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Call for Researchers: Civil Society Actors and Policymaking in the Arab World Program, IFI

07/09/2018
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs supported by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) has launched a project titled: “Breaking the Mold: Arab Civil Society Actors and their Quest to Influence Policymaking.” This project aims at understanding the role of Arab civil society actors in influencing policymaking through mapping case studies from across the region. The mapping will explore instances in which civil society in the Arab region has tried to influence public policies in diverse fields and under different politicalconditions.
 
The project envisages mapping around ten case studies from each of the following countries/regions: Egypt, Gulf region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.
 
The case studies are expected to cover the following fields:
  • Socio-economic rights/social services & protection (education, healthcare)
  • Environmental rights
  • Gender and women’s rights
  • Youth participation, political rights and freedoms
Note: An initial list of cases is available and could be shared upon the applicant’s request. However, applicants are encouraged to recommend further cases that they may consider important to be represented within the mapping.
 
Each case study:
  • Will be written in 1500 to 2000 words.
  • Will follow a template that includes the background of the case study, its timeline, the civil society actors involved, the influencing factors (e.g. media, funding), in addition to the policy outcomes and lessons learnt.
  • Will be based on a desk review of literature, media and other material; data collection: around three interviews/focus groups/discussions with stakeholders (references and interview transcripts are required).
  • Must provide a descriptive as well as analytical account that ensures a thorough understanding of the policy issue, and captures the dynamics, development and internal/external debate surrounding the issue.
  • Once drafted, each case study will be reviewed by the advisory committee and sent back to the researchers for revision and finalization.
Eligibility
The project welcomes applications from young scholars, researchers and journalists in the Arab world with knowledge and experience within the field of civil society activism as well as research skills and experience in conducting interviews and desk reviews for the case studies.
 
Funding
The Issam Fares Institute is allocating 800 USD for each case study, which covers all research-related activities and costs. Research proposals should be for a six-month project from October 2018 till March 2019, though researchers are expected to be available to respond to Advisory Committee reviews and comments on deliverables and to attend workshops and a conference beyond this timeframe. The Issam Fares Institute will cover accommodation and travel costs related to participation in the project workshops and conference for people coming from abroad.
 
Interested applicants are expected to submit:
  • A concept note and plan for conducting the case studies with a background statement around the country selected, the case studies that will be addressed and the proposed research methodology that would be adopted (1-2 pages)
  • A timeline for the research
  • A writing sample
  • Alternative/suggested case studies, if any
  • CV
  • Two references OR letters of recommendation
Note: Each applicant is encouraged to submit and conduct at least three case studies.
 
All requirements must be submitted before 31 July 2018 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Deliverables & Conditions
  1. Applicants are required to submit their documents before 31 July 2018 to bereviewed.
  2. Short-listed applicants are required to present their research proposal to the project’s advisory group in a closed workshop taking place in Beirut on 17, 18 and 19 September 2018.
  3. Selected applicants are expected to submit a brief progress report halfway through their research timeline (TBA, 2018).
  4. Researchers are required to submit the first draft of the cases by 31 March 2019 for review.
  5. Selected researchers are required to commit to present the final output by September, 2019 with all required revisions andedits.
  6. Final papers will be published and disseminated, upon meeting quality requirements of the Issam Fares Institute, and may be considered for future publications within journal articles or editedbooks.
  7. The grant will be paid in three installments upon meeting submission deadlines and content/qualityrequirements.
To apply, please send all the applications and required documents, in addition to any inquiries, to both: Fatima Moussawi, fm73@aub.edu.lb and Mona Khneisser, mk249@aub.edu.lb
 
This call was first published on the Issam Fares Institute website.


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