In September 2011, the government passed Resolution 3708 initiating a broad program to promote economic growth and development for the Bedouin population in the Negev. The resolution sets out a five-year program (2012-2016) with the following goals: To promote the economic status of the Bedouin population in the Negev; to strengthen the Bedouin local authorities; and to strengthen community life and leadership. The resolution places a special emphasis on women and young adults. A large number of government ministries are responsible for the broad range of areas addressed in the program. The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute is evaluating the implementation and the outcomes of the multi-year program. This is the first of four reports on the findings of the study focusing on the following three goals:
1. Increasing the employment rate among the Bedouin in the Negev, while diversifying places of employment. Steps to reach these goals include setting up and implementing employment centers; offering professional training; developing industrial parks; providing incentives to employers; and encouraging business entrepreneurship.
2. Developing infrastructures that support education, employment and human services. This includes improving transportation access to institutions of education and places of employment and developing childcare facilities, particularly for preschoolers.
3. Strengthening personal security in the localities while addressing all areas of crime, violence and traffic offences by strengthening the local police forces; implementing the City Without Violence program; and increasing the activity of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority.
The report examines the implementation of all aspects of the program: what has been done and to what extent; the outcomes that have been achieved and the remaining challenges. Based on the findings and the interviews with stakeholders, it provides programmatic directions to better address the challenges in the future.
The study findings have been presented to the program’s inter-ministerial steering committee and will serve as a basis for improving the program and additional future multi-year plans.
The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which is supervising the implementation of the resolution.