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Resilience in the West Bank: Impact evaluation of the ‘From Emergency Food Security to Durable Livelihoods: Building Resilience in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’ project

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SUMMARY

Oxfam GB’s Global Performance Framework is part of the organization’s effort to better understand and communicate its effectiveness, as well as enhance learning across the organization. Under this framework, a small number of completed or mature projects are selected each year for an evaluation of their impact, known as an ‘Effectiveness Review’.

During the 2018/19 financial year, one of the projects selected for an Effectiveness Review was ‘From Emergency Food Security to Durable Livelihoods: Building Resilience in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’. This project was carried out in the West Bank, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, between November 2015 and January 2018 by Oxfam, together with two partners: the Land Research Centre (LRC) and the Palestinian Livestock Development Centre (PLDC).

The Bedouin people, historically pastoral and nomadic, lived in the Negev area at the creation of the state of Israel. The Jahalin Bedouin has since been displaced to the West Bank, around the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, and the Jordan Valley, and since 1967 has lived under the Israeli occupation. Following the Oslo II Agreement in 1995, the West Bank was divided into three different areas, A, B and C. The government of Israel maintains full military and civil control over Area C. In Area C, and close to East Jerusalem, the E1 area is home to Bedouin communities who are under threat of displacement because of Israeli plans for construction in the area. Bedouin communities in Area C, and in E1 in particular, have been under attack and threat of displacement for years. One way the threat materializes is through the continued issuance of evacuation, stop-work or demolition orders against specific constructions or areas, such as rangelands, issued by the Israel Defence Force and Israel Civil Administration (ICA), some of which leads to actual demolition and displacement (see OCHA (2016)).

This project was funded by the Belgian Cooperation, through Oxfam Italy. Acknowledging that Bedouin communities are facing an enduring and structural emergency that gradually deteriorates their livelihoods, the project aimed to manage the humanitarian emergency in these communities and build different protection mechanisms as a way to build resilience. In particular, the focus was placed on improving access to veterinary services, creating, or supporting the strengthening of, legal protection (sub-)committees, and rehabilitating protected rangeland. This last component was particularly challenging because of an eviction order having been issued by the ICA against some of the rehabilitated protected rangelands (287 dunums). The combination of these components is the focus of this review. A fourth component consisted of engaging key international stakeholders in challenging Israeli policies that are in violation of international humanitarian law. This joint effort around specific cases will fall outside the scope of this review.