Tajaawob is a Palestinian civil society programme that will support organised, unorganised, affiliated and unaffiliated civil society individuals and groups, to engage better with authorities. It will also have a strong emphasis on improving the responsiveness of local and national government towards citizens. The community and government strands of the programme will join up through the promotion of new or improved mechanisms and spaces for constructive dialogue between them. In two years, Tajaawob will pilot new, and improve existing, mechanisms and spaces for dialogue, will provide dynamic, transformational training to create a cadre of highly skilled advocacy activists, and will raise the voice of the marginalised through media.
By March 2015 we will have supported communities in the Jordan Valley, Um Salamona, Gaza City, Qalqilya to become active citizens, to engage with authorities. In these communities we will have improved the skills of 26 different lijanMahaliya (informal community groups, ‘local committees’) and linked them with other CSOs and NGOs to help them with campaigning. These groups will be equipped to hold authorities to account for their use of funds, their provision of services and their design of policy, and to address issues of corruption. We will also provide an enabling environment for these groups by setting up sessions for them to influence the authorities in particular on education , social assistance, water and sanitation and access to employment opportunities. We will use radio, television and social media to amplify the voice of community groups particularly marginalised groups through direct dialogue and debates with authorities. Tajaawob will fund tens of radio spots, four TV shows and social media platforms to act as a bridge between citizens and authorities.
We will also have trained and accompanied sixty activists to become highly skilled local cadre in advocacy via our Communications and Advocacy Leadership Programme (CALP). These activists will work with our community groups to design and implement their advocacy campaigns with authorities. We will fund the most innovative CALP graduates and university students to develop innovative engagement tools to use in our projects. In East Jerusalem we will have helped communities to map out the services and responsibilities of the Palestinian authority towards them and supported them to advocate to the PA and other authorities for improved services and status.
We will work with three key national Ministries of the PNA – helping them create and improve specific mechanisms for engagement with citizens. We will also work with the Ministry of Local Government on more general mechanisms and citizen training programmes for improved accountability. We will have supported the Ministry of Education piloting 8 new revitalised Parent-Councils,the Ministry of Social Affairs with 3 new cash assistance Community Social Protection Forums, and we will have set up a Citizen Planning portal for the three year rolling national planning process for the Ministry of Planning. As well as developing these mechanisms for dialogue, our projects with Ministries will focus on increasing their responsiveness towards citizens in their processes and practices and we will link them with our community level projects to test these mechanisms.
Tajaawob will emphasise structured learning and analysis within our projects. By September 2014 we will have developed 3 case studies on the human impact of improved engagement mechanisms, we will have collected data and perceptions feedback on the value of mechanisms, and by March 2015 we will have gathered evidence of what works and what doesn’t work in relation to the various tools and mechanisms we will have used to improve dialogue and accountability between civil society and the authorities. We will scale up the establishment of new mechanisms such as PTAs and Beneficiary forums as we learn the lessons from the early pilots.
We are targeting 4400 beneficiaries (i.e. those with direct involvement in the programme and their immediate circle of influence peers and family) through the various local community committees, direct engagement mechanisms, authorities, and NGOs. We also expect to reach a further 600,000 through social media, radio, TV and the replicated effect of our interventions.