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Project Palestine Case Study

7.27.11 By: Rob Jordan


For 30 years, Israel permitted thousands of Palestinians to enter the country daily to work in construction, agriculture and other blue-collar jobs. Until the mid-1990s, about a fifth of the Palestinian labor force entered Israel every day. After prolonged conflict without a clear vision of resolution, the idea of separation from the Palestinian labor market took root in Israel. A blockade was instituted, with restricted access to Israel for the Palestinian labor force.  As a result, Israel found itself starved for labor, and gradually replaced most of the Palestinian workers with migrants from Thailand, Romania and elsewhere. By December of 2006, unemployment among Palestinians had risen from 23% (in 2005) to over 50%.


Although the West Bank has shown a course of development entirely distinct from that of the Gaza Strip, it has nevertheless been unable to evolve into a robust, developed economy.  This is largely due to reliance on an insular economy and a labor force dependent on Israel for work. If the West Bank region is to succeed, it will require the ability to expand its economy beyond internal borders, as well as beyond the borders of neighboring Israel. A significant opportunity for the Arabic speaking world to achieve economic expansion exists within the development of technology management and consulting related jobs.


Salesforce provides a technological platform in what is traditionally known as “cloud computing”.  This technology platform allows management consulting firms to offer their development services virtually anywhere in the world, without ever having to make an onsite visit to a client’s home office.  This translates into the ability to provide technology services from Ramallah for a client in Abu Dhabi without ever having to make an onsite visit. The results are affordable IT services in Abu Dhabi with an income stream to Ramallah, all the while circumnavigating traditional borders and the expenses that traditional IT deployments accumulate.


Idealist Consulting was selected to help deliver “Project Palestine: Building a Cloud Economy” USAID funded project. The goal of Project Palestine was to provide five Palestinian consulting firms with the skill set and resources to implement cloud computing solutions on the Salesforce platform.  These consulting services were delivered to five Arabic speaking enterprises (ASE) throughout the Palestinain territory. The goals of the project were to provide:

  • Palestinians the ability to work inside and outside Palestinian borders, thereby expanding market reach and economic impact.

  • Strengthening business operations of Palestinian NPOs and NGOs.

  • Jobs for over 10 Palestinian Salesforce consultants.

  • Jobs for over 20 Palestinian Salesforce administrators.

  • Distribution of over $150,000 in “cloud computing infrastructure” within the Palestinian economy.

  • Expand the Palestinian economy to include IT markets through cloud computing technology.

The results of the project were beneficial in exposing the Palestian business community to cloud computing while providing technology to numerous tech consulting firms in the Palestine.  As a result Idealist Consulting was recognized for our efforts in the 2010 Corporate excellence awards, hosted by Hillary Clinton.



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