In December 2011, ARI launched the Arab Research Support Programme (ARSP), which aimed to promote through financial grants quality research in Arab countries in order to guide policy debates and empower individuals and new institutions. In the first round of the ARSP, a total 28 individual researchers and 9 organisations were funded through the programme.
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The Arab Research Support Programme II supports 56 scholars from across the Arab world and gives priority to innovative, evidence-based research related to the democratic transitions in the region.
From 2011 to 2015, ARI investigated the new forms of mobilisation that emerged during the Arab Spring and the ensuing evolution in political organisation, focusing in particular on Egypt and trends stemming from the January 25 revolution.
From 2011-2014, ARI in partnership with its member the Centre d’Etudes et Recherches en Sciences Sociales (CERSS), sought to strengthen the Moroccan judiciary through the revision of regulations in place and the provision of recommendations for reform, developing an agenda for reform through a participatory process.
Between 2008-2010 ARI, in collaboration with ARI member the Gulf Research Centre, explored the role of the private sector in economic and political reform explored to what degree the private sector is capable of being a political force for change and to what degree it is dependent on the government.
This ground-breaking project, carried out from 2007-2011, consisted of sustained and open dialogue among diverse civil society groups, political leaders, and senior officials in the military and security services. The project provided a forum for these diverse actors to discuss citizen control over police practices, the role of the military in the political system, and governance of intelligence agencies in a democratic context.
In Tunisia, security sector reform (SSR) has received great attention since 2011 and genuine efforts have been engaged; however, the occurrence of two major terrorist incidents in 2015 poses important new challenges to effective SSR in the country. ARI is working with partners to facilitate societal dialogue around the issue of SSR, build a consensual understanding of national security priorities and develop a sense of ownership of the reform agenda for the security sector.
From 2008 to 2011 ARI led a dialogue process between leading figures of different political opposition groups in Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, serving as an umbrella for critical dialogue between diverse political actors on the most delicate and complex of topics.
With the adoption of a new constitution in July 2011, Morocco took a further step towards participatory democracy, enshrining the principles of consultation and citizen input in the formation of public policy.
From 2011-2014, the Governance of Diversity project explored the question of citizenship and how the diversity in Arab societies is managed by the political regimes. The project aimed to propose concrete models of national contracts, constitutional arrangements, public policies, and other measures to ensure genuine equality, recognising that management of the rights and status of minorities and women is primarily the government's responsibility.