(Development Award) Social protection and sustainable peace in the Middle East and North Africa Region: Building a new welfare-centred politics

Project: Research council

Project Details


This proposal is organised around the four core principles of the AHRC development award call which are to develop equitable and sustainable partnerships in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), support LMIC capability development, develop pathways to impact and enhance inter-disciplinary working. To this end, we will undertake a programme of: (a) strategic consultations with existing and new international and local experts, partners and practitioners regarding our network's research agenda and approach; (b) face-to-face and online knowledge sharing and co-design activities to enhance our network and partnerships.

This programme of work will directly frame our final stage Network Plus proposal and strengthen the foundations of our network plus "hub", the MENASP network (www.menasp.com), for sustainable, cross-regional and equitable partnership working in conflict-affected countries. In so doing, this development award will directly support the core aims and scope of our shortlisted outline proposal whose strategic vision is to forge a paradigm shift in the critical analysis and policy practices of conflict-prevention in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) by advocating a shift towards a welfare-centred, social policy perspective. The latter requires a focus on the governance and impact of social protection policies in tackling the most overlooked yet urgently pertinent drivers of civic unrest and conflict in MENA.

The centre piece activity will be a five day practice-based planning workshop made up of three inter-related streams, that will take place in Dubai in February 2020 with the support of the British Council UAE office. The workshop will be managed by a local facilitator. The three steams of work will be:

(1) Workshop stream 1 (1 day): Safeguarding and inclusion in contexts of conflict - the management team and partners will consider the meanings of safeguarding and inclusion within the scope of the project. They will produce a protocol to guide the work of the network long term. This protocol will also be explained in a training film that will also be produced as part of the project.

(2) Workshop stream 2 (2 days): Consultation on research objectives and network approach - the aim of this stream will be to review the conceptual parameters of the network plus research agenda with the key co-Is and project partners. We will refine our country case study focus, consider in more depth and also test how we undertand change and impact will happen in the project and who will benefit from our research.

(3) Workshop stream 3 (2 days): Enhancing interdisciplinary engagement - the aim of this stream will be to focus two days of activity and discussions on dialogue between social scientists involved in social policy and conflict related research with practitioners and researchers from other discipline areas such the arts, humanities, education and management design thinking. These will enhance the project design and wider societal impact.

As stated above, in addition to the workshop will also produce a training video about the safe-guarding protocols and run a webinar during the later half of the project to review the project plans and future activities. Using our menasp.com website, we will support learning and partnerships for example by encouraging the network team to write blogs about their experiences of working in the network and how we can develop it further.

Interested members of the public will be able to follow our work on the website of the MENASP network www.menasp.com
Effective start/end date1/07/1931/03/22


  • AHRC

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

RCUK Research Areas

  • Development studies
  • Social policy
  • Social Policy


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