Social Fragmentation

socialThe Palestinian society is characterized by a whole bunch of fragmentations, geographically, politically, socio-economically, to name only the most striking. While all aspects are equally relevant, it is the socio-economic fragmentation, e.g. the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the decreasing social solidarity, the relationships between the cities, rural areas, and refugee camps, etc., that raises further interest. Resulting from a complex combination of the colonial setting and the neoliberal character of international and domestic policies, the socio-economic fragmentation of Palestinian society is increasingly challenged by social activists, researchers and progressive political parties. Focusing on a selection of topics in this field, e.g. social security policies and social urban development, RLS supports civil society organisations as well as social activists and policy experts in addressing socio-economic fragmentation in the public and political debate and develop and pressure for progressive alternative approaches for social inclusion.



Center for Development Studies – Birzeit University (CDS)

The Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University is a leading source of knowledge about Palestinian development. Established in 1997, the CDS aims to deepen and engage with the concept of development by offering theoretical and conceptual frameworks.


Project 1: “Documentary about “Alternatives to Neo-liberal Development”

The CDS has been extensively researching the flow of foreign aid into Palestine from a critical perspective. It has conducted research about various fields of international development assistance to Palestine and its controversial impact on the Palestinian path towards development. In 2015, CDS will sculpture the accumulated knowledge in a documentary film to foster outreach and debate.


Project 2: “Social Fragmentation and the City”

In a second project, CDS will start researching questions of social fragmentation, public space, suburbanization, and gentrification, using the city of Ramallah as a starting point.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:


Community Action Center – Al-Quds University (CAC-AQU)

The Community Action Center is a Palestinian non-profit community rights-based organization established in 1999. CAC is a university-linked and professionally staffed community based organization, which aims to empower the disenfranchised of East Jerusalem to access their rights and entitlements. Additionally, it aims to empower them to negotiate the complex bureaucratic procedures that control the flow of these rights. The center also seeks to engage marginalized groups to empower them to fully participate in their community.


Project: “Campus Community Compact – Be There”

In 2015, CAC started cooperation with RLS to empower local communities, raise awareness regarding their strengths and potentials, to enhance dialogue and collaboration within local communities, and to empower social work students to become agents of change within local communities surrounding Al Quds University.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:


Conference: International Critical Geography Conference (ICCG 2015)

ICGG is a network of geographers and scholars from various disciplines who are committed to the development of critical geography within and beyond the academy. In 2015, they started cooperation with RLS to launch the 7th annual international conference of critical geography (ICCG 2015). The aim of the conference was to provide an inclusive venue for the discussion of nine main themes such as “Imperial, colonial, postcolonial, and anti-colonial geographies,”“Migration, mobility, and displacement,”“Nature, society, and environmental changes,” and“ Remaking space through ideology, culture, and arts.”

Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency

DAAR is an architectural studio and art residency program based in Beit Sahour, Palestine. DAAR’s work combines conceptual speculations and pragmatic spatial interventions, discourse, and collective learning. DAAR explores possibilities for the reuse, subversion, and profanation of actual structure of domination: from evacuated military bases to the transformation of refugee camps, from uncompleted governmental structures, to the remains of destroyed villages.


Project: “Al-Mashaa’, or the Return to the Common”

In 2015, DAAR started cooperation with RLS to discuss the relationship between education and architectural form, and represent ideas about Al-Mashaa’—the common—as it applies in the context of Palestinian refugee camps.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:


Exchange: Left Social Policy Experts Exchange

The aim of the project is to support Palestinian, Jordanian, and German activists and experts in social policies to meet and exchange their knowledge, experience, and skills in the field. The three days visit to Germany in November 2015 will include visits to organizations involved in social policies and meetings with German experts and policy makers.


Fuad Nassar Institute for Research and Publishing (FNI)

FNI is a progressive think tank that has been engaged during the past couple of years in research about the application of the donor-driven aid industry in Palestine.


Project: “Fighting for Equal Wages for Equal Work”

In 2015, FNI shall widen the already launched advocacy campaign regarding the issues of minimum wage and equal wages for equal work, and will partner with workers’ unions and civil society actors to build up a strong coalition to advance social policies in Palestine. Young women activists will be further educated on women workers’ rights.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

Social and Economic Policies Monitor (Al-Marsad)

In 2011, a group of activists in the field of economic and social rights conceived the idea of establishing a monitor, “Al-Marsad,” to observe and examine economic and social policies adopted locally and regionally in the Middle East and investigate their direct impact on the poor in particular, and society in general.


Project: “Social Protection in the Occupied Palestinian Territories“

In 2015, Al-Marsad will further investigate the status of the social protection system in the occupied Palestinian territories and will conduct a thoroughly comparative study with models from Jordan. Al-Marsad will also keep an eye on the issues and concerns of youth refugees and will develop training programs to upgrade their capacity in detailing and advocating these prominent issues.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

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