2015 Activities

Officials of Social Affairs from the Qalqilia governorate respond to Beneficiaries’ Concerns during a Meeting Held by AMAN

Officials of Social Affairs from the Qalqilia governorate respond to Beneficiaries’ Concerns during a Meeting Held by AMAN

The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity– AMAN held a community meeting in Qalqilia, which was attended by more than 20 members of the Beneficiaries’ Council from the Qalqilia governorate including beneficiaries from Azoon and Habla towns. Representatives present included the General Director of Social Affairs Mr. Yahya Jayousi, representatives from the Tajaweb project, and from AMAN.

Ms. Viola Attalah, Tajaweb’s project manager opened the meeting by welcoming the participants. She indicated that this session comes within the framework of creating a dialogue between the beneficiaries and the Directorate of Social Affairs.  She added that such sessions will allow the beneficiaries to put forth their problems with the aim of overcoming them through dialogue with officials from the social affairs services.  These sessions are intended to promote social accountability which in turn will be a contributing factor in impacting decision makers as those in power become aware of citizens’ woes and concerns.

On the other hand, the facilitator of the session, Mr. As’ad Abd-Alazis, emphasized the importance of beneficiaries’ councils role in representing individuals from all over the governorate and ensuring that their concerns and inquiries are heard by the various directories of social affairs.  Within this context, many of the difficulties faced by the beneficiaries were raised; most important of which are: lack of information about the aid program provided by the ministry, mechanism of entitlement and ending it, lack of knowledge of related laws that regulate the work of social affairs,  rights of beneficiaries, and assistance provided to them.

Social affairs provides assistance to 3000 families in the Qalqilia governorate

The Director of Social Affairs in Qalqilia, Mr. Jayousi expressed his readiness to provide the necessary services to help the beneficiaries.  In this regard, he presented a summary of the work mechanism applied symbolized by a computerized system for the study of social cases, which is followed by field visits to present the cases and also the dissemination of assistance whether it is cash, health insurance, or school exemptions.  He pointed out that social affairs provide aid to 3000 families in the governorate.  In addition, he presented the equation that takes into account health care, chronic diseases and the number of family members.  He noted that aid provided by social affairs is considered a temporary phase that aims to alleviate the difficult socio-economic situation of the beneficiaries.

Many questions and adequate responses

Mr. Jayousi responded to the beneficiaries’ various questions and issues whether on the conditions of entitlement, mechanisms used for assessing cases, reasons for stopping aid, and economic empowerment projects. This created a comfortable atmosphere as well as worked to build trust between the two parties.

At the end of the session, participants agreed on a series of future activities and meetings that included holding awareness workshops on the rights of beneficiaries, mass meetings with the Directorate of Social Affairs to discuss problems encountered by beneficiaries, public hearing sessions to hold decision makers accountable on important and viable issues of citizens such as health, education, and humanitarian aid. 
It is worth mentioning that AMAN signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation (MoU) last year with the Ministry of Social Affairs which included the formation of councils of the beneficiaries in the governorates of Qalqilia, Bethlehem, and Nablus. The aim of the MoU is to promote social accountability hence ensuring that the voice of the people reaches decision makers. It also aimed at developing policies that contribute to improving lives of citizens.

It is worthy to note that the Tajaweb project is implemented in cooperation with the British Council and Palestinian Vision. It is funded by the International Development- UK. The project aims to promote and strengthen relationships between the local community and decision-makers with the aim of establishing community groups (local committees, beneficiaries’ councils, etc.) that are empowered and able to follow-up on the various social issues that concern citizens including holding officials accountable.

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