The virtual conference is organized by the School of Public Administration and Development Economics (SPADE) in Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in collaboration with the Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA).
The two-day conference is being held under the theme "Crises, Conflicts, and other Challenges: Rethinking Governance and Public Policy Reforms in the Mena region". The conference's committee accepted 67 working papers distributed on four various tracks.
Dr. Rabia Najeeb, Associate Professor of the Public Policies Master program at Doha Institute and head of the organizing committee, stressed the importance of the submitted papers and its links to the realities of the crises and challenges facing the Mena region, especially in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Dr. Hamed Ali, Dean of SPADE and President of AMEPPA, said that the papers presented at the conference constitute a scientific and reference material in governance, public policies and development in the Mena region, especially since the conference brings together participants from 47 educational institutions, from more than 20 countries, with their diverse academic experiences.
Keynote speaker Prof. Leslie Pal, Dean of College of Public Policy at Hamad Bin Khalifa University highlighted in his speech the possibilities for change at the public policy level in light of the interactions with the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
He explained that the future of the world will change in terms of services, health, finance, policy-making, the implementation of freedom and democracy, production and consumption patterns, in addition to changes at the level of communication and information in all its fields.
The conference serves as an inter-disciplinary forum and presents an opportunity to address topical questions of an academic and practical nature seeking to contribute to the improvement of governance and policy reforms throughout the Middle East.
The first track of the conference dealt with the "Institutional responses to global coronavirus pandemic across Mena countries". The submitted papers varied to include the reality of Middle Eastern countries' responses to the coronavirus crisis, health policies and governance in light of the pandemic, and government and policy responses to pandemic conditions, in addition to the opportunities for institutional reform during and after the coronavirus crisis.
The researchers discussed the reality of governments in the Mena region, and the reality of public-private partnerships regarding the response to the coronavirus crisis, in addition to the education methods and policies in light of the pandemic, including e-learning and the difficulties of implementing it in most countries in the region.
The second track, entitled "Globalization, Governance and Security challenges for the Mena region", included six sessions discussed crises and challenges, governance and institutional performance, wars, democracy, institutional performance, crisis management and public policy making. Other papers discussed topics related to governance and development challenges, and evaluating public policy programs by offering case study models.