What we do

The MENASP network brings together policy makers and academics to advance social policy in the MENA region.

The MENASP network was founded to advance, exchange and disseminate knowledge and policy expertise about social policy in the MENA region. This includes providing:

  • Up-to-date policy analysis on the key social challenges facing the region;
  • Information on social welfare issues for use by the wider public;
  • Resources for policy makers, practitioners, academic and non-academic researchers.

The network was founded in 2013 by Dr. Rana Jawad as a way of supporting quality research on crucial social policy issues and bridging the gap between policy-makers, researchers and the wider public. Dr Jawad’s research interests include development policy in the MENA region, social protection and social policy in the MENA region, religion and social welfare action, and social movements.

Alongside Dr. Rana Jawad the network consists of a core group of globally based academic experts: Hicham AitmansourGhada BarsoumAnis Ben BrikWalid MerouaniNassar YassinIbrahim HawarinElie Mekhael and Markus Loewe.

Together, their research addresses such themes as pension reform in the Middle East, youth unemployment in Egypt, child poverty in North Africa and humanitarianism in Lebanon and social assistance in Jordan, among many other issues.

From 2013 to 2023, the MENASP Network was proudly hosted by the University of Bath, UK. The MENASP Network expresses gratitude for the support provided by the University of Bath and its leadership, which solidified the Network’s role as an important platform for social policy research in the MENA region.

As of October 2023, the University of Birmingham is the new host of the MENASP Network. Located at its School of Social Policy, the Network looks forward to building on its successful 10 years of activity and achieving a higher impact for the MENA region.

The Bi-Annual MENASP Network Conference

Since 2013 the network has hosted a bi-annual conference attended by leading international academics, policymakers and practitioners.
It engages with cutting edge research and policy developments in the field of MENA social policy.

Previous co-hosts have included the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn, Germany. the American University in Cairo, Egypt and the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco and themes have included poverty measurement, gender policy, social cohesion. COVID19 and the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.

The UNICEF Database

The MENASP network hosts a one of a kind, publicly available online searchable database of social policy expertise on MENA social policy.
It allows those interested in social policy issues in the MENA region to connect with experts and specialists in their field.

The database was created in collaboration with the Institute for Mathematical Innovation at the University of Bath and was commissioned by UNICEF (Jordan).

Our Partners

The MENASP Network website was developed through a partnership between the University of Bath (UK) and the British Council and made possible in part by funding from Friends of the British Council USA Inc. through a grant from Carnegie Corporations of New York.

As of October 2023, the University of Birmingham (UK) is the home of the MENASP Network.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the MENASP Network, unless mentioned otherwise.