THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Breaking The Mold - كسر القوالب
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) hosted a two-day conference on the mapping and analysis of civil movement impact on policymaking in the Arab World, on Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5 2019 at IFI’s auditorium - AUB Campus. The conference was an opportunity to present the results of 92 case studies completed over the past year in ten Arab countries.
Halfway through 2018, the “Civil Society Actors and Policymaking in the Arab World” program at IFI, with the support of Open Society Foundations, launched the second round of its extended research project “Arab Civil Society Actors and their Quest to Influence Policy-Making”. This project aims to map and analyze the attempts of Arab civil society, in all its orientations, structures, and differences, to influence public policy across a variety of domains.
This research produced 92 case studies outlining the role of civil society in impacting political, social, economic, gender, educational, health-related, and environmental policies in ten Arab countries: Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, and the Arab Gulf.
25 researchers and research groups from the above countries participated in this research, which was conducted over approximately a year and a half. The results were reviewed by an advisory committee for methodological formation and case review to ensure alignment with the project’s goals.
One of the most remarkable results of the examined cases is how the environments in which civil society works impact its approaches to certain issues, as well as its ability to influence policymakers and decision-making processes. These cases also shed light on the various problems faced by civil society in areas of conflict and places where restrictions on freedoms and civil spaces are increasing. They additionally underline the impact that Arab uprisings on the logic and context of civil work.
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