On-going IFI Research
Mapping Education Policies for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey Joint project with the Refugee Research and Policy in the Arab World
The Syrian refugee crisis has become one of the most challenging contemporary global humanitarian crises. Not only has the multi-year conflict resulted in the tremendous loss of lives and livelihoods for Syrians, it has also led to the creation of a generation of lost and traumatized refugee children in dire need of education throughout their prolonged displacement. Around 3.1 million children and youth inside Syria and in neighboring countries are of school age. Education has become one of the largest issues impacting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Furthermore, it has emerged as a priority for a number of international organizations and local NGOs. The study will map the policies and practices that influence the access of Syrian refugees to primary education in three host countries in the MENA region: Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. It will also present the varied modes of education available for these students in each of the host countries listed, and investigate the intersection (if any) between the roles of each of the NGOs, INGOs, and local government stakeholders in mitigating the emergent crisis of education. Study findings will provide a better understanding of the policy context of the education of Syrian refugees in each of the host countries, providing policymakers with a comparative lens to look at the current status and possible policy recommendations for a possible response. Findings will also provide a sense of understanding of the potential for harmonization of policy across countries in the region facing a common crisis.
Hana A. El-Ghali and Nadine Ghalayini, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB
One of the emerging concerns for the Education sector is the quality of education. As more universities began offering the opportunity to pursue a higher education in the country, the quality of education offered began to vary across institutions. Therefore, there is a need to provide certain standards to assure that the education provided to students in Lebanon adheres to quality standards that enables the students to compete in the labor market. In the proposed study on the development of the policy on quality assurance (QA) in higher education institutions in Lebanon, we will look at the process of developing the law/policy for creating a national QA agency for higher education in Lebanon, and whether or not evidence-based research played a role in informing the discussions of the policy.
Supporting a Participatory Policy making Process in the MENA Region
Hana A. El-Ghali, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB
This project is collaboration between the Westminster Foundation for Development (WFD), the Issam Fares Institute (IFI), and the National School of Government. The project aims to enhance a participatory and transparent policy-making process in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This will be accomplished through developing suitable guidelines and benchmarks on how to develop a policy, understanding the role of the parliament in overseeing its implementation, and linking policy makers to policy institutes. IFI will develop a set of guidelines for policy-making from inception to monitoring, drawing on international and regional experiences. These guidelines will be grouped in a handbook that will be tested through a series of workshops and focus group discussions with stakeholders and modified to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’. IFI will also be examining research-informed policy-making in the context of the Lebanese Parliament by observing the decision making process within Parliamentary Committees and surveying Members of the Parliament in order to gain an in depth understanding of their perceptions of the use of research in the making of public policy in the country.
National case studies on health policy-making in the Middle East
Fadi El Jardali, Health Management & Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, AUB
The Eastern Mediterranean Region is still suffering of limited uptake of research evidence by policymakers. This is partially the result of the complex policy-making environment. In-depth studies on health policy-making process would provide better understanding of this process and therefore designing specific Knowledge Translation strategies that can best be matched to particular policy making processes and the political context Using the Lebanese Voluntary Health Insurance of the National Social Security Fund as a case study, this retrospective policy analysis exercise aims at generating insights about how policies are being made and what influences policymaking and the use of evidence in this process. This study is likely to matter in light of the changes that are unfolding in some Arab countries and the looming opportunities for policy reforms. Also, the study would provide lessons to other countries, particularly low and middle income countries.
Rami G. Khouri and Hana A. El-Ghali, Jana Chamaa, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB
The CAPRI project was launched in fall 2010 as part of the RAPP program particularly aimed at studying the research and policy links related to Policy Research Institutes (PRIs).
Completed IFI Research
The RAPP program conducted a 3-month case study on Lebanon's forest fire policy, tracing the policy-formulation process that lead to the National Strategy for Forest Fire Management—this policy represents a successful example of how a civil society organization specialized in reforestation activities can influence policy-making through research and advocacy. IFI collected data in two phases: a review of relevant documents, and elite interviews conducted with primary policy-makers, including officials from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense. The study found that the policy-formulation process was achieved by the forestry association's strong lobbying efforts and its grasp of an entry point into policy-making.
- The Economics of Tobacco in Lebanon: An Estimation of the Social Costs of Tobacco Consumption
Lebanon has one of the highest smoking rates worldwide. With young teenagers smoking water-pipe and cigarettes at the age of 13, Lebanon has yet to set a policy on tobacco control. Work inefficiency and environmental costs are not the only problems the Lebanese people face as a result of high smoking rates; they also face the vast number of diseases that come with it. This IFI-funded research paper written by AUB's Dr. Jad Chaaban, Dr. Nisreen Salti, and Miss Nadia Naamani is the first study in Lebanon to take a comprehensive look into the organization of tobacco and all major tobacco-related markets, and shows the millions of dollars in losses Lebanon faces as a result of tobacco consumption.
Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making
The Economics of Tobacco in Lebanon:
An Estimation of the Social Costs of Tobacco Consumption
As part of the AUB Tobacco Research Control Group (AUB-TCRG), this IFI-funded research paper was written by AUB's Dr. Jad Chaaban
, Dr. Nisreen Salti
, and Miss Nadia Naamani
, and is the first study in Lebanon to take a comprehensive look into the organization of tobacco and all major tobacco-related markets, and shows the millions of dollars in losses Lebanon faces as a result of tobacco consumption.
Center for Research on Population and Health (CRPH),
IFI's RAPP program - April 2010, Research and Policy Memo # 1
Dr Rima Nakkash, AUB-Tobacco Control Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences
The Economics of Tobacco in Lebanon: An Estimation of the Social Costs of Tobacco Consumption
Dr. Jad Chaaban, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, AUB
Miss Nadia Naamani, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, AUB
Dr. Nisreen Salti, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AUB
AUB-Tobacco Control Research Group (AUB-TCRG)
Dr Rima Nakkash, Faculty of Health Sciences, AUB
Hiba Khodr and Daniel Reiche, Political Studies and Public Administration, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AUB
Jad Chaaban, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, AUB
Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making
Consortium of Arab Policy Research Institutes (CAPRI) Project
Rami G. Khouri, and Hana A. El-Ghali, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB
The CAPRI project was launched in fall 2010 as part of the RAPP program particularly aimed at studying the research and policy links related to Policy Research Institutes (PRIs). The term PRI is used in the place of "think tank" because the latter term is a Western concept that does not fully incorporate the range of institutions with policy impact in the Arab world. In order to better understand PRIs' research and policy links, it is essential to examine PRIs' role and impact. This requires the conceptual disaggregation of PRIs as institutes on the one hand, and PRIs within the policy-making process on the other.
The research questions guiding this project are:
- What is the role of PRIs in the policy-making process in the Arab world?
- How can PRIs impact local, regional and global policy-making?
- How can PRIs best collaborate?
The CAPRI Project completed Phase I in May 2011. The initial phase involved the mapping of PRIs in the Arab world. In addition, interviews, meetings, and seminars were conducted with PRI directors as well as academics and experts on Arab policy-making. A database was also developed that captures the "landscape" of PRIs in the Arab world. Finally, preliminary analysis of the interviews, meetings proceedings, and database was generated. Phase II of the CAPRI project was launched in January 2012 with a workshop targeted at tackling the practical and strategic issues raised by PRIs during Phase I. A series of similar workshops have followed. The research team is also currently engaged in an in depth analysis of the data generated during the initial phase.