Rooting Development

in the Palestinian Context


About us Blog


The Project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context integrates and builds on the developmental challenges, experiences, and popular strategies of various segments of the Palestinian population in the Westbank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan and Lebanon. It derives from the particularities of the Palestinian people and the specific challenges faced as a result of the fragmentation and territorial displacement from decades of Israeli rule.
Through bridging the divide between academic knowledge producers, community-based knowledge and development strategies, the project aims at building alternative knowledge and practices of development that move beyond Eurocentric, Western models.

CDC Zarqa

About us

Founded upon the previous APPEAR project, 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 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.

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

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trainees Lebanon


Project Conference: Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context

Venue | Dheisheh Refugee Camp,

Ibda’ Center, Bethlehem, Palestine / Mar Elias Camp, Lebanon / Al-Zarqa Camp, Jordan / Al-Shati Camp, Al Katibah Hall, Gaza will join via video conference.

Date | Sat, Jan 26th, 2019, 9am-4pm

For more information, download the info sheet of the event in English or in Arabic

Event: Development and/as Resistance: Experiences of an APPEAR-project on Palestine

When | Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 4.15-5.45 pm
Where | Seminar Room IE, Department of African Studies, Spitalgasse 2, Courtyard 5, 1090 Vienna

Who | Helmut Krieger & Klaudia Rottenschlager, Chair: Georg Layr

What | Based on wide-spread criticisms articulated by (Palestinian) scholars and activists at the Oslo process and its dominant development model, one of the main tasks of our APPEAR-project entitled Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context was to work out different meanings of alternative development in the Palestinian context from a wide range of perspectives. By following a transdisciplinary approach and including academic actors as well as Palestinian popular movements and social initiatives from communities within and outside of Palestine, we aimed at reconceptualizing the relation between the contested concepts of development and resistance. What should an alternative development agenda based on notions of development as resistance include given the basic conditions of decades of Israeli rule in the occupied Palestinian territory and the severe living conditions in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan? This and other questions are to be discussed in our lecture.

Click here to download the flyer to the event

Podcast | Roundtable Critical Perspectives and Engaged Research in the Palestinian Context


Adriana Qubaia put together an Arabic language podcast documenting the roundtable discussion at this year’s Summer School. Listen to it here:

Event: Ernährungssouverän unter Besatzung? Alternative Entwicklung und Widerstandsökonomien in Palästina


© Zed_Nelso


Nach mehr als 20 Jahren Osloer Prozess und der Durchsetzung eines neoliberalen Entwicklungsmodells in den besetzten palästinensischen Gebieten ist eine vielfache Krise in Palästina mittlerweile offensichtlich. Diese führt unter anderem dazu, verstärkt nach Alternativen zu suchen, die die Besatzungsmacht grundlegend herausfordern soll. Selbstbestimmung als umfassender sozialer, politischer, kultureller und ökonomischer Prozess steht dabei im Zentrum der Debatten.
Was aber kann das praktisch bedeuten? Inwiefern können landwirtschaftliche Kooperativen in den besetzten Gebieten ein zentrales Element einer Widerstandsökonomie in Palästina darstellen? Wie können Ideen von Ernährungssouveränität mit alternativen Entwicklungsansätzen trotz eines kolonialen Besatzungsregimes realisiert werden?


12. November 2018, 18:30 Uhr

Volkskundemuseum, Laudongasse 15-19, 1080 Wien


Nur Arafeh, Policy Fellow bei Al-Shabaka, Ramallah, Palästina
Helmut Krieger, Institut für Internationale Entwicklung, Universität Wien
Philipp Salzmann, Politikwissenschafter sowie Aktivist bei FIAN Österreich und der Bewegung für Ernährungssouveränität

Brigitte Reisenberger, FIAN Österreich


Die Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt. Flüsterübersetzungen ins Deutsche werden angeboten.

For more information visit the VIDC website.


VIDC event: Unheard of? Women’s movements in the Arab world

Despite the Arab world being predominantly associated in Europe with jihadism, war and refuge, its activists, intellectuals and artists are rarely seen or heard here. This applies even more to feminist and gender-critical initiatives from the Arab world. With European stereotypes of patriarchal societies and anti-Muslim racism, women’s political views, alternative narratives, and perspectives from Arab societies are often silenced and with them their hopes, doubts, assessments, and analyses.

The diversity of feminist and gender-critical initiatives in times of crisis and war is the starting point of this panel discussion. Questions which will be discussed with activists and academics from different generations are: how do various feminist and gender-critical initiatives assess their developments in recent years? How do these actors relate to the respective authoritarian, repressive state? What is the relationship between Islamic and so-called ‘secular’ women initiatives? How important is this line of division? How can a common ground for basic political demands be found for the entire region? Which conflicts between feminist, women’s and gender policy actors in Europe are necessary and what kind of cooperation is possible?


Time and location | Monday, 15 October 2018, 19:00 – 21:00
Central Library Vienna – Am Gürtel, Urban-Loritz-Platz 2a, 1070 Vienna


Safa Belghith
freelance journalist, Tunisia

Lena Meari
Institute of Women’s Studies, Birzeit University, Palestine

Omaima Abou-Bakr
Cairo University and Women and Memory Forum, Egypt

Chair | Helmut Krieger, University of Vienna/VIDC
Welcome | Magda Seewald, VIDC

Languages | English and German with simultaneous interpretation

Registration |


For more information visit the VIDC website


*The text of this post is reproduced from the VIDC’s website. Copyright of the featured image lies with © Mona Abaza