We have supported research in the West Bank and Gaza since 1984. Early research focused on agriculture, then expanded to include the effects of conflict, legal reform, environmental health hazards, water conservation, and economic policy. Much of this research contributes knowledge for local and international players working toward a durable peace. 

For example, researchers at Birzeit University in Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the central West Bank, recommended legal reforms to improve the justice system. Their reforms proposed to integrate informal conflict resolution practices into the formal justice system, and encouraged greater respect for the rule of law. 

Teenage stress and prolonged conflict 

In the West Bank, adolescents make up nearly half the population. Prolonged conflict and political violence have exacerbated normal teenage stress. Research collaboration between Birzeit University and Canada’s Queen’s University reviewed the problem.

Researchers studied more than 3,000 15- to 17-year olds in Ramallah to understand how they dealt with stress and trauma. The team mentored Community Based Rehabilitation, a non-governmental organization, as it developed a community intervention approach. 

This intervention is now used in 34 locales across the West Bank and Gaza. It has produced significant benefits for youth and communities, and offers an alternative to the biomedical treatment of psychological trauma resulting from violent conflict.

The public view on security 

In August 2009, the Palestinian authority committed to modernizing public security services in the West Bank and Gaza. In the months following that commitment, the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research identified a lack of consultation with the public as a major flaw in security reform. 

With IDRC funding, researchers surveyed people in the Ministry of Interior, security services, the judiciary, parliament, and human rights organizations. Most importantly, they asked the general population whether the security sector met the public’s needs and priorities.  Such research gives policymakers a model for monitoring the evolving security sector and its performance. It provides a glimpse of how this sector helps, or hinders, Palestinians in their everyday lives.

Total IDRC Support

96 activities worth CA$14.8 million since 1984

World Bank / A.Hoel
Students in computer programming class in the West Bank.

Our support helps 

  • women and youth find jobs in small business
  • farmers make the most of scarce resources
  • food producers access the best knowledge on agriculture
  • policymakers understand refugee issues
  • Arab citizens increase their presence on the Web

Projects