This Feb. 2012 report from the Geneva-based Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding examines zakat committees in Gaza from 1973 to 2011 and complements a previous study on the West Bank. The author, scholar Emanuel Schaeublin, argues that prior to 2007 these groups were effective in meeting the needs of local communities because of a depoliticized system of governance that was decentralized and allowed for local autonomy. The findings from both this and the West Bank studies conclude that before the escalation of Hamas-Fatah tensions in 2007, there was a mutually agreed implicit “hands-off” policy largely preventing any of the movements from interfering with the committees. Research shows that the system has since been compromised by the introduction of political actors and agendas.

The Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding is the Graduate Institute’s focal point for research in the areas of conflict analysis, humanitarianism, peacebuilding, and the complex relationships between security and development.