Many Palestinians view their youth as the hope and future of Palestine. Palestinian youth have become actively engaged in the struggle for Palestinian independence, but in ways that are different from past generations. Youth are striving to make their voices heard to the international community while at the same time investing energy into their communities to make them better, more livable places. As a result, youth organizations have sprung up around Palestine in the past ten years offering youth the vehicle to improve their lives, the lives of their communities and their situation in the world.

While interning for a Palestinian NGO in Ramallah, I noticed that there was a clear three-tiered system in the development sector: International NGOs, Palestinian NGOs and Community Based Organizations (working on the local level). From exploring these three tiers I formulated the following research question:

What roles can Palestinian youth take in the design and implementation of youth programs in the NGO sector in order to improve communication and relationships between NGOs and youth?

I soon discovered that Palestinian youth organizations were innovative, creative and that the youth working in them enjoyed their jobs and truly believed their organizations to be making a difference in Palestinian society. International NGOs are the prime source of funding to many Palestinian NGOs. I found INGOs to be dedicated to Palestinian organizations but constrained by politics from their home country and regulations from the Israeli government. I came to the conclusion that INGOs should take a closer look at their development strategies and question how the Israeli Occupation impacts their approach to the Palestinian development sector


Politics and Social Change