BMU | Barrier monitoring

05 March 2012

Through monitoring the impacts of the West Bank Barrier‘s construction and its physical structure on Palestinian communities, the BMU aims to provide systematic and verifiable data through action-research on the Barrier. Through its work, the unit seeks to contribute to the existing dialogue and efforts to bring the practice of States vis à vis the Barrier and its associated regime in line with international law.

The BMU forges long-lasting co-operative relationships with local and international partners to build their capacities and to develop the skills required for Barrier monitoring. By transferring knowledge and practical skills based on research and innovative advocacy, local organisations enhance their capacities to collect, store, and analyse data, which in turn encourages sustainability. We aim to put these goals into practice by creating partner networks that range from local to international and from academic to non-governmental and governmental. These partners implement different phases of the research, ranging from contributing to research methodologies to conducting surveys in the field. To co-ordinate these processes, the BMU created a methodology to efficiently research, monitor and document the Barrier and its impacts on Palestinian communities.

The BMU readily assists partners in administering surveys and co-ordinating data collection, thereby facilitating the transfer of knowledge to our local partners. Furthermore, the BMU offers formal and informal trainings in thematic cartography, the use of Google Earth applications, and other visual communications and advocacy tools in order to better promote research results.

We partner with local organisations for every project and survey we undertake. For example, with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem, Birzeit University, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and other UNRWA departments, the BMU undertakes joint surveys in communities directly affected by the Barrier. These joint surveys monitor the Barrier’s impacts on West Bank identification-holders living on the “Jerusalem” side of the Barrier, on refugee and non-refugee communities (including rural refugees), on access to land and basic services, and on the environment. To link our research to advocacy, we represent our Barrier monitoring visually; through Google Earth, we are developing three-dimensional models and pop-up mini-profiles of each of the over 170 directly-affected communities, to be released soon.

Joint surveys


The BMU completes all of its studies in cooperation with at least one other organisation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Our studies include:

Find out more about our research and how we complete surveys with our partners.

Directly-affected communities


Developed jointly by PCBS, OCHA and UNRWA, this list is a compilation of all communities directly affected by the West Bank Barrier. Any community with land on the other side of the Barrier or located between the Barrier and the Green Line are considered "directly-affected" under our criteria.


Find out how the BMU assists local organisations in carrying out complex and intricate studies with limited resources.



Profiles of our partners and our co-operative monitoring work.


See the BMU‘s photo albums, chronicling our work.


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