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Events

ISSPF holds events, including webinars, conferences, training and discussions, to bring global evidence to the MENA context. This page is regularly updated with upcoming and past events.

Events

ISSPF holds events, including webinars, conferences, training and discussions, to bring global evidence to the MENA context.  This page is regularly updated with upcoming and past events.

Upcoming Events

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June

2023

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Past Events

June

2023

Agenda for MENA: the right to social protection for persons w/ disabilities

Activating an Agenda for Social Inclusion in MENA: The Right to Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities.

Please join us for our webinar Activating an Agenda for Social Inclusion in MENA: The Right to Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities on Wednesday, June 14 at 12:00-13:30 UK time.  

To register, please click here and complete the steps in the Eventbrite form. The event will be conducted in English and Arabic, with sign language interpretation.  

Persons with disabilities in the Arab region remain one of the most marginalized and excluded population groups. They are often not visible in public life, as the social and physical environments remain inaccessible, and they are disproportionally affected by crises and disasters. 

Marginalization is intensified for those who experience intersecting forms of discrimination due to their age, gender, class, or refugee status. Inequity is worsened by the lack of accurate data concerning the prevalence of disabilities in Arab countries. Adequate social protection systems are critical to providing for the economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, their income security, and independent living. 

The webinar provides a critical analysis of social protection systems for persons with disabilities from the perspective of civil society and social actors in Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon in order to answer several fundamental questions: 

  1. What are the current challenges hampering the right to social protection for persons with disabilities in MENA? 
  2. What are key elements that need to be addressed to activate the right to social protection for persons with disabilities in MENA? 
  3. What steps should civil society in MENA take to activate an agenda for social inclusion from the perspective of the right to social protection? 

We are excited to welcome Hala Darwish (Social Policy Officer, UNICEF Syria), Farah Al Shami (Senior Fellow, Arab Reform Initiative), Luca Pellerano (Senior Social Protection Specialist, International Labour Organization), Maria del Mar Logrono-Narbona (Senior Advisor, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development) and Rachel Forrester-Jones (Professor and Director School of Health Studies, Western University), onto our panel.  

We look forward to seeing you there!

November

2022

Social security responses to the increasing cost of living in MENA region

Please join us for our webinar Social Security Responses to Increasing Cost of living in MENA region

Please join us for our webinar Social Security Responses to Increasing Cost of living in MENA region on Tuesday 29th November at 11:00-13:00 UK time (GMT).  

The event will be conducted in English and Arabic.  

The webinar features discussions on the current social security responses to recent increases in the cost of living in MENA, aiming to address the following key issues: 

1.           Key indicators and implications of increasing costs of living in select countries since COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine 

2.           Key social security responses in select countries and who benefits from them 

3.           What factors guided these responses (fiscal space, IFIs, institutional capacities, etc) 

We will be welcoming Dr. Osama Diab (Researcher and Expert), Mr. Ahmad Awad (Director of Phoenix Center for Economic and Informatics studies), and Mr. Seif Ben Sassi Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Policies and Programs Department / Center for Research and Social Studies, CRES, Ministry of Social Affairs-Tunisia) onto our panel.  

We look forward to seeing you there.  

The Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF) team  

May

2022

Inclusive social security and the social contract in the MENA region.

Join the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF) in the MENA region for a webinar on inclusive social security.

A strong social contract – the implicit agreement between the people and government that defines the rights and duties of each – is at the heart of any country’s chances of achieving prosperity and stability. In many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, social contracts are fragile because trust in government is low. 

This webinar – Inclusive social security and the social contract – can it build trust in the MENA region? – features discussions from the region on how social security can enhance the social contract to overcome instability, where it prevails, and build trust between the state and its people. 

Our panel discussion, followed by a Q&A, will explore the consequences of weak social contracts in the MENA region, the evidence for how inclusive, universal social security can build trust between governments and people – and how to finance it – as well as the negative impact of poverty targeting approaches on the social contract. 

Register via the link below to participate in the webinar online. The event will be conducted in English and Arabic. 

We are pleased to welcome experts with a wealth of knowledge to our panel: 

Daisy Sibun, social policy officer, Development Pathways 

Daisy will present highlights from her new paper for the ISSPF on the social contract. She is a Social Policy Officer at Development Pathways, with a particular interest in citizenship, crises and the nation-building role of inclusive social security. Her background is in political science and development studies. Her publications include “Assessing the scope and adequacy of social protection responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the MENA region – a focus on tax-financed income transfers” (Sibun, 2021) and “What has the COVID-19 crisis taught us about social protection?” (Kidd and Sibun, 2020). 

 

Dr Markus Loewe, research team leader, the German Development Institute (DIE) 

Markus is research team leader at the German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn, where he has been working since 1999. He studied development economics and political science in Tübingen, Erlangen and Damascus and got his PhD from Heidelberg University for a thesis on micro-insurance. His research covers social protection, poverty reduction, industrial policies, micro, small and medium enterprise development and the concept of the social contract. His regional focus is the Middle East and North Africa. His more recent publications include “Framing the emergence of new social contracts in Middle East and North African countries” (special issue of World Development, 2021, ed.), “Handbook of social protection systems” (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2021, ed. with Esther Schüring) and “Social protection in the MENA countries: prospects for a new social contract?” (special issue of International Social Security Review, 2018, ed. with Rana Jawad). 

Dr Maria del Mar Logrono-Narbona, senior advisor, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development 

Maria is an independent consultant and analyst. She has served as Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University (North Carolina) and Florida International University (Miami). During her years in academia, she was the Principal Investigator of two Social Science Research Council (SSRC- Carnegie Endowment) grants under their “Islam in World Contexts” program. Her academic work has explored questions of political and social identity among Arab migrants, along with socioeconomic, political, and gender analysis in the MENA region and the Global South. She is the author of specialized articles and reports, as well as co-editor of Crescent over Another Horizon: Islam and Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino USA (Texas University Press, 2015). 

Hafawa Rebhi, Policy Analyst, Tunisian Observatory of Economy (TOE)

Before joining the TOE team, Hafawa worked for 10 years as a journalist with a focus on social and economic issues.

February

2022

Inclusive social security: exploring economic constraints and possibilities

Join the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF) in the MENA region for a webinar on inclusive social security.

This event, Inclusive social security: exploring economic and fiscal constraints and possibilities, will strengthen knowledge on inclusive social security in the MENA region. 

Our panel discussion, followed by a Q&A, will focus on International Financial Institutions’ (IFIs) influence on inclusive social security in the region, the impact of inclusive social security on growth and building fiscal space for inclusive social security.

Register via the link below to participate in the event online. The event will be conducted in English and Arabic.

We are pleased to welcome experts with a wealth of knowledge to this event:

Chafik Ben Rouine, Co-Founder and President, Tunisian Observatory of Economy

Chafik will discuss the fiscal space opportunities and challenges in the MENA region for inclusive social security. 

Chafik Ben Rouine is a co-founder and the President of the Tunisian Observatory of Economy (TOE). He has 12 years of experience in international finance (offshore economics, international financial system, and international financial institutions), monetary policy (Central bank, banks and finance), trade (free trade agreements, WTO mechanisms), tax justice (IFF, tax and DRM) and development economics (regional development index, measures of inequality, social protection and poverty).

Anh Tran, Social Policy Specialist, Development Pathways

Anh will present global evidence on the impact of inclusive social security on growth and its relevance to the MENA region.

Anh is a Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways with five years of experience working on social protection policy design, poverty and vulnerability analysis, and evaluations. Anh has provided advice and undertaken research across countries in Africa and Asia to strengthen inclusive lifecycle-based social protection. Most recently, she has been leading the development of the National Social Protection Policy in Somaliland. She is also an accomplished trainer and has a strong publishing record in social protection.

Salma Hussein, Regional Research Manager, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) MENA

Salma will present FES’ recent research on International Financial Institutions’ (IFIs) influence on social protection policies in several countries in the MENA region.

Salma is the Regional Research Manager at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung MENA. Her work – research, journalism, training and advocacy – covers the Middle East, with a focus on Egypt. She is one of the authors of Egypt’s Economy in the 21st century (edited volume).

As a researcher with a master’s degree in Public Policy, she has published papers covering labour and wage policies, fiscal policy, tax justice, health and education policies, and the role of International Financial Institutions in social protection.

She has trained journalists, political parties, parliamentarians and more than 30 CSOs across Arab countries on budget analysis and right-based economic development policies.

November

2021

National Workshops and Meetings: Inclusive Social Security in MENA

National Workshops and Meetings on Shifting the Paradigm – toward Inclusive Social Security in the MENA region 17-18th November

Building on the ideas presented during the previous 2-day training (15-16th November), these country-specific workshops in Amman, Beirut and Tunis provide an opportunity to apply the concepts learnt and engage with national experts and CSOs in active dialogue around specific reform strategies and proposals that are relevant for the local context.

Please ensure you have also registered for the training here

November

2021

Regional Training & Networking: Inclusive Social Security in MENA

Regional Training & Networking on Shifting the Paradigm – toward Inclusive Social Security in the MENA region 15-16th November

Join us for the Inclusive Social Security Forum Signature Event on 15-16th November!

The event can be viewed online or in-person at simultaneous live-streaming events in Amman and Tunis!

Interactive sessions led by experienced trainers offer exposure to evidence-based policy solutions for building inclusive lifecycle social security systems in the MENA context.

You will then have the opportunity to grow your network with important regional stakeholders and discuss the future of social security in the region.

We welcome the participation of civil society organisations, social protection experts and other stakeholders.

If you are based in Jordan, Lebanon or Tunisia, also register for our national workshops on 17-18th November here

April

2021

ISSPF Launch event

Webinar to launch the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum for the MENA region

Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, social insurance schemes tend to provide support solely to those in the formal economy, while the rest of the population is only offered poor quality programmes for “the poor”. The dominant social security paradigm across the region is a bifurcated model that excludes a large proportion of the population living on middle – but still low and insecure – incomes from social security, the so-called ‘missing middle’. The alienation of this key group from social security – and other public services – has become a major challenge across middle-income countries in the region, potentially undermining trust in the state, and is increasingly a key source of public unrest. There is a dire need to shift the narrative on delivering social protection in the region, to move away from the prevailing old-fashioned poor relief model and toward a modern, inclusive, social security model.

To help address this challenge, Development Pathways, Lebanon Support and the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) will host a webinar to officially launch the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF), an initiative funded by the Ford Foundation focused on building knowledge and capacity on inclusive social security in the MENA region. 

With its focus on applied policy solutions in social security, ISSPF supports broader efforts in the region aimed at opening dialogue around the linkages between social policies and the overarching objectives of peace, security, economic development and democracy. 

Panellists: 

  • Dr. Shahra Razavi, Director of the Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization
  • Dr. Stephen Kidd, Principal Social Policy Specialist, Development Pathways
  • Dr. Rana Jawad, Associate Professor in Social Policy, Bath University
  • Shea McClanahan, Senior Social Policy Specialist, Development Pathways
  • Samar Muhareb, CEO, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (Jordan)
  • Chafik Ben Rouine, Co-Founder and President, Tunisian Observatory of Economy

Publications

We are developing the evidence that shows inclusive social security works.

News

We bring together the latest news from ISSPF and the MENA region.

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