About the Project

About the Project

We are a working group of national think tanks and independent media outlets, working across the Arab region with a wide network of like-minded institutions and various stakeholders.

This consortium was established in mid-2020 with the aim to promote social justice during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arab region – and particularly in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon – by examining the existing social protection systems, producing knowledge on who is being excluded from the current systems, and advocating for reforms to include marginalized groups. Our approach to social justice is a rights-based approach that integrates the concepts of sustainable development, leaving-no-one-behind, and gender justice.

We aim to achieve our objective of inclusive and effective social protection by engaging concerned communities in the decision-making processes while providing stakeholders with the critical research needed to inform and consolidate their efforts.

About the Project

What role can different stakeholders, including women and the most vulnerable/marginalized social groups themselves, play in the decision-making processes, implementation and monitoring of policies and programs related to social protection?

2
we envision

We envision effective and inclusive social protection systems in the Arab region which foster redistribution, instead of merely resource mobilization, and reduce multidimensional inequality within countries, through the implementation of socio-economic policies and programs that are mindful of the importance of social justice, gender responsiveness, and the sensitivity to the different forms of vulnerability and marginalization. We are aware of the challenge of achieving our goal in the region while dealing with a highly volatile political and economic landscape.

we understand

We understand social protection as a continuous pattern of programs and especially policies for longer term social justice, poverty and vulnerability reduction, as well as sustainable development, which makes the concept embedded in all socio-economic public policies. As such, we attempt to bridge the dire need for immediate response with long-term and sustainable priorities.


The Arab Reform Initiative is an independent Arab think tank working with expert partners in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change. It conducts research and policy analysis and provides a platform for inspirational voices based on the principles of diversity, impartiality, gender equality and social justice.

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The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has been working since 2002 to strengthen and protect basic rights and freedoms in Egypt, through research, advocacy and supporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and social rights, and criminal justice.

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The Policy Initiative is a research center based in Lebanon

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The Phenix Center for Economics & Informatics Studies is a non-governmental organization dedicated to independent policy research and measuring public opinions on impactful current and emerging issues in areas of economics, society, and its legislative environment in Jordan. The Center was founded in Amman, Jordan in 2003 under the registration number 142203.

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1

Given the economic crises in the Arab region and the States’ limited fiscal capacity, what types of social protections can be devised that are inclusive in scope and coverage and that build effectively on existing measures by both State and non-State actors?

3

What different types of actions or programs can be undertaken by both State and non-State actors to improve socio-economic indicators but also mitigate subjective feelings of vulnerability and exclusion?

Mission

We are an independent consortium of think tanks and media outlets contributing the best of our knowledge, expertise and capacities, and working collaboratively with like-minded experts, institutions and actors to turn the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed, to a great extent, inequalities and the lack of access to basic services in the Arab region, into an opportunity to suggest long-term reforms in the Arab social protection systems. Guided by principles of human rights, social justice, citizenship, civic engagement, democratic accountability, and inclusive and sustainable development, we aim to thoroughly map, document and analyze the responses to the pandemic, better understand their impact on social justice, and devise solutions for more efficient, inclusive and sustainable social protection systems. By doing so, we hope to contribute to rethinking the prevailing social contracts. We work towards our aim through research, which seeks to produce knowledge from the ground based on well- established and ethical research methods, to provide a deep and comprehensive assessment of vulnerabilities and how programs and policies (or lack therefore) exacerbate these vulnerabilities and – by extension – poverty, as well as of the cross-cutting gender dimension to this issue, and to suggest the needed pragmatic reforms and convey them to the decision- making level through the available advocacy and lobbying channels.

we aim

We aim, in two-year time, to upscale our work from the four target/pilot countries to cover more Arab countries, which allows us to account for all priority areas in the region and generate generalizable knowledge and solutions despite the challenge of fluctuating contexts. Our comparative approach also falls under our vision for a new Arab regional order where cooperation and integration are key.

consortium members

Daraj is an independent digital media platform created by experienced journalists. Our goal is to offer Arabic speakers an alternative kind of journalism, free from political funding and influence, which controls other mainstream Arab media institutions.

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Inkyfada is an independent, nonprofit media group founded in 2014 by a team of journalists, developers, and graphic designers with the goal of supporting the public interest through innovative journalistic content.

View website

Mada Masr is an Egypt-based media organization interested in producing intelligent and engaging journalism, and more generally in re-examining the role of media in relation to its public.

View website

The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES by its French acronym), is a non-governmental, non-partisan, organization operating independently from any political or religious institutions. The FTDES was established in 2011 to defend peoples’ economic and social rights at the national and international levels. It works on several themes including labor rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, migrants’ rights, and social movements via an elaborate organizational scheme based on departmental coordination, advocacy, fieldwork, and research. The FTDES is member of various international networks. It has a central office in Tunis (HQ), local branches in three governorates, and members and partners in all regions of Tunisia.

View website
About the Project

We are a working group of national think tanks and independent media outlets, working across the Arab region with a wide network of like-minded institutions and various stakeholders.

This consortium was established in mid-2020 with the aim to promote social justice during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arab region – and particularly in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon – by examining the existing social protection systems, producing knowledge on who is being excluded from the current systems, and advocating for reforms to include marginalized groups. Our approach to social justice is a rights-based approach that integrates the concepts of sustainable development, leaving-no-one-behind, and gender justice.

We aim to achieve our objective of inclusive and effective social protection by engaging concerned communities in the decision-making processes while providing stakeholders with the critical research needed to inform and consolidate their efforts.

1

Given the economic crises in the Arab region and the States’ limited fiscal capacity, what types of social protections can be devised that are inclusive in scope and coverage and that build effectively on existing measures by both State and non-State actors?

2

What role can different stakeholders, including women and the most vulnerable/marginalized social groups themselves, play in the decision-making processes, implementation and monitoring of policies and programs related to social protection?

3

What different types of actions or programs can be undertaken by both State and non-State actors to improve socio-economic indicators but also mitigate subjective feelings of vulnerability and exclusion?

Mission

We are an independent consortium of think tanks and media outlets contributing the best of our knowledge, expertise and capacities, and working collaboratively with like-minded experts, institutions and actors to turn the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed, to a great extent, inequalities and the lack of access to basic services in the Arab region, into an opportunity to suggest long-term reforms in the Arab social protection systems. Guided by principles of human rights, social justice, citizenship, civic engagement, democratic accountability, and inclusive and sustainable development, we aim to thoroughly map, document and analyze the responses to the pandemic, better understand their impact on social justice, and devise solutions for more efficient, inclusive and sustainable social protection systems. By doing so, we hope to contribute to rethinking the prevailing social contracts. We work towards our aim through research, which seeks to produce knowledge from the ground based on well- established and ethical research methods, to provide a deep and comprehensive assessment of vulnerabilities and how programs and policies (or lack therefore) exacerbate these vulnerabilities and – by extension – poverty, as well as of the cross-cutting gender dimension to this issue, and to suggest the needed pragmatic reforms and convey them to the decision- making level through the available advocacy and lobbying channels.

we envision

We envision effective and inclusive social protection systems in the Arab region which foster redistribution, instead of merely resource mobilization, and reduce multidimensional inequality within countries, through the implementation of socio-economic policies and programs that are mindful of the importance of social justice, gender responsiveness, and the sensitivity to the different forms of vulnerability and marginalization. We are aware of the challenge of achieving our goal in the region while dealing with a highly volatile political and economic landscape.

we aim

We aim, in two-year time, to upscale our work from the four target/pilot countries to cover more Arab countries, which allows us to account for all priority areas in the region and generate generalizable knowledge and solutions despite the challenge of fluctuating contexts. Our comparative approach also falls under our vision for a new Arab regional order where cooperation and integration are key.

we understand

We understand social protection as a continuous pattern of programs and especially policies for longer term social justice, poverty and vulnerability reduction, as well as sustainable development, which makes the concept embedded in all socio-economic public policies. As such, we attempt to bridge the dire need for immediate response with long-term and sustainable priorities.

consortium members

The Arab Reform Initiative is an independent Arab think tank working with expert partners in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change. It conducts research and policy analysis and provides a platform for inspirational voices based on the principles of diversity, impartiality, gender equality and social justice.

View website

Daraj is an independent digital media platform created by experienced journalists. Our goal is to offer Arabic speakers an alternative kind of journalism, free from political funding and influence, which controls other mainstream Arab media institutions.

View website

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has been working since 2002 to strengthen and protect basic rights and freedoms in Egypt, through research, advocacy and supporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and social rights, and criminal justice.

View website

Inkyfada is an independent, nonprofit media group founded in 2014 by a team of journalists, developers, and graphic designers with the goal of supporting the public interest through innovative journalistic content.

View website

The Policy Initiative is a research center based in Lebanon

View website

Mada Masr is an Egypt-based media organization interested in producing intelligent and engaging journalism, and more generally in re-examining the role of media in relation to its public.

View website

The Phenix Center for Economics & Informatics Studies is a non-governmental organization dedicated to independent policy research and measuring public opinions on impactful current and emerging issues in areas of economics, society, and its legislative environment in Jordan. The Center was founded in Amman, Jordan in 2003 under the registration number 142203.

View website

The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES by its French acronym), is a non-governmental, non-partisan, organization operating independently from any political or religious institutions. The FTDES was established in 2011 to defend peoples’ economic and social rights at the national and international levels. It works on several themes including labor rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, migrants’ rights, and social movements via an elaborate organizational scheme based on departmental coordination, advocacy, fieldwork, and research. The FTDES is member of various international networks. It has a central office in Tunis (HQ), local branches in three governorates, and members and partners in all regions of Tunisia.

View website
Advisory committee members

Fourteen members sit on our Advisory committee (AC) on a voluntary basis. Our AC brings together prominent experts who are pioneers in the fields of social protection, social justice, public health, education, crisis management, human rights and economic development. The committee is a balanced combination of different stakeholders (international organizations, academics, NGOs, etc.), different areas of expertise (themes and forms of vulnerability), and different countries (especially the target countries) – of course, not to forget the gender balance.

Our AC meets every three months and is established to provide advice and guidance during the implementation of this two-year regional project.

Our AC members contribute to our project as follows:

  • They provide input and feedback on the direction and research agenda of the consortium, making sure that its work reflects interests and ongoing discussions at the regional and global levels.
  • They provide feedback and ideas to improve the research methodology, and provide overall guidance to ensure that different forms of vulnerability are reflected in the project.
  • They provide suggestions regarding available data, resources and networks, and facilitate such access if/when possible or relevant.
  • They participate in some of the project’s events and webinars, give interviews to the consortium and press interviews/features, etc.
  • They support in the identification of suitable consultants, experts and key relevant speakers/participants in webinars and convenings.
  • They facilitate networking and synergies with other ongoing projects/initiatives and promote cross-fertilization across projects/initiatives and/or regions.
  • They help promote the project’s outputs by disseminating them through their platforms/circles
  • They help the consortium promote South-South and South-to-North exchange/dialogue to maximize the impact of the project’s policy prescriptions.
  • They facilitate advocacy efforts through supporting participation in available processes and mechanisms (when possible/desirable).
Fouad Fouad

Ghada Abdel Tawab

Haneen Sayed

Hoda El Sadda

Maha Chuayb

Mahdi Eleuch

Marie Noelle Abi Yaghi

Marthy Chen

Oussama Safa

Rana Jawad

Samar Dudin

Stefano Prato

Ziad Abdel Samad

Ziad Bahaa Eldin

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