Building Capacity on Ageing Research in the MENA region


In July 2019, Professor Shereen Hussein visited the United Nations’ Institute on Ageing INIA to discuss implications of population ageing in the Middle East and North Africa region and understand potential collaboration to build relevant research and practice capacity in the region.  Professor Marvin Formosa, Director of INIA, discussed the Institute’s priorities and highlighted previous work and links within the region. One role of INIA is to empower and build the capacity of low and middle-income countries to face the challenges posed by population ageing in the most effective ways. The Institute provides multi-disciplinary education and training in specific areas related to ageing, while also acts as a catalyst for knowledge exchange on issues about ageing welfare.

Professor Hussein held a series of discussions around the potential role of INIA in facilitating building capacity and raising awareness in the region. INIA actively engages in the region and runs regular workshops and training activities specific to gerontology and ageing aspects. The Institute provides multi-disciplinary education and training annually in the following areas: Social Gerontology, Health Promotion and Policy Formulation. 

Professors Hussein and Formosa discussed potential future collaboration opportunities both about building capacity and research partnership. They identified several possible topics and areas of engagement for future development. These included supporting the development of long-term care practice in general long-term care support and more specifically, to dementia and palliative care. They identified building research capacity through dedicated methodology and research design training initiatives as critical activities for the region. They discussed the importance of designing and orienting activities within an understanding of the cultural, geographical and socio-economic context of the region. 


This activity received funding from the University of Kent, GCRF Partnership Fund in 2019 and was led by Professor Shereen Hussein.

A more extended version of this blog is published here.

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Director of the United Nations International Institute on Ageing, Malta

Marvin Formosa PhD is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Gerontology and Dementia Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. He holds the posts of Chairperson of the National Commission for Active Ageing (Malta), Rector’s Delegate for the University of the Third Age (Malta), and Director of the International Institute on Ageing United Nations – Malta (INIA). Prof. Formosa published widely in the field of ageing studies, and recent publications included Active and healthy ageing: Gerontological and geriatric inquiries (2018), and The University of the Third Age and active ageing: European and Asian-Pacific perspectives (2019).

He is Country Team Leader (Malta) of the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), sits as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries, and his academic interests include older adult learning, Universities of the Third Age, social class dynamics, feminist gerontology, and critical gerontology.