Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context | ROOTDEVPAL

Street sign to Birzeit University © Olfat Dar Othman

Project Coordinator: Ayman Rezeqallah

Coordinating Institution: Birzeit University

Partner Institutions: University of Vienna (Helmut Krieger), Al-Azhar University (Ali Abu Zaid)

Subcontractors: NGO Community Development Committee, NGO Mousawat

Partner Countries: Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon

Project Duration: 15th of January 2016 – 15th of March 2019


Building on the previous project with APPEAR, the Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University (BZU) and the Department of Development Studies (DDS) at the University of Vienna continue to deepen and articulate an alternative vision for development. The objectives of the present project are as follows:

1. To work out the Palestinian development agenda Rooting Development by establishing a community of critical knowledge producers (researchers, intellectuals, activists, political actors),

2. to train new fieldworkers from Palestinian communities in Jordan and Lebanon,

3. to establish an advanced training programme at CDS, and

4. to build an academic network for a young generation of researchers and fieldworkers from the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Austria.

The project integrates and builds on the developmental challenges, experiences, and popular strategies of various segments of the Palestinian population in their different locations, in order to bridge the divide between academic knowledge producers and community-based knowledge and development strategies. Furthermore, the project trains 50 fieldworkers and five trainers in local communities, investing their young people with the skills and ability to produce knowledge in and for their own localities. We will mainstream this training programme within CDS, thus strengthening the own institutional capacities. The project also extends the academic network created during the earlier phase of the project, further linking young researchers and fieldworkers and solidifying the infrastructure necessary to sustain a community of critical knowledge producers.

The project activities are in line with the institutional aim of building alternative knowledge and practices of development that move beyond Eurocentric models. They also derive from the particularities of the Palestinian people as a result of the fragmentation and territorial displacement resulting from decades of Israeli rule. This work enables the participating institutions to lay a foundation for translating critical alternative praxes of development into tangible material and research outputs that can be used to produce a critical pedagogy, too.

this human world film festival 2018 © Anna Wäger / this human world

PhD research on Palestinian resistance in the village of Ni'lin

APPEAR Scholarship holder Imad Sayrafi presented his paper entitled "Contextualizing Resistance; Indigenous Narratives and the Progression of an Ongoing Settler Colonialism; The Case of the Palestinian Village of Ni’lin" in the Vienna Anthropology Days Conference in September 2018.

Report of Summer School | July 2018

The ROOTDEVPAL team members organised in July 2018 the second summer schools, which was held in Vienna.

Summer school programme

Bild_Ankuendigung_Website.JPG © Helmut Krieger

Critical Perspectives and Engaged Research in the Palestinian Context | 26.7.18 | 3:30pm
The round table is organised in the framework of the project's summer school 2018 in Vienna.

Summer School | Beirut 2017

The team members organised in July 2017 the first out of two summer schools, which was held in Beirut. The summer school covered amongs others topics such as the research environments in Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as conducting feminist research, the question for whom knowledge is produced for and critical knowledge production.

Film screening – Who’s peace will it be?

Date & Time: Monday 26th June 2017, 6 p.m.

Location: Department of African Studies, seminar room 3, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna

Project partner Helmut Krieger will be one of the discussants after the film screening.

More information

Ö1 Radio Programme: Searching for alternative development in an occupied country

On 5th of April 2017 Andreas Obrecht talked about a higher education cooperation between Vienna and the West Bank in the Ö1 radio programme “Dimensionen – die Welt der Wissenschaften”.

VIDC event on Palestine

On the 3rd of April 2017 the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) organised an event on the Palestinian Territories.

Among the speakers were Tariq Dana, the director of the Centre for Development Studies at Birzeit University and Helmut Krieger from the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna, both researchers and team members of the ROOTDEVPAL project.

Project report of kick-off meetings and visit of Palestinian camps

Report of the first project visit in Lebanon and Jordan in July 2016.

Project partner Helmut Krieger talks about project ROOTDEVPAL

In this video Helmut Krieger shortly introduces the project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context | ROOTDEVPAL.
Video is only available in German

Welt im Ohr logo © Lilo Moser

ROOTDEVPAL to listen to

Listen to Helmut Krieger and Klaudia Rottenschlager who were invited to the radio programme "Welt im Ohr". They talked about the different components of their project as well as about research and cooperation with universities in the Palestinian Territories in general.