QU LAUNCHES ACADEMIC NETWORK FOR DEVELOPMENT DIALOGUE

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Qatar University (QU) announced the launch of the Academic Network for Development Dialogue (ANDD), in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asian (ESCWA) and several universities and educational institutions, supported by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS).
(ANDD) is a fundamental step in creating synergy and strengthening the cooperation and dialogue between the United Nations (UN) and Academia. It acts as a think tank in the region to influence the UN’s work and the global dialogue on policy options to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The network will support knowledge exchange between the UN and the Academia in the Arab region. It will focus on dialogue, facilitate collaboration between two schools of thought (the academic and non-academic), being an example to move away from competing against each other, and start to cooperate and share knowledge.

The network provides multiples benefits for its researcher members. In addition to the resources of Qatar University (QU), and other universities and centers members of this network, which fosters the collaboration in joint research projects and programs, co-organized events, and students and faculty members’ exchange, the network will grant access to the members to leverage from the UN-ESCWA knowledge and learning products and tools.

The ANDD was established as a partnership between universities and educational institutions regionally and worldwide with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) supported by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and Qatar University (QU).

ESCWA is mandated under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to foster the sustainable economic and social development of Western Asia through regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration, in partnership with local and global partner organizations. ACUNS is a global professional association of institutional and individual members involved in the work and study of the United Nations, multilateral cooperation, and global governance. ACUNS promotes teaching and research on the UN and its relevant topics. It also fosters dialogue and mutual understanding across and between academics, practitioners, civil society, and students.
The network will support knowledge exchange between the UN and the Academia in the Arab region. It will focus on dialogue, facilitate collaboration between two schools of thought (the academic and non-academic), being an example to move away from competing against each other, and start to cooperate and share knowledge.
The ANDD will create an intellectual sharing process to bridge the local knowledge gap and foster academic expertise and scientific findings to support progress towards sustainable development in the region, including supporting evidence-based action by the UN system. It supports an action chain approach, where small scale actions (individual or institutional research and workshops) lead to new broader progress, which ultimately inspires more actions (i.e., region-wide effect). This linkage between academics, expert practitioners, and the UN assumes a foresight role for the group, not just an advisory one.

Relying on local academic expertise to advice on new UN programs and policies is an initiative to drive the region towards proactive policy-making, in line with national plans for achieving the SDGs. This collaboration will support the global conversation and cooperation between partners and Academia in the region. It will provide the UN with needed information about the region from within the region.

This initiative is a partnership between ESCWA, ACUNS, and Qatar University (QU).
The current Chair is QU. ESCWA will provide the secretariat support for the network during the first two years, after which member institutions shall handle this support on a rotating basis.
Given its intensive experience with similar global activities, ACUNS will provide capacity-building support, advice, lessons learned, access to its global network, administrative support, communications, and other organizational activities.

The members of the regional network include:

  • Institutional members: Those represent a diverse range of universities, research centers, think tanks, NGOs, public administration institutes, and related organizations in the Arab region and worldwide. Each organizational member shall designate a focal point to the network to maintain active and quality engagement and achieve the network’s objectives.
  • Individual members: These are experienced researchers who belong to a member institution from diverse fields of study and practices, including international relations and international law, trade and development, human rights, humanitarian medicine, cultural studies, media, technology, gender studies, urban development, and others.
    The current network committed members include these countries; Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, KSA, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Somalia and UK.

 

Source: QATAR UNIVERSITY