Policy dialogue in Palestine: Key stakeholders endorsing action plan towards better water governance & financial sustainability

Some 40 key stakeholders from the government; private companies and banks; research institutes and Academia; media as well as the Civil Society discussed and contributed to the final draft of the Report ‘Governance in Palestine: Sector Reform to include Private Sector Participation’, during the Third Consultation Workshop of the Palestinian Water Policy Dialogue. The workshop was organised by the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med), within the Union for the Mediterranean project Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector and under the patronage of H.E. Mazen Ghuneim, Chairman of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), in Ramallah, on 16 June 2015.

Opening the workshop on behalf of H.E. Mazen Ghuneim, Eng. Youssef Awayes from PWA, praised the Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector project for “supporting a transparent and inclusive dialogue among key stakeholders that fully aligns with the sector reform and for compiling its outcomes along with analytical work into a comprehensive document, the National Report”, while Mr. Gunnar Olvik, representative of the Consulate General of Sweden, reconfirmed the support of the Swedish Government to the Palestinian water sector, materialised through contribution to the sector reform and to better water governance and financing through the activities of this project. Mr. Olvik also urged PWA to “take these tools and outcomes further in favour of the advancement of the water sector”, whereas Mr. Ahmad Hindi, Focal Point of the Dialogue at PWA, highlighted “the need for continuation of this dialogue on PSP and better water governance”.

Following the Dialogue’s second workshop (May 2015, Ramallah) that discussed the first draft of the National Report, outlining the key governance challenges to sustainable financing, this workshop discussed a set of practical tools that can help overcome these challenges towards a financially sustainable water sector. A mix of interventions and open discussions were based on the Final Draft Report which had incorporated key stakeholders’ comments and input received during the Second consultation workshop, bilateral meetings as well as written comments; and enriched with suggested recommendations for action in critical areas, shaped in the form of an Action Plan.

Discussions assisted in refining the ways to move forward with key stakeholders agreeing on the Action Plan, whose gender sensitive and pro-poor actions are based on international tools and best practices tailor-made to the Palestinian context.  

As a follow up to the Workshop, stakeholders will be sending any further comments/input in writing till Monday, 20 July 2015. The Report will be finalised according to feedback received and will be launched during the final workshop in mid-September 2015. The launching workshop will conclude the current phase of the Palestinian Dialogue.

The Palestinian Policy Dialogue (2014-2015) is conducted by the Global Water Partnership- Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in close collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled project ‘Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector’ with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the GEF – UNEP/MAP MedPartnership programme. The Dialogue allows building a shared consensus among key stakeholders on the main bottlenecks to sustainable financing, including from the private sector, in Palestine’s water sector and on actions to address those. These actions -based on best practices and internationally recognised tools- will be included in an analytical country Report, based on technical work conducted by GWP-Med with the assistance of PWA.