West Bank/Gaza

Speeches Shim

2005 - 2007


In June 2005, USAID/OTI initiated a program in West Bank/Gaza in response to political openings following Palestinian leadership changes and Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank.


USAID/OTI’s program sought to:

  • Support emerging and democratic leaders in establishing community-based credibility; and
  • Strengthen constituencies for peace to generate grassroots demand for change in the West Bank and Gaza.


  • USAID/OTI sought to “preserve the moderate center” in Gaza through strengthening non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as constituencies for positive change to promote moderation and neutrality during a time of increased polarization. Activities were implemented to provide these NGOs with platforms to reassert their visibility within communities. An additional activity supported a farmers’ initiative to demonstrate positive change in their community in light of unfulfilled expectations of improved conditions in the post-disengagement period.
  • In the West Bank, USAID/OTI supported emerging democratic leaders to extend their outreach and solidify credibility with their constituents. Each additional activity strengthened the position of these moderate leaders in their communities.
  • A joint activity in West Bank and Gaza sought to identify the priorities of the Palestinian people. Eighteen focus groups discussed critical aspects of political transition in the Palestinian Territories, and the information was used to further refine and target USAID/OTI program development. Preliminary feedback from participants underscored the extent to which Palestinians felt that their expectations were not taken into consideration by the leadership and their frustration with the factional fighting. Participants in Gaza specifically noted the important role of NGOs in creating positive change in civil society.


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