Project: Understanding Marginalized Communities in the Arab World through Social Science Research
Understanding Marginalized Communities in the Arab World through Social Science Research: Gaining Insight, Enhancing Capacity, and Building Collaborations to Impact the Region
This project addresses two primary gaps in knowledge: insufficient practical solutions for improving the lives of marginalized groups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and a skills gap facing junior Arab social scientists in MENA that limits their ability to produce rigorous, data-based, problem-focused research at the highest levels.
This works fills these two critical gaps by bringing together junior researchers with the goal of helping them develop a research project into marginalized communities in MENA. A key element will be a newly-designed syllabus developed by the project leaders that will include readings, exercises, and problem sets designed to help participants understand the rigorous research process more fully, beginning with translating important issues and problems into researchable puzzles and, thereafter, to engage theory, develop testable hypotheses, determine the procedures by which these hypotheses will be tested, collect the necessary data, and carry out the analysis of these data. Additionally, the workshops will help the scholars consider publication strategies, including in academic papers, policy forums, and to the media more broadly.