The mid-term review focused on assessing the progress of the project so far, and considering improvements to the d elivery of PNGO IV. It is an occasion for self-analysis within partner NGOs, NDC and the donors. Consequently, the mid-term review provides an opportunity to strengthen systems of social accountability within the PNGO IV project. This in-depth 10 day mission gave ample opportunity for critical analysis, the recognition of successes and canvassing of beneficiary opinion as the donor community, NDC and local NGOs plot a path to ever more efficient and responsive development initiatives.
Beginning with a visit to four PNGO IV partner NGOs in Jerusalem and four in the West Bank, the mission had an opportunity to talk directly to partners and beneficiaries. The Jerusalem trip had a particular focus on providing services to children and the marginalized. The Saraya Center and Sharek Youth Forum, both based in the Old City, provide a creative and academic outlet for young Jerusalemites who otherwise remain marginalized in a severely underserved area. The Beit Duqqo Development Society (Beit Duqqo) and Women’s Center – Shu’fat Camp also provide crucial economic empowerment and human rights services for extremely marginalized sectors of the population. The corresponding field visit to the north of the West Bank met with project officers and beneficiaries of two NGOs who have benefitted from NDC’s technical assistance programs. The Arab Women’s Union Society and Women For Life (based in Nablus and Salfit respectively) have benefitted from financial, administration and monitoring and evaluation training under PNGO IV. This feature of the project emphasizes the importance of investing in the organizational stability and sustainability of partner NGOs. NDC is committed to supporting a durable and empowered community. The Mother’s School Society in Nablus and Elderly Home Charitable Society in Jenin both offer priceless support to two of the most marginalized groups in the community. The educational projects of the Mother’s School empower forgotten mothers and the Elderly Home Charitable Society is providing for the wisest members of our society, so often forgotten by emerging generations. The West Bank mission was glad to have an opportunity to visit partners and beneficiaries from a wide range of localities, benefitting from a wide range of services (services for children, women and the elderly as well as economic empowerment initiatives). What unites each partner is a commitment to supporting the most vulnerable.
In Gaza, the mission team visited three NGOs using PNGO IV support to respond to the needs of the disabled, vulnerable children and those economically disadvantaged in rural areas. The Society for the Care of the Handicapped in the Gaza Strip focuses on expanding the services available to disabled children and also the skills of their families to respond appropriately to the challenges their offspring face. This nuanced approach ensures that caring for the disabled becomes integrated in the social fabric, rather than the remit of a unique and isolated care center. Continuing the theme of projects aiming for broader societal impact, the mission visited the Gaza Culture and Development Group. This partner NGO is in the process of rehabilitating libraries in government schools throughout the Gaza Strip. In a small strip of land currently suffering from severe unemployment and social depravation, the benefit of providing educational resources to the generation who must navigate such a precarious existence is clear. By providing the space for interpretation and articulation, the library project provides an element of psychological freedom in an environment of physical strangulation. Finally, the mission visited The Palestinian Center for Organic Agriculture Association. The association provides training for young farmers in organic farming and the facilities to grow produce. In this case, beneficiaries receive practical assistance (greenhouses for example) and the training to ensure that such an initiative is sustainable.
A number of important meetings were also held with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of State for Wall and Settlement Affairs. NDC and the mission where delighted to have an opportunity to meet with representatives of the PA. PNGO IV has proved hugely successful and cooperation with the PA remains essential if the duplication of services is to be avoided. Furthermore, NDC was pleased to discuss the potential for partnership with those line ministries who would benefit most from the mechanism’s experience and expertise.
NDC Director, Ghassan Kasabreh, is pleased that so much ground was covered during the mission: “the recent mid-term review has given the donors, NDC, partner NGOs and the beneficiaries the chance to take an active role in improving the already hugely successful PNGO IV project. It was heartening to see how committed each stakeholder is to this development initiative, and the wonderful achievements of our inspiring NGO partners. I am confident that the challenging strategic questions posed during the mission will only advance the effectiveness of PNGO IV and the NDC mechanism”.
NDC looks forward to the remainder of the PNGO IV Project motivated by the direct involvement of partners and beneficiaries, and the knowledge and insight of AFD and the World Bank.