The challenges facing southern researchers in the Arab world

[Editor’s note: This post has previously been published at GDNet blog. GDNet has been a DFID-funded programme run by the Cairo team of the Global Development Network, which has recently been closed. Since 2001, GDNet aimed to help researchers from developing and transitioning countries and support their work to have a greater global impact. P&I itself received GDNet supports in its origins. Thus, we would like to contribute to keeping alive GDNet’s legacy by republishing some interesting reflections shared by its team and different guests authors.]


Development experiences from many Arab countries show that the achievement of development in different sectors depends on the practical level of knowledge and skills of the labor force available to those countries.  That’s why it is crucial to encourage southern research that can help the developing countries cope with the developed world, since it is the cornerstone in development where work force is trained to lead the social, economic, political and cultural changes.

Southern researchers experience numerous barriers to have their knowledge influence global debates on development. Thus, GDNet is focusing on solutions and ideas that help the development community to Connect South; it calls on development actors to pledge their support and re-establish their own commitments to southern researchers. Accordingly, the GDNet’s Connect South Campaign aims to advocate the value of southern research as well as promoting southern voices.

In this interview, Jamal Haidar (University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris) draws our attention to the three main challenges he has been experiencing as other southern researchers. First, it is extremely hard to access data from southern countries especially Arab countries. Second, there is a lack of funding in the Arab world to PHD students as well as young researchers to attend international conferences. Last but not least, he expresses his concern towards the issue that most southern researchers focus on the quantity rather quality of the research. Thus, he suggests that there should be some supervision on the quality of southern research in order to have more sound policy implications.

Watch the interview here.

Related posts: Why do researchers struggle to communicate their research for evidence-based policymaking?


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