JLAC believes working in coalition to be one of the most important strategies in its operations; ensuring the mobilization of energies, avoiding duplication of efforts, and prompting a spirit of complementarity among pier organizations from various fields. Coalitions likewise contribute towards avoiding the predominance of any particular organization or entity. Thus, JLAC maintained its activeness in existing coalitions and alliances (to varying degrees) in 2014 and established two new coalitions (The Media and Human Rights Civil Coalition for Ensuring the Execution of Court Decisions, and The Coordinating Council of Civil Action). The following is a summary of the various key activities conducted in coalition:
The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO):
JLAC played a more active role with the PNGO Network and sought out candidacy for membership in PNGO’s Coordinating Committee for the 2014-2016 cycle. JLAC contributed organizational and programmatic insights for the development of PNGO’s performance in terms of; maintaining the unity of its members, enhancing its role in protecting the independence of the NGO sector, ensuring its influence in various national policies and international mobilization in support of the Palestinian cause.
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations’ Council:
JLAC continued to play a significant role in the Council’s secretariat, which represents and expresses the voices the Council’s members in key and common areas affecting the Palestinian human rights situation. The Council was active in terms of issuing more than 10 joint position papers reflecting a consensus among 12 Palestinian human rights organizations. However, the Council intends to further institutionalize its work in 2015 through the appointment of a coordinator and the development of a joint action plan. In addition, a website will be developed to reflect the Council’s activities. Preparations are underway to conduct a development workshop regarding the formation of the Council’s strategic plan to be enforced in 2015.
The Coalition for Jerusalem:
The year 2014 witnessed a significant decline in activities and attitudes of the Coalition for Jerusalem. Consecutive assessment meetings had been held to determine the reasons behind this decline and to discuss the sustainability of the Coalition, stressing the significance of its reactivation. The Coalition called for an expanded meeting to be held in November for institutions operating in Jerusalem, during which institutions confirmed the importance of institutional and civil action in addressing and exposing the occupation practices in the city of Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Coalition against Torture:
The work of the Coalition had witnessed a state of recession during the period 2013-2014 on account of certain Secretariat members viewing the Coalition as a project dependent on the availability of funds for its operation. However, efforts were made to reactivate and maintain its role, especially in light of the need for the Coalition and the decision on the part of the State of Palestine to join the International Convention against Torture (which entails much work in amending Palestinian legislation in line with convention articles).
The Palestinian Coalition against the Death Penalty:
The work of this Coalition is seasonal and ad hoc. However, JLAC’s membership illustrates the vital relation between sub-coalitions within the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council, in terms of reinforcing coalitions’ various roles in ascertaining the larger strategic vision shared by all partners.
The Palestinian NGOs Code of Conduct Coalition:
JLAC maintained its representation (through PENGO) in this Coalition, which is hosted by the NGO Development Center (NDC) and comprised of 4 civil networks and unions. The Coalition took significant steps towards the development of a commitment system, by which certificates were granted to organizations meeting commitment standards. In addition, the Coalition worked on the development of peer groups and developed a capacity building program for organizations wishing to develop their capacities.
The Civil Team in Support of the Transparency of the Public Budget:
Along with a group of NOGs, JLAC participated in the Civil Team in Support of the Transparency of the Public Budget, which is mandated with enhancing control over the public budget and monitoring the management of public spending and public funds. In 2014 the Coalition released a position paper regarding the 2014 budget; however the Minister of Finance refused to hold a hearing session in its regard. Furthermore, the Coalition issued a summary and analytical study of the 2014 budget.
The Media and Human Rights Civil Coalition for Ensuring the Execution of Court Decisions:
In light of the proliferation of unexecuted court decisions by the executive branch, mainly involving decisions issued by the Palestinian High Court of Justice, a number of NGOs took an initiative towards the establishment of this Coalition. The Coalition is mandated with examining and documenting this phenomenon and exerting legal, journalistic, and public pressure in developing solutions. It is anticipated that the Coalition will become more active through 2015.
The Coordinating Council of Civil Action:
Through its membership in PNGO, JLAC participates in the Coordinating Council of Civil Action. In addition to PNGO, such incudes the Palestinian National Commission of Civil Action and the Palestinian General Union of Charitable Societies. The Coalition works towards the development of consultation and coordination mechanisms between actors in the NGOs sector, and the integration of visions and efforts to defend and protect the integrity and independence of civil action.