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Government procurement (GP) is one of the few subjects that are still not covered in the multilateral negotiations, though it is strongly emphasised in most free trade agreements (FTAs). This policy brief invites developing countries to maintain their GP, considering that it can be an effective developmental tool, and presents some recommendations for Syrian stakeholders in particular.
The paper states that applying Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) or equal provisions would result in:
The author points that Syrian government intervenes obviously in the field of government procurement. Intervened sectors include wheat, cotton, tobacco and sugar.
There are a number of interrelated factors involved in poverty and vulnerability in the MENA region. This project briefing reflects the conclusions of a study mapping social protection in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a particular focus on policies and programmes that impact children.
The paper notes that supporting children’s access to education is the most common child-specific area of social protection. Furthermore, programmes promoting the nutritional well-being of children under five are also common. On the other hand, the authors underline the following facts:
The document indicates that key challenges to social protection and child-sensitive social protection include political context (i.e. recent protests), financial barriers, monitoring and evaluation, fragmentation in provision and targeting. Identically, the paper suggests the following recommendations:
The number of youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is projected to peak at 100 million by 2035 and to decline slowly thereafter. This policy brief gives an overview of demographic trends among youth and the implications of these trends for human and economic development in the MENA region.
The paper firstly warns that MENA’s unemployment rate is the highest among world’s regions, and particularly the largest gender gaps in unemployment rates among youth are found in MENA.
The paper demonstrates that:
Likewise, the authors quote that MENA countries must adopt new development policies that realign their economies in three important ways:
In addition, the report emphasises that MENA countries must redefine their “social contracts”— implicit agreements between governments and citizens.
The authors conclude that none can succeed in strengthening human capacity among youth without fundamental reforms and greater engagement of civil society. Nevertheless, every MENA government needs to map its pathway to reform in ways that are tailored to its country-specific conditions and desired outcomes.
A vivid debate is taking place across the world questioning the social role of business and balance of power between institutions. This paper attempts to synthesise the reports prepared by various authors, who live and work in their homeland in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), on the notion of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR).
The paper clarifies that the drivers for CSR may be determined outside the system, such as CSR practices of multinational companies, regulations imposed upon by international agreements, work of NGOs, academic research etc.
The author finds that CSR, in the MENA context, is a generic notion that can fit different purposes in different contexts. Conclusions are that:
Furthermore, the document points that it will take some time before the local societies will play a significant role in driving the CSR in the region. This change will involve a shift in values towards universal values, a process which will continue to be driven by democratisation and globalisation.
Social and Political unrest across the Middle East and North Africa has amplified uncertainty in global markets and set a new obstacle for the continuing global recovery in the form of sharply higher oil prices. This paper offers the perspectives of “Wellington Management” analysts on the short- and long-term consequences of the recent turmoil and resulting market volatility.
The authors underscore that the effects of political unrest go beyond regional and developed/developing market boundaries, and their expectations in the short term are that:
However, the authors state that it is difficult to generalise about the outlook for the region as a whole, as each country faces a very specific set of circumstances. Yet, their views in the long term include:
Considering the scope and scale of war making and war preparation in the Middle East, the rarity of research on war as a social and political process is puzzling. This paper is sought to strengthen connections between research on war as a social process and the study of political, social, and institutional change in the Middle East.
The document figures out the following findings:
Conclusions are as follows:
In addition, the paper concludes that war making in the Middle East generated conflicts regarding not only the nature of citizenship and political authority, but also regarding the definition of the society itself.
A rapidly changing world combined with mounting domestic challenges is prompting many Middle East and North African (MENA) countries to initiate economic and social reforms. This paper uses the concept of food security to identify the region’s challenges along four major themes: economic growth and incomes, trade and infrastructure, agriculture and water, and health and education.
The authors figure that taking immediate action regarding the persistent challenges in the region is more urgent in light of the recent, global food, fuel, and financial crisis and projected severe impacts of climate change.
The paper states that fostering development and achieving food security will require:
The paper suggests utilising successful countries’ experiences and concludes with a list of priority research areas to identify key actions to be taken on regional, national and sub-national levels:
It is noticeable that despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food prices. This paper emphasises that riots and food prices are closely linked, identifying a specific food price threshold above which protests become likely.
The authors find that:
Conclusions are as follows: