The Report ’Water Governance in Palestine: Sector Reform to include Private Sector Participation (PSP)’ was launched during the Final Consultation Workshop of the Palestinian Policy Dialogue, conducted within the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled project ‘Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector’. The event was held under the patronage of H.E. Mazen Ghuneim, Minister and Chairman of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), on 2 December 2015, in Ramallah.
Having engaged more than 100 stakeholders, through inter alia policy workshops and bilateral/multilateral meetings, the Policy Dialogue on water governance and financing concluded with the official launch of the Report on water governance and private sector participation (PSP). Opening the final workshop on behalf of H.E. Ghuneim, Eng. Awayes, General Director at PWA, acknowledged the added value of the multi-stakeholder policy dialogue that addressed a ‘vital issue for the Palestinian water sector: its financial sustainability’, in the presence of more than 40 key stakeholders from the government; private companies and banks; research institutes and Academia; media, as well as Civil Society.
The Report is the product of the inclusive, consultation process combined with comprehensive technical work undertaken by GWP-Med under the guidance of PWA. This decision-support tool not only diagnoses in-depth the status of the water sector, but also proposes concrete actions that through a gender sensitive and pro-poor lens address ways to overcome the governance obstacles to PSP. These actions are based on international tools and best practices, tailor-made to the Palestinian context, and -most importantly- have been shaped and agreed upon by key stakeholders throughout the consultation process.
At the final workshop, participants praised the dialogue process as a neutral platform allowing for interaction, exchanging views and sharing of information. Demonstrating ownership of the process and its outputs, stakeholders focused both on the need for the continuation of the dialogue and on the importance to work together for the implementation of the proposed actions. In this context, the UfM representative, Eng. Abadi, called for donors’ support to the government and the key stakeholders involved, to ensure the successful implementation of the agreed upon actions. Given that the proposed steps forward fully align with the law-based reform process of the Palestinian water sector that includes –among others- the establishment of a water regulator and a PPP Unit, the participants acknowledged the high momentum for taking concrete steps towards better governance and enhanced financial sustainability of the water sector. Although the workshop represented the final milestone of the Palestinian Policy Dialogue, the participants accentuated the context of the work as an ongoing process and encouraged its continuation.
About the Dialogue
The Palestinian Policy Dialogue (2014-2015) was 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 allowed 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- were included in an analytical country Report, based on technical work conducted by GWP-Med with the assistance of PWA.