PASSIA Governance Project

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:: Introduction

According to the UNCHR, governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights. This must be accomplished in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law. Governance can also apply to social structures and processes that can ensure the proper utilization of national resources and capacities.

The PASSIA project Promoting Good Governance is based on the notion that the achievement of good governance is a learning process that could be most effectively assisted by capitalizing upon the experiences of other emerging democracies or states in transition. It aims to help develop a responsive, efficient and credible public sector, with a transparent legal system and independent judicial institutions. The latter is particular important given the fact that in countries transitioning to democracy, and the Palestinian case is a good example, the system is often weak and torn between incompatible institutional mandates and traditions. Moreover there is often a tendency to revert to more familiar patterns of authoritarianism - as displayed in the neighboring Arab states - and abuse of power rather than fostering the rule of law.

PASSIA's project consists of a workshop and a research/database component to analyze both the Palestinian democratization experience as well as the lessons and pitfalls of other countries in their attempts to promote and introduce concepts of participation, decentralization, accountability, transparency and rule of law. The project thus targets local and international experts/expertise in the field of governance, with the focus being on the following four sub-topics: Rule of Law, Democracy/Democratization, Decentralization and Local Government , and, State-Society Relations .

The workshop component is based on the following process:

  1. A series of brainstorming sessions and roundtable discussions involving Palestine-based civil society activists and practitioners from a wide range of institutions, NGOs and donor organizations to identify existing work undertaken locally in the subject area as well as main topics to focus on with regard to the Palestinian case. Within this framework, local speakers may prepare and present papers to be discussed either with a wider audience or with special focus groups.

  2. Based on the results of the preparatory sessions, explicit topics for a workshop with expert speakers from other emerging democracies/countries in transition will be selected. In the workshop itself, these expert speakers will present illustrative cases. PASSIA believes that by looking at what others have to say about success and strategic failures on the road to functioning democratic and legal systems new methods that would assist in the search for good governance practices could be developed for the Palestinian case.

  3. The results of the previous sessions will then be discussed by local practitioners with the aim of finding ways to introduce and implement necessary future projects and policies at a national Palestinian level. The proceedings and recommendations of the workshops are then published in a booklet.


:: Meetings & Workshops on Governance   

:: Database (NEW)

The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem

Tel: +972-2-6264426 / 6286566 • Fax: +972-2-6282819
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