دور المشاركة المجتمعية في تصميم الخطط التنموية وتنفيذها في المدن والبلدات الفلسطينية، من منظور المجتمع المحلي والهيئة المحلية
عندليب محمد سلمان العطاونة
Andalib Mohammad Salman Atawna
This study aimed at identifying the role of community participation in the design and implementation of development plans in the Palestinian cities and towns from the perspective of the local community and the local authority. The study is considered important because it is complementary to the previous local studies that addressed the issue of community participation, and in particular the study will deal with community participation in the design and implementation of development plans for cities and towns in Hebron governorate. The outputs of this study can help in the development of policies and procedures, to regulate the relationship between the local community and local government units to achieve the best level of community participation in the development planning process. To achieve the objectives of the study, the researcher used the descriptive approach, and two questionnaires were developed: one addressing the local community and the other local government units. In addition, interviews were conducted with local government units’ representatives, planning committees, planning teams’ coordinators, and one focus group. The most important findings of the study were that: there is a lack of a clear definition of community participation and of its different levels that local government units refers to, as well as a weakness in community participation in the activities of the local government units in general, due to a range of reasons, including lack of trust between the local government units and the local community, low level of interest of the local government units in the participation of the local community which is limited to projects that require the presence of representatives from the local community, and there are not any units in the local of the local government units that have determination to integrate the local community in the activities of local of the local government units. With respect to community participation in development planning it was found that there is active participation in the design of development plans with some reservation from the local community on the mechanisms for the selection of participants in the planning process. With regard to the implementation of development plans, it was found that there is has weakness in the participation of the local community and in particular the committees that have been formed at the beginning of the planning process, where community involvement during the implementation period is only in projects that require the presence of representatives from the local community, with biased selection of the participants in this stage. It was also found that development plans are not implemented according to the priorities agreed upon previously, but depending on the availability of funding and by the donors’ agendas too. The most important recommendations which this study concluded is that there is a need to consolidate the concepts and practices of community participation in the work of the local government units, through raising the level of awareness of the local government units of concepts, mechanisms and the importance of community participation in addition to forming specialized and active community committees to be involved in the activities of the local government units in a democratic way that guarantees the right of everyone to participate. This can be achieved by providing a guiding reference framework to the local government units and committees about community participation to activate the participation of all community groups in their work, in addition to strengthening the capacity of the local government units in engaging all citizens without discrimination or segregation. Another recommendation will include forming a unit in the local government units that is devoted to implement participatory development plans, enhancing control over the implementation of development plans, developing policies and procedures by the Ministry of Local Government that oblige the local government units to engage the local community in the implementation phase of the development plans.