Gefinor Rotana Hotel
The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), in collaboration with the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), will host a public conference in Beirut on September 11 and 12, 2023, to launch the new e-book on the theme Assessing and Producing Knowledge as a Public Good: From Theory to Practice.
The research gathered in the e-book, which comprises12 chapters produced by a diverse group of scholars and activist-researchers from across the Arab region, proposes a rethinking of the purpose and role of knowledge production both within and outside university walls. The collection explores how knowledge, when conceived as a public good, can contribute to public debates and improve policy outcomes. The various chapters bring together new conceptual insights regardingthe processes behind knowledge production, reflections on public policy in the Arab region, and the need for adapted analytical frameworks, as well as testimonies and portraits of individuals and organisations that are producing and disseminatingknowledge in a manner to effectively impactpolicy making and discourse.
The e-book is produced within the framework of ARI’s larger project, "Knowledge as a Public Good", funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The project aims to provideacademic capacitybuilding and create diverse forums for discussion to help in the bridging of academic expertiseand policy development. The project is fostering a new generation of social scientists who are seekingto use their research for the purpose of informing the public sphere and contributing to setting the public policy agenda. These academics’ efforts are an attempt to overcome the unresponsive channels of state-centeredpolicymaking and imagine new approachesto policy change that are anchored in civic participation.
In working with social scientists across the region and building academic partnerships, ARI aims to reinforce the ability of members of the social science research community to utilise their knowledge production for the purpose of improving public policies, with the explicit purpose of rendering research results more accessible and actionable.
"ACSS were the natural partners for this conference, which seeks to cast a critical eye on knowledge production processes in the region and address underlying structures of bias and disequilibrium in current policymaking mechanisms. This conference will showcase the experience of experts from different fields and provide a space for reflection, both academic and policy-centred, about what we can learn from past challenges and how we can take these lessons forward in a future where the public good is under increasing threat in the region," says Sarah Anne Rennick, Deputy Director of Research (ARI). This will be a hybrid event, offering the flexibility of both virtual and on-site participation.
To register over zoom:
For the program, please click here.