Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) Research Network for Children under Difficult Circumstances
The establishment of the MENA Research Network for Children under Difficult Circumstances was initiated by the researchers’ belief to promote and strengthen research among the MENA region and ensure the rights of children under difficult circumstances , such as children affected by violence, working children, refugee children, disabled children, children deprived of family care (street children and orphans), and juvenile delinquents.
Workshops and network activities
2009: Regional Training on Research Methodologies Nov 22, 2009 - Nov 25, 2009, Amman, Jordan. Around 20-25 researchers participated in the workshop, from different Arab regions (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Gulf area, Oman, Yemen) with little expertise and experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research. The participants were selected based on their interest in research, specifically child research methodologies, and all of them worked in organizations dedicated to children (fully or partially). The workshop was lead by Dr. Mohammed Shahin, with a guest appearance by Dr. Faisal Awartani, and revolved around the methodologies of child research.
Please see further information here>>
2008: Fourth Workshop: "Children Under Difficult Circumstances : Children Have No Place in War " held in Amman 19 - 20 November 2008. The Information and Research Center-King Hussein Foundation, hosted the Childwatch Regional Conference "Children have No Place in War" in Amman, Jordan in 2008. Please see here>> for further information.
2007: November Conference at Al Quds University: The Scientific Conference on The Wellbeing and Welfare of the Palestinian Children Supported by NUFU and Childwatch International. The Palestinian research institute has finalized a Partnership Programme together with Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), with additional funding from NUFU, Norway. The partners and members of the MENA network met during the Childhoods 2005 Oslo conference.
2005: A third workshop was held in Amman in February 2005 to prepare for the MENA session at the Childhoods 2005 Oslo child research conference. Childwatch International and NOVA from Norway, Bayti Establishment (NGO in Morocco), Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, Dartington Social Research Center (UK), Center for Development in Primary Health Care/AlQuds University and Hope Village in Egypt organized the third workshop together with other regional and local organizations.
2004: The second workshop also took place in Amman, Jordan, in August 2004 on the theme "Violence against Children" and "Safety of Children (at home, on roads and at schools)", and was funded by Childwatch International and The Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFU)-Norway; with the commended efforts of Child Development in Primary Health Institute and the participation of the network partners from the MENA region and Norway working on children protection issues. During the second workshop, members of the Network from: Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, and Jordan, along with delegates of research institutes from Norway participated in a two-day workshop where they shared experiences and discussed critical issues that children are facing in the member countries. Particular attention was given to the need for policy makers to take a more substantial role in adopting policy measures to tackle these issues. Furthermore participants discussed the need to take up a joint research project with the MENA Network partners on one of the two above-mentioned themes. The report from the second workshop of the MENA network, held in Amman in August 2004, is available in pdf format here>>
2003: The first was held in Amman, Jordan, in October 2003 on the theme "Child Labor" and funded by OAK Foundation (Geneva); with the commended efforts of Bayti Foundation in Morocco during which IRC was elected the focal point for the Network and also the electronic website which is one of the major outputs for this network. During the first workshop, participants reflected upon their experiences in tackling issues of “Child Labor” and the challenges they faced; challenges arising out of lack of statistics, studies, and databases in their respective countries. The need to build institutional capacities; minimize dangerous working conditions; promote and deepen awareness and integrate international and Arab agreements into respective countries’ laws and regulations was underlined. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the importance of stimulating governments into carrying out their responsibilities in the provision of support and training. Participants stated a need to partner with academics, researchers, NGOs, research centres and the child as a key-partner and use research as their basis to build the capacities of the institutions working with and for children whether through enhancing partnerships and relations, improving services provided to children, or increasing funding opportunities for institutions.
The MENA Network has worked in partnership with Childwatch International and NOVA from Norway, Bayti Establishment (NGO in Morocco), Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, Dartington Social Research Center (UK), Center for Development in Primary Health Care/AlQuds University, and Hope Village in Egypt, plus other regional and local organizations.
2004-2007: The Palestinian research institute was involved in a Partnership Programme together with Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), with additional funding from NUFU, Norway. The partners and members of the MENA network met during the Childhoods 2005 Oslo conference.
The Child Research Unit at the Centre for Development in Primary Health Care at the Al Quds University in Palestine and the Research and Information Centre at the King Hussein Foundation in Amman, Jordan are Key Institutions of Childwatch International and actively involved in this regional network.
Childwatch International Network contact: Nermeen Murad, Research and Information Centre at the King Hussein Foundation nermeenmurad (at) gmail.com