Takaful 2014 - Fourth Annual Conference on Arab Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

From: 6/4/2014   To: 6/6/2014


About Takaful

Evidence across the Arab region suggests the potential power of organized civic action and even unstructured citizen-led efforts to shift the course of history. The examples are proliferating, especially in transition contexts and humanitarian crises where the state was slow to respond or absent. In societies divided by political or religious strife, trust-building and reconciliation has been an important contribution of civil society groups. The weight and knowledge of civil society in defending human rights has materially strengthened citizen voices in the Arab uprisings and their aftermath. Addressing the ills of economic exclusion and poverty, as well as their root causes is seen in the scale of educational, training and economic empowerment interventions of the third sector.

Despite an increasing awareness of the significance of civil society, it is not yet reflected in adequate theory or regional analysis of the sector. Documentation and measurement of impact is thin, and therefore it is difficult to assess the contribution of civic engagement to the transformations taking place in the Arab region. Home-grown methods, tools and conceptualizations are still in their infancy.

At the level of practice, fast changing and uncertain contexts dictate a need to revisit conventional approaches and models. Applied research can inform action by tapping into new means of citizen mobilization, collective action, and partnering. Citizen-led philanthropy in the region is also evolving rapidly through indigenous solutions such as crowd-sourcing, social investing, and new forms of religiously-motivated giving. As the sector develops, especially in booming economies in the Gulf, cross border philanthropy is playing a larger role. The Takaful Conference is an annual opportunity for a broad and multi-disciplinary community of scholars and practitioners to interact around these important topics.

Submissions for Takaful 2014 under the broad themes of Arab philanthropy and civic engagement are welcome; this year's preference will be given to submissions that fall under the following themes:

  • Role of civil society in democratic transition and challenges (legal, institutional, transparency-related, and financial)
  • Humanitarian,trust-building and reconciliation interventions of civil society in conflict and post-conflict environments
  • Transnational aspects of civic engagement
  • Advocacy strategies and case studies of civil society role in public policy
  • Methodologies and tools to measure Arab civil society contribution to growth, employment and other development indices
  • Models and good practices of scaling up civil society development interventions; analysis of successful or failed civil society partnerships
  • Modalities for philanthropic investment in human capital formation and employment creation, as well as analysis of successful or failed philanthropic projects
  • Public attitudes towards philanthropy or civic engagement more broadly
  • Critical assessments of philanthropic giving and civic participation as expressed in sectarian or political contexts
  • Civic engagement, philanthropy and new citizenship in the Arab region
  • Community service/service learning and their role in civic engagement