Despite the uprisings in many of the Arab countries since 2011 (and what has followed in waves of protest) and the escalation in demands for social justice, political freedom, and democratic participation, citizens and residents in the Arab region continue to voice their grievances, both individually and collectively, of marginalization and continued deprioritisation in the policy making process. Public policy here refers to all the economic, social, environmental, and financial decrees and legislations that political systems across the region enforce through governmental branches, whether legislative, executive, judicial, or outside of the constitutional rules such as those issued during periods of emergency or martial law.
This persistent exclusion has led to the emergence of uprisings bearing the gripes of the masses to go straight to elite circles, even if temporarily, but met by a counter-revolution that attempted to reinforce the belief that mobilisation is futile, prompting people to fall back into the path of earning a living, far from the concerns of public affairs.
Program and goals
In the face of these developments, the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) is happy to announce the launch of its new research and training project to build the capacity of a new generation of scholars in the field of public policy research to platform and disseminate their work. This project aims to enrich the efforts in knowledge production in documenting, analyzing, critiquing, and taking accountability of political systems on the basis of sound scientific principles. Through this, spaces for public participation can be cultivated for the citizens of the Arab region and those living in it.
Within this framework, ARI aims to receive applications from Arab researchers intending to publish, study, or teach on the importance of public policies to strengthen citizen rights, social democracy, and the principles of political accountability, and to further embody and enforce integrative governance in the Arab region (one of the most important goals of ARI since it’s inception).
The first round of chosen applications in this program will receive extensive theoretical training including:
- An introduction to the literature of public policy research (Months 1 and 2);
- Writing workshops on the methodology of policy papers, through discussions with experts in various fields of public policy research (Months 3 and 4)
ARI will assist and edit each participant’s work in the follow-up to their expected 2-3 deliverables. These will be published in the Arab region and/or internationally and may include but are not limited to:
- An academic policy research paper;
- A policy paper targeting a specific sector of policy makers or international donors or activist circles;
- A podcast or opinion piece explaining the effects, costs, and alternatives to policies to a wider audience
- An individually or collectively run blog looking at a specific policy sector.
Target audience and applications
Applications are open for the program from 28 March 2022 to 1 May 2022.
Applications will be decided on 29 May to begin the process of training, formulating and editing the case studies suggested, with the goal of publishing their analytical, journalistic, and rights-based work on public policies in their respective country.
ARI is especially interested in those who have recently obtained their PhD or those who are close to finishing their thesis in the field of political sciences, sociology, anthropology, economics, law and planning. Applicants of interest are also those who have previously written in topics of public policy, including social protection, urban administration, environmental justice, minority rights, women’s rights, and other similar topics.
Applications must include:
- Personal statement, detailing the reason for your application and a case study the applicant will be working on during the course of the program;
- Recommendation letter from a supervisor or academic supervisor the applicant has worked with before.
The Arab Reform Initiative is accepting applications from Monday, 28 March 2022 to Sunday, 1 May 2022 through the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org