In partnership with the Local Government Reform Program-GIZ and in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Government, the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) launched the public relations technical hub to exchange expertise between local authorities. This comes as part of the second phase of the “Technical Hubs” program that targets staff and officials at Palestinian local authorities in order to increase the experience and knowledge of the maximum number of local authorities’ staff in important and new technical issues.
APLA’s executive director, Eng. Abdallah Anati welcomed the attendees composed of directors of public relations departments representing their local authorities in the hub. Anati clarified the importance of the public relations technical hub as well as the importance of its expected role in improving relations between local authorities and the public. Therefore, points of view will be brought closer together, local authorities will be able to perform their duties properly and provide services and the reality of these local authorities will be improved on all levels.
Eng. Anati clarified that the necessity of maintaining mutual relations and the exchange of expertise between local authority is not of less importance than international relations that local authorities always seek to promote and develop. “Our local authorities live similar experiences and face common challenges. Collective thinking and presenting problems will open the floor for local authorities to think realistically of the best solutions that were applied at certain local authorities and not others,” Anati stated.
On his part, the head of public relations at the Ministry of Local Government, Sayel Hannoun, stated that the Ministry is particularly interested in the public relations hub, as public relations officers are the face of local authorities and the link between all components of the local government sector, including councils, staff, citizens, government institutions and local and international organizations. He added that maintaining communication between public relations officers at different local authorities and developing a collective work plan that suits all participants, regardless of the differences between each local authority, will lead to setting local authorities on the right track and keeping them in direct contact with the Palestinian public.
GIZ’s technical team presented the concept and goals of the technical hubs, particularly the public relations hub, and the proposed structure to build and develop the hubs’ work, its committees and the roles vested in it.
The participants presented the topics that will be proposed through the public relations hub, which will address many components, mainly capacity building of staff in the field of public relations, promoting means of communication and networking, the importance and means of strategic communication and strategic plans on media. The work committees on each topic have already been identified, provided that clear work plans are developed to ensure the maximum benefit for participants.
It is worth noting that the expertise exchange hubs program in the current phase includes five hubs: the Public Relations Hub, Engineering and Planning Hub, Finance Hub, Village Councils Technical hub and the Creativity and Innovation Hub. The program is implemented in partnership between APLA and GIZ’s Local Governance Reform program.