West Bank Gaza Program 

This report provides a summary of my service as the Palistinian Community Assistance Project (PCAP) Agreement Officer Representative from January 26, 2011 until June 1, 2012. During this period, PCAP was able to develop and implement a comprehensive community assistance initiative that by May 2012 reached 175,530 beneficiaries in Gaza and was expending more than $2 million per month (as of March 2012 cumulative expenditures exceeded $26 million). While there was a steep learning curve, the program is now moving rapidly to implement activities critical to PCAP’s “theory of change” which posits that improved social and economic conditions will give hope to vulnerable Gazans and promote the potential for peace in the region. Key issues centered on streamlining the PCAP activity approval process and shortening the timeframe for anti-terrorism and commodity transport approvals. Key lessons learned were the need for clarity in approval and implementation processes, more program flexibility to cope with operating and funding constraints unique to Gaza, and upfront monitoring systems to identify problems and recommend corrective action (a Gaza Monitoring Unit is critically needed in order to effectively manage PCAP).