The participants stressed the necessity of rebuilding and strengthening the confidence among Palestinian NGOs, NGOs, youth, and official institutions in Jerusalem to ensure complementary work and participatory group decision-making.
THE CREATION OF A YOUTH-BASED MOVEMENT IN JERUSALEM
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development – REFORM, in cooperation with the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN, launched the Jerusalem Integrity Council with the attendance and participation of several civil society organizations, youth activists, and the Jerusalem Governorate.
It is worth mentioning that the Jerusalem Integrity Council aims to create a Jerusalemite youth-based movement that ensures social accountability in the city of Jerusalem and strengthens the role and involvement of young Jerusalemites in developing strategies and policies that would guarantee the improvement of services provided to its citizens. It also seeks to disseminate the spirit of community accountability among the institutions that manage public affairs.
COMMUNITY ACCOUNTABILITY IN JERUSALEM
Mr. Nadim Qandil, the Project Officer at REFORM, started the session by explaining the Council’s importance, role, and purpose of its establishment. He went through the different stages of establishment, formation, and empowerment, up to the final stage which entails the approval of the members of the constituent body and the code of conduct that regulates the Council’s work. Moreover, Mr. Qandil pointed out that it was agreed to form a founding body of 14 members, 7 individuals and 7 civil society organizations, for one year. He continued to explain that the importance of this Council lies in promoting and developing the work of the private sector and enhancing the concept and tools of community accountability in Jerusalem. In addition, it is necessary to rebuild and strengthen the confidence among Palestinian NGOs, NGOs, youth, and official institutions in the city to ensure complementary work and participatory group decision-making.
The Code of Conduct, which was developed through focal meetings with several Jerusalem institutions and youth groups, was also presented. It contained many ethical values that would oversee the work of the council, membership requirements, and guidelines that would promote good governance of the Council’s members and role. At the end of the meeting, the attendees approved the Code of Conduct after making the required amendments which would be presented to the constituent body in their first meeting. The constituent body invited all official institutions to join the general body of the Jerusalemite Integrity Council.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The launch of the Jerusalem Integrity Council is part of the Partnership and Cooperation Program with the Aman Coalition, which is funded by the governments of Norway, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Its aim is to enhance the transparency of service delivery to Jerusalemites and reduce the overlap and conflict of projects, initiatives, and activities carried out by civil institutions, semi-official bodies, financiers, and official institutions in the city. Also, it seeks to engage all sectors of civil society, including Palestinian civil society organization in Jerusalem to strengthen their oversight role in managing public finances and affairs, fighting corruption, and promoting a culture of social accountability.