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Donor Aid Effectiveness and Do No Harm in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: An Oral and Documentary Analysis of Western Donor Perceptions of Development and Peacebuilding in their Palestinian Aid Programming, 2010-2016

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Abstract

On the 25th Anniversary of the Oslo Accords, this report assesses the approach taken by 9 of the top Western donor countries/institutions that have for decades determined the structure of development aid in the Occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). It does this by focusing on the period 2010-16 through a quantitative keyword and qualitative analysis of 80 of their combined reports, and interviews with several dozen officials who contribute to the shaping of policy. This examination was conducted in order to offer a better understanding of how these donors perceive the Oslo Peace Process, Palestinian development, Israeli military rule, the ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land and the conflict resulting out of the combination of these processes. This is all carried out using an ‘Aid Effectiveness’ lens, with an emphasis on local leadership and local knowledge, but while also bearing in mind a ‘fragile and conflicted states’ framework and the ‘do no harm’ principle. Thus, the report’s analysis acknowledges that all donors involved in a conflict situation become actors in that conflict. For this reason, they should strive to provide their assistance in as neutral a manner possible, and be cognisant of the actual context they are intervening in (through strong analysis) in order to not make conditions worse. The 9 Western actors analysed comprise not only some of the biggest sources of funding in the $30+ billion spent on ‘Oslo aid’ since 1993, but are also the ‘intellectual drivers’ who have determined just how that aid – and Palestinian economic and social institutions – is shaped. They include the United States, which has dominated the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) politically as arbiter of Israeli-Palestinian peace-building; the European Union, which with its member states has acted as the leading financial contributor of Oslo aid, and the World Bank, which has played a leading role reporting on the state of Palestinian development and guiding donors through the bilateral giving process. Other influential actors analysed include the IMF, Canada, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Germany, all of whom have been funding a peace-building model built on an underlying precept that Palestinians need to be endowed with liberal democratic institutions in order for them to be able to cohabitate in peace with Israel, and where that peace will be cemented based on free market international trade and development funding to incentivise the Palestinians to abandon violence. This report also provides context for living and political conditions in the OPT, which are then compared to the donors’ policies and a description of each donor. In so doing, it sheds light on a gap that exists between the overarching Oslo aid model and donors’ policies, with actual conditions in the OPT and what is considered effective aid. The report also describes a noticeable rhetorical gap that exists between donors’ policies with their actions, and identifies nuances in the donors’ positions. The report further engages expert opinions on the state of Oslo and the OPT, while providing recommendations for future research into the role of these powerful and under-researched donors. Funding- The research for this study was carried out by Dr Jeremy Wildeman at the University of Bath’s ‘Department for Social and Policy Sciences’, with funding support from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Publication Date: 2018 Publication Name: Donor Aid Effectiveness and Do No Harm in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
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... Instead, they insisted that the parties negotiate the terms of peace. In that context, Israel has continued to take control of Palestinian land and violate Palestinians' human rights with virtual impunity (Wildeman 2018). Ultimately, peace and reform efforts have broken down and become burdened by growing internal political divisions and intolerances within both Israel and Palestine. ...
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