The Center for Development Studies (CDS) was established in 1997. CDS critically engages theories and concepts of development by situating and analyzing them within Palestinian colonial realities. CDS investigates the linkages between the economic, social and political determinants of development and the overlapping structures of power and colonial conditions that preclude sustainable development. The Center’s produce academic knowledge which aims to provide a re-reading of development in the Palestinian context. We engage policymakers through the formulation of national plans, and the promotion of alternative development policies. We are also involved in community grassroots development.

CDS combines theory and practice through its various academic research, policy-related work, and community-oriented activities.  These include seminars, workshops, survey research, and assessment studies. Through collaboration with local and international institutions, the Center coordinates numerous academic research projects on various developmental issues. CDS also actively takes part in community-based projects, seeking to empower marginalized groups and integrate them into the development process. Our activities are monitored by a committee of academic and administrative staff members of Birzeit University, that provides the center with both technical and academic support.

Over the years, CDS has built an extensive network of partnerships comprised of grassroots organizations, non-governmental and international organizations, and universities. The Center has also implemented projects in neighboring countries, particularly in cooperation with Palestinian diaspora and refugee communities. CDS receives support and funding from numerous local and international donors; for further detail, please see our partners page.