DAY 1 AGENDA


Sessions List

  • Introducing the conference
  • The Agenda
  • Aim: Appropriate resilience to the Palestinian context
  • Objective: Resilience Fund

Outcome

This session will provide attendees with an introduction and background on resilience and resilience-building theory, policy, and practice globally. Moreover, this session seeks to set the tone on the applicability of resilience and resilience-based theory in the occupied Palestinian territories. In doing so, resilience as a concept will be explored and addressed in conjunction with the Palestinian principle of ‘sumud’, or ‘steadfastness’. In this light, this session will broadly address;

  • What is resilience?  How can resilience be utilised as a framework to effectuate humanitarian and development aid in the oPt? Provide a historical overview of Palestinian Sumud or steadfastness, and explore the connection between resilience and sumud;
  • How resilience and resilience-based thinking applies to the National Policy Agenda and other mechanisms to assist the Palestinian Authority in their development and nation-building agenda.

The session will help provide an overall understanding of resilience, how it is applicable to the Palestinian context, and how it can be used to further developmental ends.

Speakers

TBC

Format

This particular session will be split into two parts. The first part will consist of presentations from three relevant speakers, who will each address one of the above topics. They will be given 20 minutes to provide an overview of their section. The second section of the session will be a panel discussion that aims to weave the three topics together, in order or provide an overall understanding of what resilience would mean in the Palestinian context, and how it would influence policy-making.

The main aim is to communicate the interconnected nature of the three topics, and to demonstrate how resilience is relevant to the Palestinian context.

Context

 

The “fight” for Jerusalem puts East Jerusalem (EJ) among the most contested regions in the oPt, resulting in East Jerusalemites’ daily exposure to the occupation and its forces. This reality makes the need for resilient communities particularly crucial, if Palestinians are to maintain Jerusalem as its cultural capital, and preserve vibrant communities within the city. Regardless of the fact that EJ faces almost constant encroachment physically, socially, and symbolically, EJ has been able to maintain its Palestinian character, identity, and ability to advocate for Palestinian statehood since 1967. For all intents and purposes, EJ has already proven its resiliency.

 

However, the near constant disruption to EJ’s societal structure, due to the longevity of the occupation and the violence, oppression, and humiliation that come with it, means that the societal fabric that has kept these networks resilient is being eroded. Humanitarian action and development, and particularly actors such as the UNDP, can have a role to play in reinforcing a resilient EJ due to their sheer capacity and resources. In order for this to be effective however, a shift in approach must take place, from short- to long-term strategic thinking, as the current aid structure does not effectively contribute to resiliency in EJ, and in some instances, may even hinder it.

 

Outcome

 

This session will aim to provide attendees who are engaged (or interested) in humanitarian action and development in East Jerusalem, with a new approach to reinforcing resiliency for the betterment of Palestinians and the Palestinian state-building project. Maintaining resiliency in East Jerusalem is of critical importance to achieving these ends, and it is important that the right approach by the international community is utilized to protect EJ resiliency.

 

The session will ask five central questions to properly understand the context of resiliency in EJ and the role that humanitarian and development actors currently, and could potentially, play in resiliency building:

 

  1. What are the current methods of humanitarian action and development in East Jerusalem, and do they contribute to bolstering resiliency?
  2. What is resiliency in the East Jerusalem context?
  3. How is resiliency being eroded and what can be done to bolster it in East Jerusalem?
  4. Key to a resilient Palestinian East Jerusalem is the maintenance of the Palestinian character of the city. How then can humanitarian and development actors tailor their agenda using a “resilient” perspective to reinforce EJ’s Palestinian character?
  5. Finally, should the international community engage in EJ and/or lobby/advocate and campaign to hold Israel responsible for its obligations to Palestinian residents in EJ?

 

The outcome will be a clear understanding of the current practises of humanitarian and development actors in EJ and their implications, and potential, for resiliency building in East Jerusalem. For the actors themselves, the outcome will be methods to better bolster the absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacity of East Jerusalem in the face of the continued occupation.

 

Speakers

 

TBC

 

Format

 

This session will be a moderated panel discussion. The discussion will center around unpacking the current aid structure and how it either contributes to or does not contribute to resiliency in East Jerusalem.

 

As the issues that pertain to East Jerusalem are practical in nature, and resiliency is not something that is necessarily tangible, it is important to have those influential community actors speak to EJ and its resiliency. The same can be said for the need to bring the experiences of foreign actors, who are able to highlight the current strategies in place.

 

The aim will be to bring these two groups together to facilitate meaningful discussions on devising a consensus about next steps to take to bolster resiliency in East Jerusalem.  A facilitator will summarize and proceed with question/answer and recommendations at the end of the session.  

Outcome

 

This session seeks to ground the more theoretical aspects of Session 1, in the current reality of the Palestinian context. This will be achieved by detailing the applicability of resilience in the specific case of communities in Area C.

 

At the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Have a clear understanding of what a resilient Area C would look like;
  • The path to building resilience in Area C;
  • How this corresponds to the Palestinian Authority’s plan for Area C.

The outcome will thus be an understanding of what a resilient community in Area C would constitute; knowledge of the potential pathways to ensuring resilience in Area C; and in what way the Palestinian planning authorities are supporting, and can further, resilience in Area C.

 

Speakers

 

TBC

 

Format

 

This session will primarily be a panel discussion, with a brief introduction from the panelists on what they see to be the major issues currently inhibiting resilience in Area C. This introduction can be done within the panel format, where the moderator provides each speakers with a few minutes to raise their opinion on:

 

  1. What is currently inhibiting the development of resilience in Area C;
  2. What can be done to promote further resilience within these communities?

Following this initial introduction, the moderator will probe by asking leading question from each of the panelists. Ideally these questions will be ones that prompt discussion and collaboration rather than simple agreement.

 

Potential questions could include:

 

  • What would resilience look like in Area C, at the individual and community levels?
  • What has the international community been doing to help promote resilience?
  • What can the international community do better?
  • What are the roles for each stakeholder (PA, UN, Local councils, donors) in building such resilience?

The session could conclude with an open discussion, with questions from the audience and from other panellists. The primary aim is to have a lively and informative discussion.

Outcome

 

Given the ongoing siege and harsh conditions in Gaza, these serious barriers to recovery and reconstruction suggest that the notion of resilience building in Gaza is essential to ensuring its continued viability. This session will therefore go beyond detailing the systematic issues facing Gaza, and will detail how resilience can be fostered within the current circumstances, and contribute to a change of paradigm within Gaza itself. Already, there is no doubt that Gaza represents the core principles of resilience; its population has endured war, blockade, and poverty. This session will seek to provide a path of how this spirit can be institutionalised and inform policy towards the Strip.

 

In order to achieve this goal, the session will broadly:

 

  • Provide a thorough overview of the current situation in Gaza, its causes, and possible solutions;
  • Detail a path to move beyond reconstruction and humanitarian aid towards fostering resilience;
  • Begin to articulate policies that would allow the attainment of such ends.

 

Much of the existing literature on Gaza is right in pointing out that the siege is the main barrier facing ordinary Gazans. However, in the absence of a viable peaceful resolution, the development and aid community must seek innovative and new solutions to ensure the viability of Gaza within existing conditions.

 

Speakers

 

TBC

 

Format

 

The speakers will each have 20 minutes to present an overall vision of Gaza, with challenges and opportunities in mind. A facilitator will summarize and administer the Q&A period. Following this, the panel will present their set of guidelines and recommendations to the international assistance community.

Outcome

 

Economic development is a crucial aspect of building resilience in any community, but particularly within the Palestinian context. The particular political situation means that economic potential is severely limited by external forces outside of the control of the usual economic actors. Manufacturing, trade, and consumption are all beholden to the occupation. As such, there is a need to develop an approach that takes into account this reality, while also making progress in realising Palestine’s potential for broad-based economic growth and full employment.

 

Therefore, this session will:

  • Identify specific areas for growth and development, and the strategies that will achieve and sustain them;
  • Explore opportunities to limit the dependency on the Israeli market by encouraging the growth of local industries;
  • Recommendations and guidelines to resurrect dormant or shrinking sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

 

Speakers

 

TBC

 

Format

 

Each speaker will have 20 minutes to present on their given topic. Following these individual presentations, a facilitator will summarize and take questions from the audience. In the final 10 minutes of the session, the moderator will provide a conclusion and a consensus on the path forward.