The Annual AUC Research Conference

From: 3/16/2015   To: 3/18/2015


MENA Region: Post-2015 Development Agenda

The aim of this conference is to provide an exchange platform for relevant, inter-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder research and policy debates on the region’s current development efforts, in addition to addressing visionary post-2015 agenda policies. The conference seeks to scale up MENA’s existing successes, identify appropriate best practices, and elicit innovative solutions that solve critical challenges facing the region. The conference will bring together academics, policy makers, thought leaders, business community and civil society in a structured array of academic discussions and policy debates relevant to the themes of the conference.

The conference will combine both plenary sessions targeting an audience of policy makers, the business community and civil society, as well as parallel academic sessions targeting researchers and students. The range of themes to be covered in the conference includes topics related to the post-2015 agenda elements of MENA research. International and regional ‘thought leaders’ will be invited to write short papers framing the topics of the conference. Conference  and proceedings will be published including framing documents and academic papers presented in the conference.

Submission Themes

Authors are invited to contribute to the conference by submitting abstracts that contain sound research results in the form of full papers, case studies, or survey work that propose evidence-based policy recommendations, or suggest research avenues to tackle problems related to the following four major themes of the conference:

·         Social Inclusion

·         Human Development

· Sustainability and Governance

·         Regional and Global Integration




· Social Inclusion


Social inclusion is a process that seeks to open ways for improving opportunities for vulnerable groups. Inequality of opportunity, voice and well-being excludes many groups and leaves them facing myriad vulnerabilities.In the MENA region, axes of exclusion are commonly structured along lines of gender, income and class, age, ethno-religious identity, geographic location,access to resources, disability status, or nationality. Social inclusion seeks to address those excluded along these axes and others.  The intrinsic and instrumental values of social inclusion are development and social cohesion, human well-being, social,political and economic equity. 


This theme is open to policy oriented papers on eradicating poverty, reducing income inequality and ensuring decent work and productive employment in MENA. Focal areas of research include but are not limited to:youth, gender, informality, empowerment, poverty, inequality, unemployment,disability and migration, entrepreneurship, micro and small enterprises, and social innovations.

· Human Development

Human development is commonly described as the stock of competencies, knowledge, social and personality attributes central in the ability of citizens to undertake value added activities. Education, training,and health are the most important investments in human development for any society. The MENA region, however, faces daunting human development challenges.Despite much progress in many countries, successes need to be scaled up in terms of education, health, and quality of life in general. In addition, the adaptation of international best practices to the specific needs of the region should be addressed. For example, in education, and despite an almost universal primary education enrollment in most MENA countries, concerns about adequate learning and quality of education are paramount. Opportunities for secondary and tertiary education need to be carefully studied.


This theme is open to policy oriented papers applied to the MENA region including, but not limited to, the following focal areas of research:education, human capital, life-long learning, health and livelihood, social insurance, quality of life and human well-being, social security and protection.

· Sustainability and Governance

Sustainability and governance are key determinants to MENA's environmental, institutional and socio-economic future. The focus here is on aspects of sustainability that relate to natural resource use and its policy implications, in addition to sustainable cities,institutions and corporations. The MENA region is known to have a large base of natural resource endowments whereas sustainable resource management of such endowments needs to be addressed. Energy, water and agriculture are key natural resources which need to be deeply studied based on critical sustainability fronts. In addition, the advent of sustainable real-estate enterprises and landscape regions, as well as, corporate and institutional sustainability are additional key drivers for the region's uncertain future.

This theme is open to policy-oriented papers that include, but are not limited to, the following focal areas of research: energy, water,agriculture, natural resources, sustainable cities and regions, pollution and environmental degradation, corruption, transparency and accountability,institutional governance, shared value and corporate social responsibility. 

· Regional and Global Integration

Regional and global integration of MENA includes all aspects and factors that contribute towards more intensive integration within the region as a bloc and between MENA and the rest of the world. This includes regional and global value chains, economic activities, and modern transportation networks and infrastructure, in addition to cross-regional integration mechanisms. It should be noted that regional and global integration of MENA entails challenges and opportunities at a myriad of localized issues and settings. Although integration may create ties across geographical boundaries and in many ways transform the way people envision the world around them, yet for all the increased connections, inequalities of life opportunities can persist and remain largely localized.

This theme is open to policy-oriented papers which span MENA's regional and global integration within the domains of science, business, culture, economy, and demography. Covered areas in this theme include regional and international efforts and studies within the focal areas of: trade, tourism, infrastructure,finance, R&D, science and technology policy, information technology,multinational enterprises (MNEs), foreign direct investment,mergers and acquisitions.