In partnership with the Local Governance Reform Program-GIZ, the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) launched the engineering and planning platform to exchange expertise between local authorities. The platform aims at increasing the experience and knowledge of the maximum number of staff at local authorities on new and important technical issues. This comes as part of the second phase of the “Expertise Exchange Platforms” program that targets staff and administrators at Palestinian local authorities.
The executive director of APLA, Eng. Abdallah Anati opened the first workshop on the engineering and planning platform in Ramallah by welcoming the directors of engineering and planning departments representing their local authorities in the platform's program. He clarified that the main objective to complete the second phase of this programs comes after the success of the first phase, which led to expanding the targeted category by the program in order to increase communication and networking between staff of local authorities in Palestine. Moreover, it aims at contributing to the national reform agenda by supporting the development of position papers on urgent matters in the local governance sector.
Eng. Anati demonstrated that the strategic plan, particularly the second strategic goal, focuses on the importance of APLA’s role in providing technical support to its members due to its belief that developing the capacity of local authorities is central to improving the level of services they provide to the public. The experience of the past three years of the platforms program is one of the experiences that were specifically mentioned in the strategy for the coming four years in order to affirm the continuation of the program as part of APLA’s work and the technical and legal support unit at APLA.
On her part, Eng. Dima Awwad from GIZ presented the concept and goals of the expertise exchange platforms, particularly the engineering and planning platform, and the proposed structure to build and develop the platform’s work, its committees and the roles vested in each of them.
During this workshop, the participants presented the topics that will be proposed through the engineering and planning platform. They agreed that the platform’s work should focus on the professional project management manual; the general engineering and planning manual; GIS; the challenges of construction, planning and expansion in “C” areas and including them in city plans; and the eleventh strategic goal of the Sustainable Development Goals 2020-2030. Committees were selected for each topic, provided that clear work plans are developed to ensure the maximum benefit for the participants.
It is worth noting that the Expertise Exchange Platforms programs in the current phase includes five platforms: the Engineering and Planning Platform, Public Relations Platform, Finance Platform, Village Councils Platform, and the Creativity and Innovation Platform. The program is implemented in partnership between APLA and GIZ’s Local Governance Reform program.