Middle East and North Africa Program (MENA)
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program, initiated in 2001 with funding from the Ford Foundation, responds to the region's need for timely and objective information on population, socioeconomic, and reproductive health issues. The project explores the linkages among these issues and provides evidence-based policy and program recommendations for decisionmakers in the region.
UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO)
PRB’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program, initiated in 2001 with funding from the Ford Foundation, responds to the region’s need for timely and objective information on population, socioeconomic, and reproductive health issues.
PRB’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program, initiated in 2001 with funding from the Ford Foundation, responds to the region’s need for timely and objective information on population, socioeconomic, and reproductive health issues. The project explores the linkages among these issues and provides evidence-based policy and program recommendations for decisionmakers in the region. Working closely with research organizations in the region, the project team produces a series of policy briefs (in English and Arabic) on current population and reproductive health topics, conducts workshops on policy communication, and makes presentations at regional and international conferences.
In 2012, PRB collaborated with UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO) to produce policy briefs and hold policy communication workshops in the region.
In 2009, the MacArthur Foundation provided support to translate several of PRB’s flagship publications into Arabic.
MENA Publications and Online Discussions
(in chronological order, most recent first)
Data Sheet on Women’s Reproductive Health in Egypt (June 2015)
(English and Arabic PDF:1.5MB )
Women’s Reproductive Health in the Middle East and North Africa (February 2003)
(English PDF: 234KB)
Population Trends and Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (October 2001)
(English PDF: 181KB)
MENA publications are available in English (and selected ones in Arabic and French) on PRB’s website. Print copies can be ordered free of charge by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MENA Working Paper Series
In 2008, PRB invited researchers from the MENA region to participate in its summer policy communication workshop in Washington, D.C. Later, PRB and Assiut University, Egypt, held joint policy communication workshops in Assiut (December 2009) and in Hurghada (October 2011). The latest PRB workshop in Egypt, seventh in the series, was held at the Alexandria High Institute for Public Health in October 2014 (see table).
Policy Communication Training Workshops in Egypt
|City/Year||Collaborating Organization||Workshop Topic|
|Assiut University’s Department of Public Health and Community Medicine||Population and reproductive health|
|Assiut University’s Department of Public Health and Community Medicine||Youth sexual and reproductive health|
|UNFPA Arab States Regional Office||Maternal health|
|UNFPA Arab States Regional Office||Family planning|
|Alexandria Center for Women’s Health and Development||Youth reproductive health|
|National Population Council||Women’s reproductive health|
|Alexandria High Institute for Public Health and Population Council||HIV and AIDS|
The workshops (conducted in English) helped researchers identify the policy implications of their research findings, understand how research can influence the policy process, and communicate findings. Participants explored research-to-policy gaps and learned about the policy process and barriers to effective use of research, and prepared policy-oriented presentations. These workshops were adapted from a successful training program developed by the Population Reference Bureau in 1996.
Selected participants attending the workshops summarized the results of their research findings as part of PRB’s MENA Working Paper Series:
School-Based Reproductive Health Education Among Adolescent Girls in Alexandria, Egypt, by May M. Tawfik, Omneya G. El-Sharkawy, Mohamed A. Abdelbaqy, Sara A. Hanafy, Shehata F. Shehata, Adel Malek, Ibrahim Kharboush, and Hanaa M. Ismail
(English PDF:1.4 MB) (Arabic PDF: 1MB)
“Are Imams in Egypt Prepared to Help Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDS?” by Omaima El-Gibaly and Khaled Hemeyda
(Arabic PDF: 217KB)
“Domestic Violence High in Egypt, Affecting Women’s Reproductive Health,” by Eman M. Monazea and Ekram M. Abdel Khalek
(Arabic PDF: 200KB)
IDEA: Informing Decisionmakers to Act
By increasing the flow of accurate, understandable information about population, family planning, and reproductive health to policy audiences, IDEA enhances efforts carried out by civil society, the public sector, the development community, and donors.
Current Follow-On Project
Ensuring that family planning, reproductive health, and population issues are key for sustainable and equitable...
With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, IDEA—Informing Decisionmakers to Act—increases support among policy audiences for effective health and population programs around the world.
In implementing IDEA, PRB brings a fresh vision to policy communication. By increasing the flow of accurate, understandable information about population, family planning, and reproductive health to policy audiences, IDEA enhances efforts carried out by civil society, the public sector, the development community, and donors. IDEA develops materials on priority issues in cutting-edge formats; trains and supports media to influence policy change; builds the communications capacity of institutions, researchers, and advocates; and nurtures a community of policy champions.
To strengthen advocacy and communication targeted to decisionmakers, IDEA highlights these program activities:
- Creating multimedia presentations to support family planning and reproductive health. IDEA engages decisionmakers in priority countries to develop state-of-the-art multimedia presentations, featuring Trendalyzer, thus broadening support and stimulating new commitment to family planning and reproductive health.
- Reaching policymakers through improved media coverage. IDEA influences decisionmakers by training journalists to better understand population, family planning and reproductive health, and gender issues; sponsoring study tours and participation in conferences; and building networks and providing ongoing support for news stories. IDEA also works with journalism schools to strengthen future editors’ and reporters’ understanding of population and health issues.
- Building capacity and nurturing new champions. IDEA broadens the knowledge and skills base of advocates about family planning and other key development issues—including gender, youth, and the environment. Key strategies include training researchers, program managers, and advocates in effectively communicating data and research to decisionmakers; sharing information through communities of practice; and live and online events that promote global dialogue.
- Expanding user-friendly data resources. IDEA empowers advocates and decisionmakers through print and electronic information, highlighting the policy relevance of current data and research; the impact of population growth on development; and the links between reproductive health, gender, the environment, and youth.