Project Factsheet
Tools for » Culture and Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Project ID:00067194Description:MDGF-1841-G-PAL Culture and De
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 5 Nov 2007
MDGF Culture & Development
End Date*: 30 Nov 2012
Country: Occupied Palestinian Territory Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The Joint Programme (JP) was built to contribute to the Palestinian Reform and Development plan (PRDP) and in support of the 2007 visionary National Palestinian Plan for Culture (NPPC). It targeted two outcomes: a) revision of policies and practices and piloting activities contributing to the safeguarding of cultural heritage are established and implemented and b) to contribute to institutional development. At the same time, the potential of cultural and eco-tourism as well as creative industries for economic growth and social cohesion is supported to contribute to socio-economic development. The JP used an integral and holistic approach for the promotion of cultural diversity as an avenue for development.

At the policy level, activities focused on either amending or developing regulatory laws (ex: Law of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Palestinian Cultural Heritage Law), developing a culture sector strategy, developing Palestinian cultural indicators, and establishing an inventory of moved artifacts in the MoTA (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities). The JP provided revised or produced national laws aligned with international conventions to replace the different laws applied in different areas that were not coherent and largely overlapped. In addition the JP presented integrated policies through the elaboration and implementation of guidelines, charters and cultural management plans.

At the operational level, the JP produced an integrated management plan for Sabastiya that is the first of its model, as a venue for cultural tourism and socio-economic development. The media also contributed to the promotion of cultural and eco-tourism as well as that of creative industries as drivers for economic growth. Specific research and analysis was undertaken and capacity building programmes were launched in relation to creative industries (that suffer from weak institutional and political support and low levels of entrepreneurial capability), and eco-tourism (that has the potential to become a major economic development driver). The creative industry targeted youth, and particularly young women, trained by international experts on producing marketable products incorporating traditional hand crafted products (e.g. home appliances, light fixtures and jewelry). Under the eco-tourism component capacity building was accompanied by the creation of a network for experimental tourism that adopted a holistic approach and linked different actors together.

Other activities included a large number of cultural events held in targeted communities such as festivals, conferences, exhibitions, theatre plays, traditional dancing and music concerts, to facilitate access of the targeted communities to cultural events.

On important aspect is that for all outputs, gender mainstreaming and capacity development were considered cross-cutting themes throughout the JP.


Outcome 1: 

Institutional development: policies and practices for safeguarding cultural heritage are established as a contribution to the updating of the PRDP and implemented in the selected areas.

Outcome achievements:

  • Within this outcome one objective was to build the local capacities of four ministries (Ministry of Culture (MOC),  Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA), Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), civil society organizations and individuals to upgrade and implement the NPPC focusing on three components: tangible heritage, intangible heritage, and creative industries.
  • The JP developed the culture sector strategy based on a revision of the NPPC. The JP implemented several training programmes delivered by international and local experts. These included: Gender Mainstreaming and Culture training workshop targeting 30 participants from relevant ministries; Museum Exhibition Development and Curatorial Practices targeting 33 young creative professionals from ministries and NGOs; Strategic Protection of the Palestinian Cultural Heritage targeting 34 participants from both West Bank and Gaza; Development and Management of Database targeting 3 personnel of the newly created database at the Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage and one representative from Gaza; and Culture Management Training (CMT)  targeting representatives of 20 organizations active in the field.
  • At the national level, the JP created socially responsible partnerships with established Palestinian art groups and cultural organizations to create a space for rights to culture and dialogue.  The JP supported MoTA’s strategy by contributing to the enhancement of a private/public partnership (PPP) to promote cultural and agro-.tourism development in a selected number of cultural and natural heritage sites by providing these sites with basic facilities and infrastructure to encourage national and international access, and expending the tourist offer by combining the programming of cultural events with the exploitation of sites of cultural and natural significance.  The JP contributed to the establishment of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Research and Documentation unit based at MoC including the nucleus of the National Inventory of the Palestinian ICH.
  • The JP provided a thorough analysis of cultural and eco-tourism and well as of creative industries. Results were communicated and adopted by related ministries that started the implementation of the recommendations. The JP produced a comprehensive model of integrated replicable actions that build and complement each other on both national and local levels.


Outcome 2:

Socio-economic development: the potential of cultural and eco-tourism as well as of creative industries for inclusive economic growth and social cohesion is identified and enhanced.

Outcome achievements:

  • All implemented activities under the socio-economic component substantiated that culture serves as a vehicle for socioeconomic development and that it can contribute to the attainment of the MDGs with special emphasis on poverty reduction and women’s empowerment. In total the JP undertook 17 different activities structured to achieve the two outcomes.
  • Within UN organizations, culture related activities are now part of all UN agencies’ strategic plans.  Holding a range of cultural events led to some communities being more open to cultural events (particularly in conservative communities).  The activities targeted different groups: ministries personnel, professionals, selected young designers, women entrepreneurs, and youth. The total number of direct beneficiaries was 73,401 (of which 27,255 women) and indirect beneficiaries were 35,949 (of which 18,014 women).
  • In terms of capacity development 346 ministries personnel were trained, 263 designers, young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs received training courses and practical experiences that enhanced their socio-economic conditions. Some of the positive results of the target beneficiaries included: more than 50% of the partners that participated in the cultural development efforts were able to raise funds for initiatives that build upon the JP results.  131 young designers and women entrepreneurs saw their income and self-esteem increase through either being hired based on the skills gained, or through receiving seed funds to start up their culture related micro-projects.
  • The JP supported the creation of various networks with a view to contributing to the sustainability of the process (NEPTO, composed of 15 members, Al Housh e-commerce portal, and informal NGO networks as well as inter-ministerial cooperation particularly between MOTA and MOC). Through the networks’ activities various results were achieved that raised income, improved self-esteem and made beneficiaries more independent and productive. Some examples are the marketing initiatives and the establishment of a shop run by 7 newly established women associations, or marketing of jewelry on Al Housh portal, trainers were contracted by other UN agencies in other programmes (UNESCO, UNRWA) and direct support to 15 micro-projects were undertaken in both West Bank and Gaza.


Best practices:

  • Culture CSOs played a key role in developing, reviewing and giving feedback on all produced laws, plans and strategies.
  • The mid-term and final evaluations were carried out in a multi-stakeholder manner that led to positive revisions and improvement plans.
  • Special coordination efforts were carried out with the JP on Gender that enhanced exchanges, lessons learnt and best practices.
  • The establishment of a Programme Management Team (PMT) which included representatives of all partners to follow up on the operational level of the programme implementation.
  • The placement of two full time coordinators at the two main line ministries facilitated the implementation of the JP and contributing to building local capacities through exchange of know-how and technical and managerial skills.
  • The co-chairing of the lead agency and the two main line ministries (rotating) of the programme management Committee 



Lessons learned:

  • More time needs to be allocated to the design phase.
  • Arabic should be included as an official JP language, as some national counterparts could not communicate in English.
  • All partners should be included in the M&E of the JP (NSC members, local communities, target groups).
  • A sustainability plan should be developed at the design phase of the JP.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Occupied Palestinian Territory or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Loris Elqura, Coordination Officer; Telephone: 972-2568 7271; Email:; Skype: loris.elqura
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