Resilient culture & art for social change

Culture and arts play a key role to promote Palestinian identities, dialogue and freedom of expression. Switzerland contributes with this proposal to a diverse, innovative and more resilient cultural sector able to foster democratic values and voice the needs and aspirations of the civil society. The programme employs art as entry point for social dialogue and builds the entrepreneurial capacities of emerging artists.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Occupied Palestinian Territory
Culture / development awareness
Democratic participation and civil society
Culture & recreation
01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  2’831’000

-    The cultural sector in the oPt suffers from Israeli restrictions to the freedom of movement. Interaction between artists and audiences within the oPt are fragmented and limited.

-    The space for independent arts and culture is further shrinking due to weakened rule of law, excessive Palestinian governmental control and the growing traction of socially conservative forces limiting free expression.

-    State actors contribute only marginally to the development of arts and culture in the oPt. Hence, most cultural organizations in the oPt depend on external funding, while some have minimal revenue from membership fees, training fees and sales.

-    The structural crisis of the sector has been further compounded by COVID-19. 

Objectives Citizens’ participation, social inclusion and democratic values are strengthened thanks to an independent, diversified and economically more resilient culture & art scene in the oPt.
Target groups

Direct beneficiaries:

-    Vulnerable groups and marginalized communities (local councils and municipalities in rural areas and urban neighbourhoods).

-    Emerging and established artists. 

-    Cultural and academic institutions.


Indirect beneficiaries:

the wider Palestinian population

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:    Empowered community members express their needs and participate in development and dialogue processes animated by the means of art and culture.

Outcome 2:    Cultural actors adopt innovative business models, diversify their services and enhance the economic resilience of the sector.



Expected results:  

-    Inclusive participation: 12’000 community members (at least 50% women), actively participate in the project activities.

-    Empowerment: At least 50% of women & youth participating in the projects indicate that they feel empowered to exercise their rights and advocating for change. 

-    Culture and Creative Industries (CCI): At least 45 cultural and CCI initiatives are developed and supported through local business start-up programs or inspired by people’s needs. At least 40% of them are led by female artists.

-    Capacity building and creative spaces: Two capacity building programs for CCI and 10 creative spaces are developed and sustained by local organizations and academic institutes benefitting at least 200 Palestinian artists.

-    A legal framework protecting the intellectual property rights of Palestinian artists is supported (studies, legal support, advocacy).

Results from previous phases:  

-    More than 150 cultural initiatives (including exhibitions, plays, fairs, circus shows, wall paintings, trainings and establishment /refurbishment of cultural spaces) were implemented through CASE (Culture and Art for Social Engagement) documenting the conveying capacity of culture to engage local authorities in a dialogue with their community.

-    CASE reached a wide range of social groups within communities while focusing on strengthening women engagement in public life. A third of CASE initiatives were either women led or co-led.

-    CASE activities have empowered women, men and youth to become confident in voicing their needs and to lead change. Thousands of citizens have participated in workshops and town hall meetings; influencing local decision makers. Culture was integrated in the local development plans and space was created for public participation.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Coordination with other projects and actors

-    Local Governance projects addressing social inclusion and accountability 

-    Portfolio 2 (Rule of Law) and portfolio 3 (IED, youth employment and innovation) as the programme strengthens social and cultural rights and fosters job creation. 

-    PA Ministry of Culture, UNESCO and coordination with like-minded donors in the Culture Sector Working Group.  

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’831’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    27’900
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)