The capacity of local government to reach out to citizens and to involve them in identifying priorities, planning, and monitoring builds trust and solidifies the relationship between citizens and government officials. Over the past decade, Global Communities in Palestine has designed interventions to enhance awareness of good governance practices and the important role of the community in local government. Special emphasis has been placed on the role of youth through the Youth Local Councils (YLCs) initiative.
Although Palestinian youth constitute an overwhelming majority of the West Bank and Gaza population (65% are between the ages of 13-38 years old), there had previously been few opportunities for them to engage in community affairs and local governance. In response, Global Communities piloted what was then named the Youth Shadow Local Councils (YSLCs) initiative in 4 communities in 2008, with funding from USAID. After the success of the pilot, Global Communities expanded to an additional 9 communities in 2010 under the USAID-funded Local Democratic Reform (LDR) program. The initiative continues under the USAID-funded Local Government and Infrastructure (LGI) program and has expanded to a total of 20 communities in the West Bank.
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