Home Initatives Setting Ageing Research and Policy Priorities in the MENA region

Setting Ageing Research and Policy Priorities in the MENA region

In 2019, Professor Shereen Hussein received funding from the Global Challenge Research Fund to conduct consultative activities with key stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in relation to ageing and long-term care needs. The activities spanned over a few months and included a well-attended two-day workshop conducted in collaboration with the American University in Cairo in April 2019, as well as several engagement events and communications with international partners. The work has been timely as it coincided with the development of the Arab States' strategy on ageing and facilitated access to a broad range of interested researchers, policymakers and non-governmental organisations. The discussions and intelligence-gathering opportunities conducted through this GCRF Partnership Fund provided significant insight yet revealed the need for further dialogue, analysis and capacity-building activities at different levels. All participants representing various stakeholders called for further detailed ageing research that is specific to the context of the region and felt the current dearth of evidence is hindering the ability to design and implement effective policies. The discussions also highlighted the important role of the media in enhancing the image and status of older people within the public discourse as well as facilitating meaningful discussions of and debates on challenges and opportunities associated with the old. There were various discussions on how to use social media and online platforms to raise awareness and enhance collaborative research partnerships.