Increasing the sustainability of the local handicraft sector in Bethlehem

Location Bethlehem district, Palestine

Duration 2016 – 2018

Framework Youth in Palestine – New Opportunities of Integration and Employment for young Palestinian boys and girls – three year project implement by VIS.

Client VIS – Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo

Funding  Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Autonomous Province of Trento, and the Lombardy Region.


Weak marketing capacities, conflict-related issues on trade management and free movement, volatility in tourism flows, and increasing competition due to low quality imported products are affecting the economic sustainability of handicraft organizations with a high social value, making it hard for them to increase their production. This is seriously hampering their ability to enhance their activities for vulnerable people, with predictable economic and social effects on the local community.

General objective

This program aims to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in Bethlehem. Special attention is given to the handicraft sector and organizations that are working to foster the economic and social inclusion of vulnerable people.The “Youth in Palestine” initiative builds on the existing Bethlehem Handicraft Platform, enhancing its effectiveness as a collective organisation, increasing the quality of handicraft production, strengthening its management capacities, expanding its market access, and enhancing synergies for its members.

Our contribution

We have engaged in action research and consultancy activities that aimed to:

  • ♦ Examine the previous actions of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform and assess its performance
  • ♦ Explore the most pressing issues affecting the economic sustainability of handicraft producers who emphasize the inclusion of vulnerable people and assess potential areas of intervention
  • ♦ Collectively discuss the future of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform, offering member organisations an opportunity to contribute to any decisions that are made concerning its management and strategic plan
  • ♦ Support the implementation of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform Strategic Plan


Read more on our Local Development Unit