Re-thinking the Financing of UNRWA

In partnership with the Heinrich Böll Foundation - Palestine and Jordan (HBS), The Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) hosted a series of four expert workshops to deliberate “Re-thinking the Financing of UNRWA, 2020-2030”. 
The workshops conducted virtually (under Chatham House convention), were attended by a diverse Panel of Experts, both Palestinian and international, to debate various topics surrounding the financing of UNRWA. These included representatives of refugee groups in Palestine, as well as Palestinian civil society and policy influencers comprising academics, commentators, and activists. The project convener, Dr. Michael Dumper (Professor in Middle East Politics, University of Exeter, U.K.), is well-placed to act as an independent scholarly shepherd of this collaborative, interdisciplinary project.
At the four workshops the following presentations were made by different experts and discussed by the Panel: 

  1. Enabling mandate implementation: Private Partnerships Precedents on planning UNRWA’s future: lessons from the Policy Advisory Group 2010-2011
  2. What are the 'core services’ of UNRWA? Increasing the proportion of UN member states’ Assessed Dues for UNRWA
  3. Holding the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property to Account UNHCR’s Islamic Philanthropy Model
  4. UNRWA the Green Economy and its potential for refugee resilience. Identifying Priorities of Action for UNRWA

Professor Dumper worked both with Palestinian refugee groups and with UNRWA and the wider donor community. He is author of several books on Jerusalem and also on the Palestinian refugee issue: The Future of the Palestinian Refugees: Towards Equity and Peace (2007); editor of Palestinian Refugee Repatriation: Global Perspectives (2006) and joint editor of International Law and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (2010) In March 2016, he carried out a study for UK’s Department of International Development entitled Challenges Facing UNRWA in an Uncertain Future and, in September 2020, a study for MAS entitled The future of UNRWA in the face of financial challenges and political pressure. As founder and convener of the “Academic Friends of UNRWA”, which has held annual and bi-annual workshops with senior UNRWA management including successive Commissioner-Generals of UNRWA and also a range of refugee representatives, he has worked closely with key stakeholders for the past ten years.
The project was preceded in August 2020 by a broad assessment of the issues in a MAS Roundtable: 
Mick Dumper, “The Future  of  UNRWA in  the  Face  of  Financial Challenges  and  Political  Pressure”, MAS Roundtable Briefing Paper, August 2020