Focus: participatory development and urban planning, intergovernmental financial transfers, digitisation of administrative processes

Advising the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund on participatory development and urban planning, intergovernmental financial transfers and the digitisation of administrative processes.

The background to the advisory request is the Ministry of Local Government's goal of reforming planning and budgeting processes and institutionalising public participation procedures.

Support areas requested by the partner:

  1. Effective regionalisation of urban planning procedures, including through the development of a national GIS platform and geodata infrastructure as well as public participation in the development of strategic development and investment plans
  2. Increasing self-generated municipal revenue as well as transparent and efficient distribution of funds to local government units in the context of financial transfers
  3. Digitisation and automation of administrative processes for improved participation and accountability

Duration: December 2016 – December 2018

Support services:

  • Study trips
  • Moderated exchange of expertise and experience in Germany and the Palestinian territories with experts and practitioners from Germany
  • Use of expert networks
  • Short-term assignments of German experts and practitioners in the Palestinian territories

What has happened to date

Delegation trip in March 2017 in Germany

The cooperation with the Palestinian partners focused first and foremost on the topic of participatory development and urban planning, as support for the upcoming planning reform in the Palestinian territories was considered a priority.

From 27 to 31 March 2017, a Palestinian delegation headed by the Minister of Local Government, Dr Hussein Al-Araj, visited various institutions in northern Germany to inform themselves about German approaches to participatory development and urban planning and to conduct detailed discussions on the subject with experts. The delegation consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Local Government, the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF) and the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA).    

In Berlin the Minister met with State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Middle East Special Envoy Philipp Ackermann in the Foreign Office. In addition, in Hamburg the delegation met urban planners and representatives of the Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying as well as academics from HafenCity University, in Schleswig-Holstein they met with representatives of the State Chancellery, the Ministry of the Interior and the Local Authorities Association.

Cross-state urban planning in the Hamburg metropolitan region, the organisation of the development of a geodata infrastructure and the benefits of uniform exchange standards in urban land use planning (e.g. XPlanung) were discussed intensively. The distribution of competencies between the local and state levels in the preparation of the state development plan in Schleswig-Holstein met with great interest in the Palestinian delegation, as did the methods of early public participation in planning procedures and the critical role of municipalities in urban planning in the preparation of land use and zoning plans.

"For us in Schleswig-Holstein it was exciting to present our own state development strategy to the partners from Palestine. We had not expected our work to be met with such great interest, so we were very pleased about it. Furthermore, it was inspiring for us to talk to people from a completely different context about our common subject of urban planning and to find there are many similarities and that we urban planners think in similar ways."

Frank Liebrenz, urban planner in Schleswig-Holstein


Where we are now

Hosting of the Palestinian Urban Forum

The hosting of the Palestinian Urban Forum on planning and geodata infrastructure is planned for October 2017, in which various participants from Germany will participate.


"The talks with German urban planners were so inspiring for the partners from Palestine that they invited several of the experts they met in Germany to speak at a national conference on urban planning. We expect long-term partnerships to result from this."

Hans Frühauf, Programme Director, Local Governance Reform Programme in Palestine, GIZ

Where we want to get to

Everything about the further planning

It is currently being determined which partnerships will be pursued further. Continued support of the process by German counterparts, in particular in the field of participatory urban planning and (digital) public participation, has been requested by the partner. Intermittent assignments of German experts are planned as required by the partners. The content of the consultancy services should support the reform efforts for participative development and urban planning, intergovernmental financial transfer and the digitisation of administrative processes.  

Integrating the FSRP activities with the local GIZ project "Local Governance Reform Programme (LGRP)" ensures the experience provided by the FSRP can be incorporated in consultancy on location in the long term and can thus be of lasting value.