative projects quickly to the attention of the

Bureaux and enable them to play a more proactive role in

supporting COs through increased visibility and advocacy

for such projects.


Introduction

Purpose, scope and methodology of the

assessment

This report provides a forward looking assessment of the

project entitled Promoting Local Governance Integrity in the

Occupied Palestinian Territory, implemented by the UNDP

Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/

PAPP) in 2008 and supported by the Democratic Governance

Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF). 2

This assessment is part of the DGTTF Lessons Learned Series.

The primary purpose of the Series is to examine to what

extent the DGTTF funding has met its objective in terms of

supporting innovative and catalytic initiatives in democratic

governance based on empirical evidence from the ground.

In addition, the Series aims at capturing country-level

experiences to feed into UNDP policy and programmes on

national, regional and global levels. Furthermore, it is also

intended to buttress institutional memory and knowledge

management efforts at UNDP Country Offices and Regional

Service Centres through the codification and dissemination of

tools and instruments used in the implementation of DGTTF

projects and regional programmes.

In this sense, this is not an evaluation of the UNDP/PAPP project

supported by DGTTF but a forward looking assessment with

a view to drawing lessons on how UNDP globally can engage

more strategically in governance programming in conflict

contexts at both the programme and policy level.

10

The review uses the standard OECD/DAC criteria of

effectiveness, relevance and sustainability 3 , as well as the

DGTTF criteria of innovation and catalytic effect as a guide

for the analysis. The review is based on both a desk analysis

of documents and on interviews with key actors during a

short mission to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

The mission was part of a larger cross-practice mission by

UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), the

Regional Centre in Cairo (RCC) and the Oslo Governance

Centre (OGC), which took place from 9 to 13 November 2009.

The project assessment, conducted by two consultants, was

the responsibility of the RCC and OGC team only.

The team reviewed existing UNDP documents and broader

literature on related initiatives in the oPt. During the mission,

the team met with a range of UNDP staff and partners,

including key government and civil society actors engaged

in local governance and anti-corruption initiatives. 4 However,

the short duration of the mission did not allow for excavation

of project documents or in-depth discussions with the

stakeholders based on information collected. Copies of the

final report of the project and the interim reports (in Arabic)

and the integrity toolkit (in Arabic) were made available to the

team towards the end of the mission. UNDP/PAPP informed

us after the mission that they are now also available on the

DGTTF website. No external evaluation had been conducted,

although funds were allocated in the original project budget

for a final evaluation. The main findings and observations

were discussed briefly with programme staff and senior

management during the mission.

2

Some elements of the project started in 2007 but full implementation was

delayed until 2008.

3

The fourth OECD criterion of efficiency was not used due to the limited

duration of the mission and the lack of readily available financial data to make

any sound conclusions.

4

For a full list of persons interviewed, see Annex II.


The political

economy

of corruption

in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory

For development programming in general, and governance

programming in particular, the Palestinian context is

particularly challenging due to the absence of a sovereign

Palestinian state, continued Israeli occupation, internal

conflict and massive donor assistance. It is within this

very specific and precarious context that the seeds of a

corruption-inducing ‘reward and interest structure’ were

sown in the Occupied Territories in the early 1990s with the

formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA). 5 Although specific

steps have been taken to reduce fraudulent practices, and

in particular during the past few years, there are remnants

of endemic corruption. An overview of this context allows

a better understanding of the DGTTF project as well as

of the broader challenges and opportunities for UNDP’s

programming in this field.

The PA was established in 1994. By 1998, corruption in

the PA and its administrative structures was evident. 6 Two

factors, the Israeli occupation and massive influx of foreign

aid, played a key role in this development, heavily influencing

the state formation process in Palestine which began after the

1993 Oslo Accords. With the imperatives of the peace process

being a priority, transparency, accountability and integrity

were given less attention in the PA’s state formation process.

Instead, informal power networks, clientelism and patronage

were common features of this process. 7

The import-oriented nature of the economy and the

business deals negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians

as part of the Oslo process resulted in a monopolistic regime

and the setting up of key state owned companies. Rentseeking

behaviour 8 became a prevalent form of corruption.

The dearth of employment opportunities outside the

government (the government currently provides about 30

percent of employment and almost one million Palestinians

11

are dependent on PA salaries), the monopoly of the regime

over large business opportunities, the limited access to

markets, the lack of a stable tax revenue, and the lack of an

independent banking system encouraged this behaviour. 9

Moreover, the PA institutions put into motion through the Oslo

process were never allowed the full political independence,

legitimacy or capacity necessary to exercise full oversight. This

was – in part – caused by the unwillingness of the Israelis to

fulfil stated commitments. Overlap in functions between the

PLO and the newly established PA as well as the donors’ and

Israelis’ focus on ‘security first’ disempowered the emerging

judiciary and parliament of greater potential effectiveness.

The constitutional process was compromised and power

became fully centralized in the presidency and executive,

with President Arafat maintaining his position as Chairman of

the PLO. 10

5 Interviewees consistently agreed that the high level of nepotism and

favouritism (wasta) in the recruitment of personnel to the government

(including local government) and the NGO sector, is a relatively new

phenomenon dating back to the early 1990s with the establishment of the PA.

6 As early as May 1996, the PA’s Public Monitoring Department issued a

report on foregone revenues and irregular and excessive expenditures

by PA ministries and official bodies. President Arafat appointed a special

commission to investigate corruption and the Palestinian Legislative Council

(PLC) issued a report detailing alleged abuses in PA ministries. In 1997, the

PLC adopted a resolution calling for the entire PA cabinet to be replaced.

However, while there was a token cabinet reshuffle in 1997, there was no

serious follow-up to these early efforts to address corruption. See Brynen, Rex,

‘Palestine: Building Neither Peace nor State’ in Call, Charles T. & Vanessa Wyeth

(Eds.), Building States to Build Peace, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, 2008 ,

p. 219.

7 See Amundsen, Inge & Basem Ezbidi. ‘Clientelist politics. State formation and

corruption in Palestine 1994-2000’, Chr. Michelsen Institute Report 2002:17, 2002

[hereinafter CMI 2002]; Cooperation International pour le Developpement et

la Solidarite (CIDSE). ‘The EU’s Aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territory – How

to Improve Coherence and Effectiveness in Line with International Law?’,

CIDSE Palestine/Israel Working Group Seminar Report, Brussels, 2008 [hereinafter

CIDSE 2008]; AMAN-Coalition for Integrity and Accountability, Annual Report

2008, Bir Zeit, 2008 [hereinafter AMAN 2008].

8 Rent-seeking is defined in the UNDP Primer on Corruption and Development

in the following terms: ‘In economy, rent-seeking occurs when an individual,

organization or firm seeks to make money by manipulating the economic

and/or legal environment rather than by trade and production of wealth.’

See UNDP. Corruption and Development: Anti-corruption Interventions for Poverty

Reduction, Realization of the MGDs and Promoting Sustainable Development,

New York, 2008, p.14.

9 See CIDSE 2008. See also Nakhleh, Khalil. An Analytical Overview of the Current

Situation: Palestinians Under the Occupation, Online resource available at http://

www.counterpunch.org/nakhleh09242008.html; World Bank. ‘A Palestinian

State in Two years: Institutions for Economic Revival’, Economic Monitoring

Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, 2009 [hereinafter World Bank 2009];

International Labour Office (ILO). ‘Report on the ‘Situation of Workers of the

Occupied Arab Territories’, Report of the Director-General, International Labour

Conference, 96th Session, Geneva, 2007 [hereinafter ILO 2007].

10 CMI 2002.


Donors’ interest in demonstrating quick and short-term

results and their competition over various institutions

often overshadowed the longer-term interest of capacitybuilding

and transparency. Several persons interviewed by

the assessment team underlined how the precarious nature

of the economy and heavy dependence on foreign aid had

dramatically reduced the impact of popular pressures for

accountability.

The lack of transparency, and donor competition at the

national level was also reflected at the local levels and

interacted with existing local dynamics. Local Government

Units (LGUs) preceded the setting up of the PA institutions

and had played a critical role in providing municipal as well as

recovery services and supporting the resilience of Palestinian

communities during decades of occupation. LGUs were then

financially dependent on revenues from the public services

they provided and grants from both the PLO and the donor

community. 11 In the 1970s and 1980s, LGUs became the

object of fierce competition for control of their leadership

between the Israeli occupying forces and the PLO. As a result,

local councils lost some of their capacity, independence and

leadership during this period although they remained critical

for everyday survival and Palestinian self-governance. 12

The PA was established in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

town of Jericho in 1994 and gradually extended its territorial

control. However, due to continuing Israeli occupation, by

March 2000 the PA exercised civil and security control over 17

percent of the West Bank (Area A) and about three quarters

of the Gaza Strip. It exercised civil control over 24 percent of

the West Bank (Area B) and had no control over the remaining

areas or its international borders. 13 Thus, local governments

continued to play an indispensable role.

Early on, the PA sought to bring local governments under

its control by establishing the Ministry of Local Government

(MOLG) in 1994. In the late 1990s, the Palestinian Cabinet

authorized the MOLG to replace the old elected city council

officials who were elected in 1976 with new blood. Many local

council leaders were replaced with members of Fatah or those

closely affiliated with Fatah. 14 The significant democratic step

achieved in LG through the 2004/2005 local elections, was

unravelled after the split between the West Bank and Gaza

took place in June 2007. Changes in legislation were effected

allowing the Minister of Local Government to dismiss elected

Council members and there have been numerous cases of

removal of mayors for political purposes. 15

There is some evidence that the transfer of central funds to

local government throughout the late 1990s was politicized,

Local Governance in Complex Environments

12

and revenue collection was partially centralized by the

PA. Informal and traditional power structures prevailed at

the local level and some of our interviewees asserted that

positions were often given in exchange for loyalty or political

support. It is important to note that allegations of corruption

also served as a weapon in power struggles at the local levels.

With growing political polarization between Hamas and

Fatah, which reached its peak in 2007, these tensions were

intensified and were reflected not only at the national level,

but also in local governance structures—both government

and civil society. 16

By 2005, public perception of corruption had increased

dramatically and the Palestinian public became increasingly

more vocal about it. 17 A comprehensive analysis of a series of

polls on perception of corruption between 2004 and 2005 18

reveals that corruption and integrity was the single most

important issue in the selection of candidates, including in the

local elections of December/January 2004-2005 in the West

Bank and Gaza. Corruption was deemed more important

than religiosity, family relations, level of education or political

affiliation. Most felt that fighting corruption should be the

top priority above achieving progress in negotiations with

Israel. As of June 2005, 80 percent believed that the PA was

corrupt and that ‘wasta’ (or connections) is what secured jobs.

Almost 70 percent saw government performance on tackling

corruption as weak, weaker than performance in other areas,

with those accused of corruption not being charged. 19

11

For a more detailed discussion of the role of LGUs see the country report

on oPt by the authors.

12

Mohammad, Gabriel, Al Hokm Al Mahaly & Al Mosharka Al Mogtamaeya.

Unpublished Paper. Palestinian Center for the Dissemination of Democracy

and Community Development, Jerusalem, 2009 [hereinafter Gabriel

Mohammed 2009].

13

Brynen, Rex, Hisham Awartani & Clare Woodcraft, ‘The Palestinian Territories’

in Forman, Shepard & Stewart Patrick (Eds.), Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for

Postconflict Recovery, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, 2000, p.232.

14

Mission interview.

15

Horizon for Sustainable Development. Update of Diagnostic Report on the

Local Governance System in the OPt and the Action (Implementation) Plan,

Ramallah, 2009, [hereinafter Local Governance Study 2009], p. 2.

16

Local Governance Study 2009; AMAN 2008; Gabriel Mohammad 2009.

17

The PLC had identified corruption as a key issue to address as early as 1998,

acknowledging its key role in undermining the legitimacy of state institutions.

But there was little action taken in response, and little donor support. (AMAN,

mission interview).

18

See Denoeux, Guilain P., ‘The Politics of Corruption in Palestine: Evidence

from Recent Public Opinion Polls’, Middle East Policy 12(3), 2005.

19

It is acknowledged by the international community that serious attempts

have been made by the Fayad Government since June 2007 to improve

fiscal management and address corruption, and polls today show different

perceptions: a survey of public opinion conducted in the West Bank and the

Gaza Strip in August 2009 reveals a continued decline in the perception of

corruption in the PA, standing at 68 percent -that is, four points lower than

one year earlier, twelve points lower than two years before, and nineteen

points lower than four years before. See Palestinian Center for Policy and

Survey Research, Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No 33, 3rd September 2009.


In 2006 and 2007, in response to the then strong public

perceptions of corruption and an increasingly vocal civil

society on these issues, the PA began implementing a series

of financial and other reforms meant to increase transparency,

particularly in the conduct of public and business affairs. One

such reform was the setting up of a single treasury account

under the Fayad Government. The PA’s signature of the UN

Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) gave an additional

impetus to national efforts to combat corruption. Meanwhile,

a key civil society coalition, AMAN, was set up in 2000 as the

first Palestinian civil society organization (CSO) to address

these issues. 20 AMAN organized the first transparency festival

in 2006 with speeches by Hannan Ashrawy and Mahmoud

Abbas, and handed out awards to selected journalists and

private sector employees who exposed corrupt practices.

Building on this momentum, a number of donors (most

notably EU and USAID) and CSOs began to focus on issues of

transparency and integrity. In 2006, the UN Democracy Fund

supported AMAN (with UNDP/PAPP as executing agency) in

a two-year project to develop and implement a participatory

National Plan of Action to Combat Corruption. For the most

part, however, donors and CSOs largely focused their work at

the national level, with few addressing issues of transparency

at the local level. This was an obvious gap since many

donors, including UNDP, were investing heavily in supporting

local government through wide ranging capacity-building

interventions (strategic planning, financial management,

physical planning, etc). One exception appears to have been

the Arab Thought Forum which, in collaboration with AMAN,

implemented a project in 2007 aimed at strengthening the

transparency and accountability of local government. 21

However, in the main, capacity- building for improving

transparency and integrity was not part of the massive influx

of donor interventions in the local governance field.

It is in this complex political and programming context that

the UNDP/PAPP project was designed in late 2006 and

approved by the DGTTF in early 2007. 22

Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

13

20 AMAN, a coalition of six Palestinian CSOs in both the West Bank and Gaza,

is the local chapter of Transparency International and issues an annual

corruption report. The 2008 report shows, based on a public poll survey in

the West Bank, that while perceptions of corruption in public service have

declined, favoritism, ‘wasta’ and nepotism remain a main concern for the

public and the most prevalent manifestation of corruption in the public

sector.

21 According to our interview at AMAN, this project resulted in the

development of a code of conduct for local councils, signed by over 100 local

councils, and a draft plan for a citizen complaints system.

22 The UNDP/PAPP strategic framework does not refer to the analysis of these

specific polls, but the DGTTF project document, while it does not go into

detail, states clearly that the anti-corruption ticket was the main reason

Hamas won local elections.


Project Promoting

Local Governance

Integrity in

the Occupied

Palestinian

Territories(2007)

Background and strategy

According to the project document, the main objective

of the DGTTF project was to create the necessary enabling

environment for promoting integrity systems at the local

level, based on the principles of accountability, transparency

and active participation. The three stated outputs of the

project were: (a) designing a participatory tool for assessing

the integrity, accountability and transparency of the local

authorities, (b) applying the tool in at least 30 local authorities

and analyzing their integrity systems and performance, and (c)

developing an intervention plan to improve the accountability

and transparency of the Palestinian local authorities based on

the outcomes of the assessment.

The project was to be implemented over 12 months,

starting March 2007. Due to political instability, however,

full implementation did not start until early 2008. The total

amount requested was USD 200,000, finally receiving a total

of USD 150,000 from the DGTTF. The project was completed

by the end of 2008, almost a year behind schedule, during

which the political landscape had significantly changed.

The final project report shows that almost USD 140,000 was

disbursed. 23 A project manager was hired specifically for this

project and his salary paid through project funds.

The project was developed at the request of the Ministry of

Local Government (MOLG) to enable it to better monitor the

performance of Local Government Units (LGUs), with a focus

on their transparency and integrity. 24 The plan was to use the

tool to improve performance and to engage the LGUs in a

self-assessment process which could also serve as a baseline

for assessing future performance. The tool would result in

diagnosing and identifying specific weaknesses and strengths

as well as identifying gaps and areas for interventions, which

14

would then be directed to donors for targeted capacity

development initiatives.

Of the three outputs planned, only Output 1 – design of a

participatory integrity tool – was fully achieved. Output 2 –

application of the tool – was only partly achieved and Output

3 – development of intervention plans – was not achieved.

The project resulted in the production of what appears to be

the first integrity toolkit in the oPt to assess transparency and

accountability at the local level. 25 The toolkit was produced

and published (in Arabic and then translated into English)

through a rigorous, participatory process with support

from a local consulting firm, drawing on experiences from

Scandinavia 26 and with the participation of three different

types of municipalities (Hebron, in the South and the largest

in the oPt, Tobas, a medium sized one in the North, and

Mazraa, the smallest). The validity of the toolkit was tested at

Bir Zeit municipality, whose mayor was a professor at Bir Zeit

University, through a series of multi-stakeholder workshops,

with representatives from local councils, MOLG, civil society,

and the Association for Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA). 27

The second planned output was to apply the tool in

30 municipalities which were selected by the MOLG, in

cooperation with APLA. 28 This output was partly achieved.

The tool was applied, on a limited basis, in only 15 of the 30

municipalities. 29 Another private consulting firm was subcontracted

for the application process, using a combined

methodology of KAP surveys, focus group discussions and

individual interviews. Fifteen separate reports (for each

municipality) and a consolidated report (only in Arabic) were

produced. The consolidated report shows strong disparities

in strengths and weaknesses among municipalities.

23 The office was still confirming the accuracy of the financial data in

preparation for the financial closure of the project during the mission.

24 According to one interviewee, the MOLG had tried to develop a similar

tool in cooperation with the Arab Thought Forum but it did not meet their

standards and they therefore approached UNDP to develop it.

25 The toolkit addresses integrity issues in five specific areas in the work of local

councils: (a) local council board decisions; (b) Financial Unit; (c) Engineering

Unit; (d) Procurement Unit; (e) community participation.

26 Research by the project team showed that Scandinavian countries had

particularly advanced experiences in developing such tools, which is why

they drew on these experiences. South - South cooperation was not an

implicit or explicit part of the project strategy. The team was not aware of any

similar tools produced in Arabic in the region.

27 Mission interview.

28 APLA was created by the MOLG in 1997.

29 The final project report states that the lack of sufficient budget was one of

the reasons why the project was not able to complete the 30 applications,

but discussions with the project manager indicated that the inability to work

with Gaza municipalities was another reason.


The findings have been shared with the MOLG but have

apparently not yet been disseminated or discussed widely

within the ministry or with municipalities.

The third output of the project was to develop intervention

plans for the municipalities, based on the results of the

assessment tool. Lack of funds and the limited number

of applications of the tool (to 15 of the originally planned

30 municipalities) prevented the realization of this output.

Important building blocks for its realization, however, have

been put in place as discussed above.

Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

15


Findings

and lessons

learned

Effectiveness

The project fully achieved one of the three planned outputs.

The production process of the integrity tool took a little over

a year and was the core activity of the project. The partial

achievement of Output 2 and the non achievement of

Output 3 were a result of unanticipated internal and external

challenges, as well as a limited budget and timeframe.

In the eight months between the design and the early

implementation phases, the project faced constraints outside

its control which resulted in the waning of political will and a

number of operational obstacles. In retrospect, some of these

could have been anticipated and possible risks and strategies

to deal with them incorporated into the design of the project.

Many of the early transparency and anti-corruption reforms

unravelled and the momentum was stalled with the

suspension of donor aid to the PA in 2006 after the electoral

victory of Hamas, the public servant strike that lasted for

more than six months, the intensification of Israel’s closure

regime, and the overt fragmentation of Palestinian institutions

and society after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007. For

example, the refusal of the majority of donors to make

payments to the PA through a single treasury account (which

was meant to ensure transparent and efficient allocation of

finances) resulted in a fragmented system where finances

were arranged in at least three different ways – through the

Office of the President, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the

Transitional Implementation Mechanism and its successor. 30

Israel’s withholding of taxes owed to the PA further

undermined the nascent reforms that were put in place and

undermined the ability and willingness of the government to

push forward on some of these issues. The democratically

elected PLC, split, paralysed and with many of its members

in Israeli prisons, was no longer able to carry out necessary

16

oversight. The internal traction and political will for dealing

with anti-corruption and transparency were thus clearly put

to the test in the face of such obstacles.

The DGTTF project was adversely affected by these

developments, which were clearly outside the control of

the UNDP/PAPP office. The project was not able to apply

the tool in the municipalities in Gaza, while its application

in the 30 municipalities in the West Bank slowed down as

political support for the project declined. This situation

was exacerbated by the change in government, changes in

the leadership of the APLA and the high turnover of senior

officials at the MOLG in the course of project implementation.

These included the Minister, the Deputy Minister (who

normally acts as the executive technical chief ), and the

Director General of the Monitoring and Steering Committee.

New leadership showed less ‘ownership’ and was generally

less supportive. With the compilation of the first 15 reports,

there was apparently some discomfort in the PA. The political

polarization between Hamas and Fatah gave rise to fears

about corruption charges being used as a weapon in local

power struggles, and may have resulted in more reticence

on the part of local councils to wholeheartedly take on

the application phase of the project. As such, according to

mission interviews, Ministry commitment fell short of support

for full implementation. 31

Policy dialogue to address new political developments and

tensions was not an explicit part of the project. Given political

sensitivities, project staff focused on project implementation

– largely through ‘business as usual’, rather than engaging in

advocacy and policy dialogue. Despite significant changes

in the overall political context which had implications for

the effectiveness of the project, there were no considerable

changes in project approach or activities besides reducing

the number of municipalities from the original 30 to 15.

Some of these changes, as reviewed above, included the

development of two de facto governments in the West Bank

and Gaza and the increasing control of the MOLG over LGUs.

The project, however, remained narrowly focused on the

development of the toolkit, which was by then well into the

development process.

30 World Bank 2009.

31 The team was informed by the CO following the mission that there is now

renewed support for the project and that the MOLG has officially requested

PAPP to design a second phase to apply the toolkit in all 132 municipalities. A

second and third phase of the project are now planned for three years (2010-

2012) as one of the components of the newly developed Local Governance

Support Programme that UNDP is planning to implement.


The project objective was over-ambitious given the

timeframe, staff constraints, and available resources as well as

the complex nature of corruption in the oPt. The challenges of

making a dent and modifying structural relations that define

local corruption would have required adoption of a more

holistic approach to the problem, a much longer timeframe,

stronger partnerships supported by a high-level policy

dialogue, and greater resources. The outputs of the project,

however, were realistic, but they were not strongly linked

to the stated impact or objective of ‘creating an enabling

environment’. The outputs, in the best of cases and if all three

had been fully implemented, would most likely have had only

a limited impact on the broader objective without a more

integrated and holistic approach to address the root causes

of corruption.

The project could enhance South-South cooperation if

attempts were made to tap into the electronic networks

of UNDP to identify best practices of similar integrity tools

in other developing countries. It is recommended that

DGTTF guidelines also be more explicit about South-South

cooperation in case it is a critical criterion. There were some

positive attempts to address gender issues, such as using

one of the questionnaires to be answered by female council

members. In addition, according to the project manager,

women’s groups were invited to the multi-stakeholder

workshops that validated the toolkit. However, the gender

dimension was not reflected in the overall content of

the toolkit.

Innovation

The project, including the integrity tool produced through

it, was clearly innovative in the context of other initiatives in

the oPt, and possibly in the Arab world at large. The project

addressed a strategic democratic governance deficit for

which there was strong popular demand. It entailed an

element of political risk’, as dealing with issues of corruption

goes against the vested interests of some groups in society.

The timing of the project was initially favourable, enabling

UNDP to capture local and national momentum for action at

an opportune moment. The tool promoted the novel idea

of ‘integrity monitoring’ as a guide to capacity-building and

continuous improvement in performance. In addition, it

aimed at changing the attitudes of MOLG and LGUs. The most

recent external diagnostic report on LG in the oPt 32 considers

the creation of such an accountability tool an innovative and

positive step towards enhancing citizen participation.

Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

17

Catalytic effect

While innovative and addressing a critical and relevant

democratic governance deficit, the project was not as catalytic

as it could have been. The tool is yet to become standard

practice in any LGUs and it does not appear to be used in all

the 15 municipalities it was tested on. It is apparently not

well publicized among key CSOs, donors or APLA, and does

not appear to have triggered more work in this field by other

stakeholders or the government. 33

According to our interviews with CO staff and the MOLG,

multiple stakeholders other than the municipalities were

involved in both the development and testing of the tool.

However, interviews with representatives of APLA, two NGOs,

NGO Development Centre (NDC) and AMAN, indicated that

they were not familiar with the tool. 34 The links with the UN

Democracy Fund project on corruption, which was managed

by another project manager within UNDP and implemented

by AMAN, were not explicit or sufficiently capitalized on, and

it is not clear how much interaction there was between the

two projects.

The project did not have an explicit outreach, dissemination

or partnership strategy during or after the tool development

process. Hard copies of the tool were apparently distributed to

the MOLG and municipalities. In our visit to one of them, we

were not able to find copies. It is not clear that key questions

were asked as to how to ensure that the tool will be legally

adopted and officially endorsed, including by government,

other donors and CSOs. The team’s conclusion based on

the meetings with stakeholders during the mission is thus

that the outputs achieved do not appear to have extended

yet beyond the confines of UNDP supported projects, or

triggered broader reforms. We received communication from

the Governance Advisor after the mission was completed

32 Local Governance Study 2009.

33 According to information provided by the Local Governance CTA in a second

round of comments after the mission was completed, the project ‘triggered

more work, since MoLG requested to apply it in all 132 municipalities and the

Municipal Development and Lending Fund decided to use the index as one

of the criteria components for its selection of municipalities in awarding its

offered projects.’ It is not clear to the team whether these led to further action

as it was not mentioned by any of the stakeholders we talked to about the

Municipal Development and Lending Fund.

34 In the case of APLA, this is likely due to the high turnover of leadership in

the organization, as interviews with both UNDP / PAPP staff and the MOLG

indicated that APLA was involved in the development and testing of the

tool. It is important to note that due to the short duration of the mission,

the team interviewed only the current Executive Director of APLA. According

to information provided by the Local Governance CTA after the mission was

completed, ‘there are 1000 copies in both Arabic and English available at

MoLG LGUs and APLA.’


that the project actually ‘provoked legal amendments of the

existing LG system to allow a better degree of transparency

and accountability for the first time ever in the oPt.’ 35

Sustainability

There was no provision in the project for measuring the impact

of the tool on changes in capacity, attitudes, perceptions and

ultimately performance of LGUs (and the broader enabling

environment) over time – measurements that, on the other

hand, go beyond the short-lived cycle of a DGTTF project.

The sustainability of the project, including creating continued

capacity to adjust and adapt the tool, can only be assured if

the project interventions are closely related to a longer-term

integrated anti-corruption and transparency governance

strategy. Part of such an integrated strategy would need to

include involvement of the State Audit and Administrative

Bureau and NGOs (such as AMAN and others) in the monitoring

process, as these have access to automated systems geared

at enhancing transparency and accountability. Inclusion of

the Palestinian Audit Bureau along with NGOs aids not only in

creating an enabling environment but also in strengthening

the key sustainability factor critical in such interventions.

The project was not part of earlier UNDP/PAPP Local

Governance Support Programmes which had focused largely

on physical and participatory planning and supporting

infrastructure for service delivery. The UNDP/PAPP 2008-

2011 strategic framework, however, incorporated a more

specific focus on supporting accountable and transparent

governance, including local governance, with ‘supporting

responsive governing institutions’ as one of two outcomes

under the democratic governance objective. The Governance

Team Leader informed the team after the mission was

completed that integrity and anti- corruption measures are

now one of the six pillars of agreement between the MOLG

and UNDP as designated in an MOU signed in March 2009.

This adds an important sustainability element to the project.

The project is thus clearly linked to the overall outcomes of

the CO strategic framework. However, it was not clear to the

team how strategically integrated the project was into the

broader democratic governance strategy of the office, both

substantively and operationally. The impression of the team

was that the project operated as a ‘stand alone’ initiative, and

may have been isolated from the mainstream programming

and operations of the office. Several relevant staff in the

governance unit whom the team interviewed were not

aware of the project or its results. The fact that the project

hired its own manager (who left once the project ended due

to lack of funds), as well as the apparently high turnover of

governance staff in the office during project implementation,

Local Governance in Complex Environments

18

may have contributed to this weak institutional memory.

The office, however, still has an opportunity to build on the

important foundations that the project has put into place

and to integrate the project more strategically into a broader

national transparency strategy and into its newly formulated

local governance programme. The Governance Team Leader

informed the team after the mission was completed that this

is indeed now happening, that integrity and anti-corruption

measures are currently one of the six pillars of agreement

between the MOLG and UNDP, as designated in an MOU

signed in March 2009, and that the MOLG has officially

requested UNDP/PAPP to design a second phase for the

project (2010-2012) to apply the toolkit to 132 municipalities.

This is an important achievement that would significantly

strengthen the sustainability element.

Relevance and strategic positioning

The project may have missed an opportunity to strategically

position UNDP as a key actor in the field of transparency at the

local level. However, this is a missed but not a lost opportunity,

as some seeds were clearly sown. Project resources were

limited and it is understandable that the small investment

available to the office was put into the tool development

process instead of developing a strong advocacy, marketing

and partnership strategy to make the tool more visible, attract

broader interest, and ensure its endorsement and application.

Still, the relationship with some key partners, such as specific

municipalities and the MOLG, was strengthened as a result of

the project. These relationships will be critical to enable the

office to deal with some of the current discomfort felt by some

segments of the MOLG once the tool has an opportunity to

find wider application.

35 According to information provided by the Local Governance CTA after

the mission was completed, ‘In 1997 the Palestinian Authority developed

law number one for local governments which does not articulate acts to

be taken by local governments to ensure transparency, accountability,

and community participation; moreover, this law held local governments

accountable to the Palestinian Authority and not to the community. In light

of the developed index and its application on select municipalities and

starting 2009, the time the PA is re-visiting the local governance system

and developing a local governance strategy which will logically require

comprehensive revision of the existing fragmented and relatively centralized

legal frame, MoLG expressed commitment to incorporate transparency,

accountability and community participation components in the new law and

procedures. Moreover, the current Minister of Local Government decided to

include the index as one of the components of the projects’ awarding criteria

that the Municipal Development and Lending Fund is currently using to

award projects to municipalities.’ This information was provided by the CTA

after the mission was completed and the team did not probe into it with

other stakeholders.


Lessons learned

1. Adopting a holistic, longer term approach is critical

for building responsive and accountable institutions.

The review of this project underlines the need to adopt a more

holistic and strategic approach when addressing challenges

with complex root causes, in this case corruption at the local

level in the context of an occupation. Creating an enabling

environment to fight corruption requires a long-term,

integrated strategy and structural reforms. A local governance

integrity tool as an entry point for addressing broader systemic

corruption issues is a pragmatic and potentially strategic one.

However, it needs to be an integrated element in a broader

strategy that can address issues of prevention, enforcement,

capacity- building, public participation, and strengthening of

both national and local institutions, working with other UN

agencies as well as the international community. ‘Stand alone’

projects that address only one element, are not implemented

within a broader set of reforms, or lack a longer-term vision

and strategy, risk having limited impact. A more integrated

strategy would also benefit from active involvement of the

Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Bureau in the

monitoring process through access to automated systems

geared at enhancing transparency and accountability.

2. In conflict contexts, flexibility and creativity in project

modalities and procedures are needed to adjust to

quickly changing scenarios.

A high degree of flexibility and creativity in project modalities

and procedures is necessary to be able to adapt project

activities and resources to fluid political situations and quickly

changing scenarios. A more context- and conflict-sensitive

approach to project design and implementation could have

potentially better anticipated and managed external risks and

led to adjusting the project after it was designed, in light of

some of the major changes that were bound to affect the

project, such as the split between the West Bank and the Gaza

Strip. While the project had already commenced, its approach

and planned activities were not significantly changed in

response to these developments. An explicit conflict-sensitive

approach will be required to prevent the results of the tool

application from being used as a weapon in internal political

struggles. 36

Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

19

3. Policy dialogue, advocacy, and partnership-building

are key.

When working on sensitive and potentially ‘risky’ issues, it is

critical that a sound technical approach is combined with

sustained high-level policy dialogue. Political commitment

by counterparts for such projects is likely to vary over time

and with changes in leadership. To manage these risks, and

make use of opportunities and momentum, key technical

elements of projects need to be supported by high-level

and sustained policy dialogue and explicit partnership

management. Advocacy and partnership-building should be

seen as integral elements of a strategy in support of technical

processes, and should be properly resourced. In the case of

this project, a stronger partnership with key CSOs, such as

AMAN, and the National Committee on Anti-Corruption, as

well as possible partnership with the Palestinian Legislative

Council and the Municipal Development Fund, may have

strengthened the effectiveness and catalytic effects of the

project. Building partnerships with institutions such as the

Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Bureau could

improve the monitoring process through providing access to

automated systems geared at enhancing transparency and

accountability. Project managers may need broader support

from senior management to take on these additional roles.

4. Full integration of DGTTF funds into CO programmes

is critical for sustainability and organizational learning.

To have sustained impact, DGTTF projects must be better

‘owned’ by the CO as evidenced by strong integration

within the overall longer-term country programme both

substantively and operationally. Allocating and committing

sufficient financial and human resources that match the

complexity of projects is also critical. Strategically positioning

UNDP in emerging, less conventional and ‘risky’ fields requires

engagement of both the project manager implementing the

project, as well as other staff and senior management. While

this is a CO responsibility, DGTTF guidelines and follow-up

should explicitly address this issue.

36 There are of course limits to flexibility in a context like the oPt which no

amount of creative programming can address. The impact of the Separation

Wall on LGUs and Palestinian communities as a major obstacle towards

developing a comprehensive strategic reform plan for LG is only one such

more recent example.


5. It is important to ensure that key donors are

aware of capacity-building tools, not only after

they are developed, but also early on in the

development process.

Getting an early degree of awareness and engagement

of donors in any capacity-building initiative (and tool

development process) during the development phase

increases the likelihood of such tools gaining early support

and eventual application. It is important to strive for this even

in the case of DGTTF-funded projects, since sustainability and

catalytic effects are important programme criteria. Donors are

often not interested in supporting a fully developed tool, even

if successful, if they have not been aware of its development

early on and ideally involved in some way through reviewing

it, participating in validation meetings, etc. This is even more

important in a context where (competitive) donor funding

and influence is massive as is the case in the oPt, where donor

coordination is weak, and where UNDP is a relatively small

player in terms of overall funds, compared to donors working

in the same area such as USAID, the World Bank and the EU.

In this context, harnessing more support for the project can

be part of a broader UNDP agenda to encourage donors to

enforce aid effectiveness and agreements that they have

either signed or ratified. Anticipating points of resistance and

sustained management of relationships with donors during

the project, as well as an outreach and dissemination strategy

once the tools are developed, are key activities. These often

require broader office engagement to ensure inclusion of

project initiatives in regular donor coordination platforms and

in ongoing policy and reform dialogues.

6. Ensure that expectations match reality.

Related to the above, it is necessary to be more realistic about

the potential effects of short- term outputs and timeframes in

achieving overarching and longer-term objectives, particularly

in highly precarious political contexts and in countries in

conflict. In situations with structural external constraints over

which UNDP usually has little control, causal links between

project outputs and impact should not be overstated.

Local Governance in Complex Environments

20

7. To strengthen DGTTF grant-making, follow-up and

support to COs, it would be important to differentiate

between types of contexts and strengthen partnerships

with relevant Regional Bureaux.

As a global fund, the DGTTF does not differentiate in its

grant-making criteria, timeframe, expectations, support, or

follow-up between different types of countries, and makes

no provision for the particularities of countries affected by

conflict in terms of programme design, support provided

or additional flexibility that may be required. Reviewing

the DGTTF funds allocation processes in light of different

types of support and criteria for different typologies of

countries, and incorporating a more structured and regular

methodology for both follow-up and ‘real time’ learning from

the field would enhance the overall impact of the Fund. It

would also generate more learning about the particularities

and complexities of programming in countries affected by

conflict. In this context, stronger partnerships between the

DGTTF and the Regional Bureaux are also recommended. This

would also bring innovative projects quickly to the attention

of the Bureaux and enable them to play a more proactive role

in supporting COs through increased visibility and advocacy

for such projects.


Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

Annex I – Codification

of tools and

instruments used

Assessment Toolkit for Promoting Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in

Palestinian Local Government Units. UNDP/PAPP in cooperation with the Ministry

of Local Government, the Palestinian Association of Local Government Units, and

the Municipalities of Tubas, Al-Mazra’a Al-Sharquia, and Hebron.

Available at http://www.undp.ps/en/newsroom/publications.html

The toolkit is designed to identify and measure the degree of integrity in the Local

Government Units (LGUs), to enable them to upgrade their tasks and functions.

It serves to enhance the performance of LGUs through identifying their strengths

and weaknesses, and thus improve their ability to provide services to citizens

effectively and consistently, serving as an instrument to guide reforms.

The toolkit can also be regarded as a means to deepen and strengthen the

principle of community participation in public affairs, through accountability and

transparency values, and fighting cronyism and corruption.

The toolkit aims at measuring:

a the quality of performance of the LGU with reference to integrity,

transparency and accountability, as well as its relations with citizens;

a the level of responsiveness of the LGU to the needs and rights of citizens;

a the availability of procedures and mechanisms to promote integrity and

fight corruption and abuse, as well as to promote transparency;

a the extent to which the public is able to question the LGU and evaluate

its performance;

a the degree of the compliance by the LGUS with prevailing laws

and regulations.

The compound toolkit consists of questionnaires targeting the municipality

and citizens, methods for carrying out focus groups and other interviews, and

revision and verification of public documents and records.

21


Local Governance in Complex Environments

Annex II – List of

persons interviewed

Isam Akel, Executive Director, APLA

Nasser Al Shaikh Al, Governance Sector Planning Directorate, Ministry of

Planning, PNA

Ibrahim Bisharat, DGTTF Project Manager at the time, UNDP

May Dagash, Programme Associate, Governance, UNDP/PAPP

Frank W. Ehling, Advisor APLA, German Development Service (DED)

Vanessa Farr, Social Development and Gender Advisor, UNDP/PAPP

Eng. Mazen Ghanaim, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Local Government, PNA

Reginald Graham, CTA Capacity Development, UNDP/PAPP

Maya Halaseh, staff member, Ministry of Planning, PNA

Shinji Hirose, Programme Analyst, Macro Economic Reform, UNDP/PAPP (and

currently in charge of the project following departure of project manager)

Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Ministry of Planning, PNA (and staff )

Shifa Jayousi, Programme Analyst, Governance Programme, UNDP/PAPP

Dr. Nu’man Kanafani, Director, MAS

Ghassan Kasabreh, NGO Development Center

Geoff Prewitt, Team Leader, Economic Development, Poverty

Reduction and Governance, UNDP/PAPP

Gerhard Pulfer, Governance Strategy Group Coordinator, UNDP

Raul Rosende, Peace and Development Advisor, UNDP

Zackaria Sabella, staff member, Ministry of Planning, PNA

Imad Saed, CTA Local Governance, UNDP/PAPP

Amjad Sharif, Programme Analyst, Civic Education Electoral Support, UNDP/PAPP

Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, Special Representative, UNDP/PAPP

Municipality of Tobas, Chairperson and member of the board of the Tobas Local

Council

Roberto Valent, Deputy Special Representative, UNDP/PAPP

Ghada Zughaiar, Director, AMAN-Coalition for Integrity and Accountability

22


Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Assessment

Annex III –

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24


United Nations Development Programme

Regional Centre Cairo

1191 Corniche El-Nil, Boulac

P.O. Box 982

11599 Cairo, Egypt

www.undp.org/arabstates

Bureau for Development Policy

Democratic Governance Group

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www.undp.org/governance

Oslo Governance Centre

2010

Inkognitogata 37, 0256 Oslo, Norway

www.undp.org/oslocentre May

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