©Magda Seewald

In 2011, the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University, West Bank, and the Department of Development Studies (DDS) at the University of Vienna successfully submitted the three-year research project Conflict, Participation, and Development in Palestine to the newly established programme APPEAR. Funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation APPEAR supports partnerships between higher education institutions in Austria and key regions of the Austrian Development Cooperation. Its thematic focus ranges from poverty reduction, rural development, peace building and conflict prevention to higher education and research for development.

Main components of our three-year consortium project, launched in August 2011, are as follows:

  • Implementing an MA programme in development studies at the CDS.

  • Building up participatory research methods among 75 CDS fieldworkers.

  • Establishing and institutionalizing an academic exchange programme between Birzeit University and DDS scholars.

  • Institutionalizing a thematic (conflict and development) research cluster at the DDS to analyze and theorize societal developments in the global South, of which Palestine will constitute one of several areas for study.

In general, the basis of this partnership rests on two main components:

  1. capacity building in the area of development studies and research both at the University of Vienna and Birzeit University and
  2. the enlargement of knowledge on development issues, theories, and practices.