About the Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance
The Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance is Israel’s leading organization advancing the competence, integrity and effectiveness of elected officials and senior employees in Arab local authorities (ALAs), towns and villages. The mission of Injaz is to close the socio-economic gap between Arab and Jewish citizens and pave the way for a more equitable and just society. Injaz (‘achievement’ in Arabic) is a registered, non -partisan organization.
History | With encouragement from the National Committee for the Heads of Arab Local Authorities, Injaz was co -founded in 2008 by Ms. Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi and Mr. Shawki Khatib in response to the under-development and dependence of Israel’s Arab towns, and the unsatisfactory professional capacity and conduct of the heads of ALAs. Injaz has since become a highly respected and trusted advocate for ALAs and today works with more than 60 of the 73 ALAs throughout Israel (including those representing the Bedouin and Druze communities) .
Strategy | Injaz works on three levels: 1) between ALAs and the central government to enhance the relationship and advance issues such as housing, planning and budget allocations; 2) within ALAs to build the capacity, knowledge and skills of elected mayors and appointed officials (particularly in organizational and financial management and long-term policy development) and to foster inter-municipal cooperation and collaboration; and 3) with the public (particularly women and youth) to increase participation in local issues.
Main activities | The Strategic Plan developed by the board of Injaz sets the priorities for 2016-2017 as follows: 1) monitoring the implementation of the five -year (2016- 2021) economic plan to develop Arab towns (Decision No. 922); 2) implementing its Evidence-Based and Results-Oriented Model for Growth, Innovation and Economic Development in ALAs (designed with the OECD); and 3) furthering the work of the Leading Arab Mayors and Senior Officials Forums.
Accomplishments | Among Injaz’s most significant achievements are 1) significant financial allocations from central government departments to ALAs for economic development and expansion of industrial zones; 2) more equitable distribution of tax revenues among ALAs in the Negev; 3) increased political participation of youth and women, and the establishment of Women's Councils in Yerka and Kafr Qassem.
Leadership | A team of 12 staff implement the activities under the supervision of Ms. Rinawie- Zoabi who has led Injaz as Executive Director since its founding. In 2011, she was the only Arab woman ranked among the ‘100 Most Influential’ people and organizations compiled by The Marker, and in 2015 was the first Arab woman to receive the Knight of Good Governance Award from the Movement for Quality Government. Further, an active 11-member volunteer board of directors comprising former and current ALA mayors and senior officials governs the organization. Mr. Khatib, Chairman, is the former mayor of Yafeya, Head of the National Committee for Arab Local Councils, and the High Follow-up Committee.
Partners | Injaz cooperates extensively with Israeli civil society organizations, Israeli ministries and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Injaz’s annual budget is about $1.2 million and among its donors are the Fohs Foundation, Heinrich Boell Foundation, MEPI, British Embassy, Social Venture Fund, UJA Federation of New York and the Guilford and Diane Glazer Foundation.
Contact | For further information please contact Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi, Executive Director at Ghaida@injaz.org.il or +972 54 3983820.
The Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance | www.injaz.org.il
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