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The Research Initiative for Arab Development (RIAD)*

In 2008, ERF launched the Research Initiative for Arab Development (RIAD), a multi-year multi-topic research agenda designed to tackle three interrelated objectives head on. The first is to address the glaring knowledge gaps about economic development in the region. The second is to enhance the capacity to conduct high quality research while the third is to engage various stakeholders in discussions of research outcomes.

Since its inception, the initiative has been jointly supported by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and the World Bank’s Development Grant Facility (DGF). Further support was provided in 2012 when the SDC of Switzerland in 2012 came on board.

RIAD focuses on six themes, the result of extensive consultations with various stakeholders: inequality, regional integration, natural resources and economic diversification, environmental economics, institutional dynamics. In response to the changes wrought by the Arab Spring, the focus of the theme on institutional dynamics shifted to economic and political transformation as part of ERF’s contribution to addressing the resulting regional developments.

Each of the RIAD themes has a designated Thematic Leader who works with ERF management to guide research. The selection of research questions, research projects and publication are fully based on merit and relevance.

Under RIAD, ERF has initiated work on 22 research projects and 3 micro data initiatives. As of September 2012, 9 of those projects have been completed while 16 remain ongoing.

RIAD projects typically fall under one of three major categories: Research, including data sets; Capacity Building efforts and Outreach, where research project results are disseminated and made available to a wider audience.

*This page was last updated on October 31, 2012. It is updated biannually.

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