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The Arab Foundations Forum & Issam Fares Institute
Policy Research Institutes and Foundations: A Roadmap to Cooperation

December 1 & 2, 2014
Beirut, Lebanon

AFF and IFI have identified a common interest in finding effective and strategic ways in which PRIs and Foundations in the Arab Region can better cooperate and interact. Attended by policy research institutes and foundations in the Arab region, some of the issues addressed at this meeting included:

  • How should PRIs/Researchers/Think Tanks and grant-making foundations in the Arab Region ideally interact with each other on a long-term, sustainable basis?
  • What are the main challenges faced by both sides vis-à-vis funding issues and how the dynamic between the two sides impedes funding?
  • What is needed from PRIs/Researchers/Think Tanks to incentivize Arab foundations to commit to funding region-specific research?
  • What are the capacity gaps on both sides that impede better collaboration, funding and results?
  • Lack of data gathering and reporting in the sector overall, and in the region specifically. How can this be mitigated towards improving the funding realm?
  • What do PRIs/Researchers/Think Tanks need from Donors/Foundations to improve the dynamic between the two?
  • What is the role of associations (i.e., AFF) and policy institutes (i.e., IFI) in facilitating the relationships between PRIs/Think Tanks/Researchers and Foundations and Donors?
  • Accountability and Transparency: what do these mean within the regional context and how can we develop a culturally relevant taxonomy to define them?
  • How can Arab Foundations and PRIs/Think Tanks better align themselves with global development, policy and research trends in order to better position the region on a global stage?
    • Global partnerships and how we can contribute to global data
    • Understanding the value of longitudinal studies for long-term outcome and policy changing beyond the short-term 10-20 year view. How can what we do today impact the region in 30-40-50 years?
  • Data – how is the lack of comprehensive data in the sector (who’s giving what, where, how much, to whom, etc.?) affecting the efficacy of funding and program development? How can research help fill this gap?
    • What is the research landscape looking like in the Arab region? What are people researching and who is funding it?

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