This unit focuses on theoretical and applied research. The applied research programme at the CDS provides relevant information and analysis that feeds into policy making on development issues. The programme focuses on building understanding of how structural changes in the political and economic colonial environment result in socioeconomic changes at all levels of society and their associated policy repercussions. The CDS’s approach within this area of research concerns the dynamics underlying change, encompassing the analysis of linkages between various actors, such as government, the international community and NGOs. Our approach also draws attention to the needs and experiences of those affected by those actors’ decisions. To facilitate greater understanding and consideration of the way in which policies will affect their target constituencies, linkages are identified between the various community representatives, such as local authorities and neighborhood committees, and individuals within communities.
The CDS’s policy-focused and applied research is supported by a theoretical research programme, which provides an academic framework within which the applied research can be understood. Conceptualizing ‘development’ within the Palestinian colonial context helps direct and inform applied research. In addition, high quality theoretical research papers put crucial development issues concerning the occupied Palestinian territories, into the international academic arena. This, in turn, supports the development of academic capacity within Palestinian institutions and, by building a national and international reputation as a driving force in development thought, enhances the potential of the CDS to influence policy-makers at all levels.