Learning from Community-led Resilience Responses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Since 2015, L2GP (Local to Global Protection) has worked with the YMCA East Jerusalem Women’s Development Program (EJYMCA) in Palestine to co-develop and test practical ways for vulnerable communities in the West Bank to design and implement their own protection and resilience responses. EJ-YMCA, together with Christian Aid, started to support communities in making their own Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (PVCA) and subsequent action plans in order to revive ownership, trust, social activism and hope. Later L2GP, DanChurchAid and Church of Sweden joined these efforts and worked with EJ-YMCA and eight selected communities to develop and test additional elements from the emerging survivor and communityled crisis response (sclr) approach. This included the use of community cash grants4 as a direct means for five of these communities to identify and implement their own resilience and protection responses.

After two years of piloting these approaches, an evaluation was concluded in January 2018. Key findings of this evaluation supplemented by on-going project monitoring, feedback consultations and a cross learning event with communities are presented in this paper. The findings suggest that PVCA and elements of the survivor and community-led crisis response (sclr) were found to be effective in enabling communities to identify and address protection and resilience through their own initiatives and in accordance with their own priorities. These approaches were also found to foster community resilience and spur a sense of dignity along with a revival of an otherwise faltering culture of volunteerism. The PVCA and sclr approaches also appeared to empower women and youth at individual, family, and community levels as well as being a useful tool for communities to hold local authorities accountable and push them to deliver on for instance essential services. 

Published 2018-11-01