Project Monitoring Report 1 - October 2011 to April 2012




PROJECT MONITORING REPORT I: Months 1 to 8 – October 2011 to April 2012



Covering activities of First Development Package


Activities         1.1 Literature Review                             Documents placed in circulatio

                              1.2 Community needs assessment   Reports produced

                              1.3 University Benchmarking             Tool constructed

                              1.4 Survey Administration                   Tool administered

                              1.5 Survey Analysis                                  Report produced

                              1.6 Website                                                  Constructed and all the above

                                                                                                 put on the site in English + Arabic


Preparation for materials for Second Development Package



Introduction: the overall objective in the early tasks



This monitoring report covers the first eight moths of the Lifelong Learning in Palestine Project (LLIP).  Activities followed are laid down in the Logical Framework Matrix (LFM).  The ‘wider’ objective is stated as developing:


‘a sustainable policy and practice for Lifelong Learning in

Palestine’ that …


‘works out from University Continuing Education Departments

to NGOs’ and ‘Community groups’ with the aim of …


‘improving knowledge, skills and competence’ at the level of

‘individuals, institutions and more broadly in Palestinian society

at large’.


Much of the early tasks were in ‘development’.  Data was collected on the situation around the four partner Palestinian institutions and their communities.





In gaining this data, competences were developed in the consortium. All four institutions became skilled in the construction of benchmarking tools and self-assessing regional engagement.



Conditions on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip


Tempus documents say little about building Lifelong Learning in conditions of an ongoing occupation; it is impossible to overstate the negative impact of Israel’s occupation.  It affects everything.  It made every task on the project more difficult and more costly.  Movement was near impossible at times on the West Bank and travelling in and out of the Gaza Strip extremely difficult.  Within the European universities we had to fill out risk assessments for travel in accordance with government advice.  Travel had to be arranged and rearranged several times.  Egypt was especially difficult and we had to spend time in Cairo on occasions because of strikes and so on.  Travelling across the Sinai was slow and expensive.  This had an impact on the morale of the consortium at times.   In Glasgow we also had to prove it was necessary for us to travel, well before we could start making the arrangements for travel.  All this was not appreciated before the project began.


Electricity was often off in Gaza.   Skype and other communication had to be organized around power supplies.  When electricity was not available communication was near impossible.  This did not just effect the timing of tasks but also the quality of our communication at times.  This being said, the quality of work we encountered in Gaza was outstanding.


Travel for Palestinian partners


Gaining travel documents for the Palestinian partners was difficult.  Again it was time consuming and bureaucratic.  The procedures were not clear.  Travel visas were given for single trips, which meant we had to go through the same application process many times.  Visas were awarded at the very last minute.  Indeed sometimes they had to be picked up in Amman.  This made organizing all our consortium meetings difficult.    As the project progressed, we got better at dealing with all these problems but difficulties were always there.




Details of specific activities of first development package


The major outcomes of the first work packages were capacity building and an acquaintance with the key elements of lifelong learning thinking.  As one feedback form noted, much of this was completely new to our Palestinian partners.  We often take these concepts for granted in European universities.     Benchmarking techniques were mastered in the different Palestinian institutions very quickly – especially in Birzeit and IUG Gaza.  Reports on community needs were produced and put in circulation through the Lifelong Learning in Palestine website.  The website was built by a very young team in IUG; they often worked well beyond what was formally required.  The website is interactive and in both English and Arabic.


This report first gives the task as they are listed on the Logical Matrix and then the date of the corresponding activities follow.


1.1   Literature Review – November 2011 to January 2012.


Desk research in Glasgow and on-line search of different European documents like the Memo on Lifelong Learning.  This document is fundamental.  It should be translated into the Arabic.  Research of Palestinian policy documents took place early.  Different resources were placed on the website which now gets hundreds of hits each week.  This hits have increased since February 2011.




Key documents placed in circulation.  Key documents of Palestine mentioning LL also in circulation in brief report.  Documents placed on website in February 2012.


Meetings attended or organized …


·       Kick off meeting in Amman – approval given by Europe for the meeting because it was held in Jordan and not EU or Palestine in November 2011.  Agenda and minutes with feedback from participants on website.              


·       Meeting in Brussels - December 2011 Meeting with Tempus.  Keith Hammond and Yousef Najajreh attend and discuss worries with Field Officer.  Meetings with other more experienced people in other projects.  Email with main points of Brussels meeting circulated.  Important points shared amongst consortium.


·       Local management groups set up on West Bank and in Gaza – January 2012.  Professor Najajreh and Professor Ali-Elaydi leading groups – mainly for the purchase of materials.


·       Glasgow management group – Keith Hammond, Alison Phipps and Rebecca Kay.  Meetings in January 2012 reviewing progress and every couple of months thereafter.  Collaboration and communication with other partners.


1.2  Community needs Assessment – February / March 2012


Two teams from Ireland and Scotland visited the West Bank and Gaza in February / March 2012.  Record of conversations expressing community needs with NGOs and Learning Centers.  Observations recorded.  Detailed observations of good practice noted in different projects.


Seminar in February in Al Quds and IUG on Lifelong Learning – attracting around 15-20 in Al Quds and around 20-25 participants IUG …


Around 40 participants in seminar carried out by Keith Hammond on Lifelong Learning with the Graduate Women of Gaza also in February.


Seminars with Keith Hammond on using the Benchmarking tool, advantages of the methodology behind the tool and the point of gaining data on regional engagement carried out in Al Quds, Bethlehem and IUG – February and March 2012.  In the first moths of 2011 around 100 people altogether attended different seminars where the project was introduced and benchmarking methodology discussed.  Seminars explained what we were doing as we went along …


Interviews on Gaza TV outlining Lifelong Learning in Palestine in February 2012.


Visits to NGOs – March 2012


·       A M Qattan Foundation – Al Jihadd Street - Ramallah


·       PNGO – Ramallah and Gaza


The work of the Gaza Women Graduates and the Qattan Foundation have been constantly relevant.  Visits found practices already exist very close to LL.  Several visits carried out in first six months.  Visit to CARE and outlines of the work with photographs on web site aiming to valorize the practices of these NGOs.




Lengthy reports produced on the visits, which highlighting good practice that responded to local community needs and entailed the basic elements of LL practice that could build LLIP across the different regions completed by March 2012 and placed on the website.  Film made of conversations on observations made by Glasgow and Maynooth.  Film placed on website.               


It was decided that rather than post the long reports on the website, a small number of outstanding projects would be valorized on the website.  This was done by April 2012.      


1.3  University Benchmarking – February/March 2012


Benchmarking tool developed in Glasgow by John Tobbit (PASCAL) with Keith Hammond.  Draft of tool circulated – modifications suggested and final tool agreed in February 2012.  Lots of problems with the different aspects of the tool.  The tool had been designed with totally different learning cultures in mind.  Main problem was with terminology which came out of European projects.  The English was awkward.  Much of the language was modified several times.           


1.4   Surevey administration in March / April 2012


Two meetings with tutors in Bethlehem who complete the benchmarking exercise.  Discussions of LL and the role of regional engagement …


1.5 Survey analysis – April 2012


Short papers analyzing the benchmarking.  Many of the same points came out in both the benchmarking and community needs assessments.  The one point that came through clearly was the rupture between universities and organisations doing work outside the universities in the different regions.  Employment and economic issues came through as a big concern.  Many pointers for mission statements.  Need more of a mention of work contributing to the development of Palestinian society.


1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 Outcomes


Benchmarking tool completed in March 2012.  Extensive set of detailed data obtained.  Seminars consolidating the benchmarking exercise as capacity building.  Discussions of further applications.  All results circulated in the consortium with on-line discussion and Skype conversations involving Al Quds and IUG in February and March.  Results and brief reports on the website.  Tool placed on website for broader use in March.  It can be modified for other tasks. Very productive meeting in Birzeit organized by Professor Mirvat Bulbul with Deans and Heads of Centers in March.


The fundamental outcome was that by March there was a thorough grasp of all aspects of the Benchmarking exercise on the Palestinian side of the consortium.  The data of the benchmarking has been used constantly throughout the project along with reports on early visits.


1.6  Website                               


By March 2012 the website was constructed in English and Arabic.  Constructed in Gaza and not Glasgow.  Gaza had a young team developing skills and competences appropriate for the task.  The website is interactive and many people comment on the content of films …


Additional outcomes


Academic paper published in Journal of Holy Land Studies outlining the Lifelong Learning in Palestine project by Keith Hammond.


Professor Najajreh did two presentations in Glasgow on Al Quds University and its future in developing Lifelong Learning and Regional Engagement.


Talks began for collaborative work with the Community Development team in Glasgow.


Presentations to post graduate students and staff in the University of Glasgow given by Rebecca Kay and Alison Phipps on ‘Observations on Community Education in Gaza’.


Academic presentation given in Liverpool by Keith Hammond to the British Society of Sociology.  The topic was the ‘Right to Learn and Work in Palestine’.


Lecture given by Nur Masalha on Lifelong Learning in Palestine in St Mary’s, University of London.



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Specific Problems


Travel had to be planned well in advance.  Movement and travel was a constant problem and very much dependent on the political situation more broadly.  Uprisings and strikes made travel through Egypt difficult occasionally.


Language problems in different readings of Tempus regulations.  This led to disagreements and confusions at times.  The allocation of specialist tasks did not always work as planned - for instance the website construction had to be transferred from Glasgow to Gaza.  Problems like this were tackled by consideration of where the expertise could be found within the consortium and work being transferred to the most skilled partner.  Also some European Lifelong Learning terms had no equivalent in the Arabic.  Disagreement on translations of these terms was not always specifically expressed but came out in work being carried out.  Some tasks had to be done twice or three times in some areas and only once in other areas.


Timetable and design of the project both proved to be realistic but some tasks took longer than we had expected.  Some partners had to rearrange tasks because of other commitments.  All the Palestinian partners work flat out.


The first kick off meeting was held in Amman. The dates were agreed for Glasgow to visit Gaza and Maynooth to visit West Bank.  Details of Benchmarking tool discussed showing regional engagement.   Tempus procedures were gone over for travel and staff time.  Website construction moved from Glasgow to Gaza who have the expertise to complete job quickly.  It had to be in both English and Arabic.  Timetable for completion of first twelve-months.


KH May 2012


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