Palestine Human Development Report 1998-1999

Development Studies Programme

 The Palestine Human Development Report is published periodically, and is the second Report following the Palestine Human Development Profile. The Report examines the factors that are necessary to maintain positive change, and to meet the many challenges facing the establishment of a modern Palestinian state, where sustainable human development can be achieved. The focus of the Report is on strengthening and empowering people and institutions. A participatory methodology was followed in its preparation, a reflection of the increasing cooperation between academic institutions, PNA institutions, NGOs and the private sector. This cooperation was tangibly demonstrated by the extent of public participation in the workshops that were convened in all parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the course of preparing the Report. The report is an academic research endeavour, characterized by objectivity. The official statistics issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics provided the basic data on which the findings of the Report are based, enriched by a series of studies and polls carried out by DSP. The Report presents a comprehensive view of the stage through which the Palestinian people are living, and offers recommendations for the roles of all sectors of society, and the general framework governing their relationship, with a view toward achieving optimal human development. It presents a holistic concept of development that combines social, cultural, economic and political dimensions and calls for expanding life opportunities and achieving the highest degree possible of social justice, while strengthening resolve to contribute to the process of development through practical measures on both the local and national levels. For human development places the human being at the centre, as the initiator of the development process and the beneficiary of its results. The Report calls for continued efforts to expand the scope available for development in Palestine. Among the most vital tasks on the agenda of the Palestinian negotiator is to expand the scope of collective choices for the Palestinian people in the context of achieving their national project. In this context, the Report calls for strengthening all efforts to achieve national unity and to exploit all available (although limited) resources in order to achieve a development structure characterized by institutions based on scientific and rational thinking. The Report calls for institutionalizing relations among the different sectors of society within the concept of full and effective partnership in the development process. Various studies have indicated a widespread desire among the public to participate in the development process, as well as an awareness that constraints of a general nature, both institutional and economic, hinder the participation of individuals in the development process. The Report underlines the importance of establishing a balance between external funding, which continues to be a vital and necessary source for the development process in Palestine, and self-financing.

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Editorial Board - CDS Birzeit, Palestine

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