1 March - 31 December 2017

 
 

Background

In light of recent events in the Palestinian community and the repercussions of the internal political divide, which has deeply fragmented 74% of the community according to opinion polls prepared by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, REFORM decided to take initiative and find solutions to these issues.

Many of these issues included the Supreme Court's decision to temporarily halt the local elections and clashes between refugee camps and security bodies which came to an all time high during the month of Ramadan 2016, leading to five citizen deaths in the town of Ya’bed. The attacks threaten civil peace processes, negatively affect stability and social peace processes and undermine the foundations of the Palestinian state, complicating the path of liberation. Another issue at hand is the rise of family disputes that lead to crime and murder. Furthermore, a very critical matter is the lack of Palestinian jurisdiction in Jerusalem, which prevents law enforcement authorities from performing their duties appropriately, making open platforms for criminal activity and drug crimes since there is no rule of law set in stone.

Following these issues, the media has played a very detrimental role in the civil peace movement, as much of the information given is false and incite violence. It has clearly been witnessed that truthfulness and cautiousness is not a priority for the majority of media or educational institions. REFORM held a number of consultation meetings for the purpose of forming a civil peace coalition, meeting with various human rights and women and youth organizations in order to find solutions to these incidents. After many meetings, the Civil Peace Coalition was formed, consisting of: REFORM, The Palestinian Initiative for Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy- MIFTAH, the Women Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), the Human Rights and Democracy Media Center (SHAMS), ACT- Alternative Dispute Resolution and Studies, and Raya FM. 

About the Project

This project is designed to contribute to producing a breakthrough in the current state of deadlock, increasing broad-based monitoring of civil peace, producing policy suggestions to the government with regard to defragmentation and affective resonance between different social components, initiating and practicing the watch dog role on governmental policies’ responsiveness to citizens’ needs in the different areas, fostering equal access to proper participation in decision-making processes and enhancing good governance.

It aims to do so by establishing safe acting platforms where the younger generation, including professionals and researchers, may come together – irrespective of their political or ideological background – to discuss key issues of concern and to identify directions for action, together with civil society and governmental influencers. This project works on both the grassroots and the institutional levels to rethink the current governance system and remedy the democratic deficit in Palestinian society.Through creating an observatory for civil peace and leading a social transformation capacity building program, together with action research for policy amendments,  REFORM will work on developing social accountability and partnerships in decision-making processes, as well as developing participants' leadership skills through equipping young leaders with tools to aid in effective debate and advocacy.

Project Goal

To establish an annual conference in order to promote civil peace in Palestine by enhancing civic participation and monitoring processes of the responsiveness of public policies, mainly through tackling the issues of weapons spread, the role of media, services provision, participation and jurisdiction.

Outcomes of the Project

  1. Enhanced community awareness on the subjects of: weapons spread, role of media in civil peace, refugees’ services provision, participation of women and youth from hard to reach communities (mainly area C, Jerusalem and refugee camps), and jurisdiction in Jerusalem district-  through publicized action research.
  2. Increased Palestinian public's access to information and opportunities to voice their needs through an interactive online platform, informative booklet, radio episodes and annual conference.
  3. Palestinian leadership is sensitized to the needs of the people, youth in particular, and their aspirations for a more inclusive and democratic governing systems allowing them to voice their needs , and contributing for youth restoring their faith in official politics.
  4. Enhanced acceptance of the public’s participation, especially youth, in regulatory processes.
  5. Developed understanding amongst citizens of the various social components, diminishing stereotypical thinking of one another based on geographical area or status.
  6. Reduced antagonism in the community by diminution of false information (on social media) that harms civil peace and learned methods on conflict resolution.

To view the results of the first Civil Peace and Rule of Law Conference, click HERE.

To view the final statement following the second Civil Peace and Rule of Law Conference, click HERE

For the Final Project Report, click HERE.