Building on a unique network of Israeli, Palestinian and European partners, Project Wealth addresses pressing socioeconomic challenges and injustices and provides viable alternatives to the prevailing approaches to development, spurring local economic clusters that ensure the rights of underprivileged groups, and advancing environmental sustainability. The project employs a number of central mutually-reinforcing strategies:
Research and professional exchange to develop and learn best practices in the field of Local Sustainable Economic Development
(LSED). Through the project a network of 20 researchers from Israel, Portugal, Italy and the Palestinian Authority are working to develop a more robust theoretical framework that will, inter alia help promote LSED in policy circles. This is in addition to ongoing professional exchange, including regular video conference sessions among the international partners. The exchange explores diverse LSED models promoted in the partner regions, and provides a platform for joint thinking and development of new strategies. An emphasis on the role of cultural and creative industries emerged in the discussions and its successes and potential in the regions involved is sparking important outgrowth initiatives.
Advocating vis-à-vis policymakers for the promotion of LSED principles and practices. The project facilitates direct action vis-à-vis policymakers to advance the adoption and incorporation of LSED principles in governments' policies, legislation and practices. One emphasis is placed on promoting prioritization of local procurement in both the private and public sectors; that is to foster policies that strengthen local producers and service providers. The project includes drafting of policy papers as well as meetings and gatherings targeting key decision makers and business leaders – to help ensure that LSED principles are placed at the forefront.
Giving rise and providing capacity-building guidance and support to LSED initiatives. Another component of the project's holistic approach to local development is the nurturing, propagation and strengthening of innovative initiatives empowering local communities. Within that framework, workshops and consultations are delivered to local actors, enabling them to launch and develop grassroots ventures. The project's capacity-building efforts consolidate a local infrastructure that secures a long-term enhancement of development practices in the partner regions.
The synergy of the three strategies is helping to place to LSED on the agenda of policymakers, to promote regional cooperation and empower marginalized