Palestinian cooperatives – Nexus between youth employment and civic engagement

The economy in the West Bank and Gaza is weak, unemployment is a problem (particularly among youth after completing higher education), and there is a decline in in youth civic engagement. Palestinians are dependent on imports to meet food needs and there are high levels of food insecurity tied to poverty and unemployment.

This project aims to promote youth engagement in agricultural cooperative schemes in the West Bank and Gaza to reduce unemployment and facilitate civic engagement. Currently, 42% of the 600 active registered cooperatives in the West Bank and Gaza work in the agricultural sector, but they have limited youth participation.

The project will identify policies and interventions that could help break the vicious circle of youth unemployment among graduates and examine the nexus between youth (un)employment and civic engagement in the West Bank and Gaza. The project will explore the role of agricultural cooperatives as an alternative to traditional labour market practices. Using multifaceted methodologies, the project will examine the perceptions and attitudes of youth towards agricultural cooperatives; identify interventions and policies, including adapting university curricula and activities that respond to youth aspirations; and assess the regulatory environment of cooperatives and the kinds of reforms needed to foster youth participation. The findings will serve as a basis for making policy recommendations on ways to increase youth engagement in strengthening the cooperative agricultural economy.

Project ID


Project status



15 months

IDRC Officer

Roula El-Rifai

Total funding

CA$ 142,100


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Mudar Kassis


Birzeit University

Institution Country

West Bank and Gaza

Institution Website