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ESDU Winner in the MDF competition for Communities of Practice!
The Mediterranean Development Forum (MDF) partnership, beginning in 1997, is comprised of Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) think tanks, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank Institute. The partnership is dedicated to empowering civil society to participate in shaping public policy; making a contribution to the policy debate in key areas of regional interest; improving the extent and quality of research on economic and social policy issues; and creating vibrant networks of development actors in the region.

MDF supports Communities of Practice in order to enhance the ability of development practitioners to exchange experience, solve problems together, and learn from each other on a regional level. It is also expected that the activities of each Community will have an impact on policy dialogue and policymaking in the region.

On June 6, 2002, a Selection Committee met via videoconference and chose ESDU "Sustainable Livelihoods in Drylands" CoP as one of the winners of the Mediterranean Development Forum s (MDF) Communities of Practice Competition.

This CoP aims to provide the needed enabling framework to ensure continuity in discussions and information exchange for the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and human development in Drylands. It is comprised of research and development practitioners in the MENA region (Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen) including policy-makers, researchers, development agencies and community based organizations, working on, or with an active interest in promoting sustainable livelihoods in the drylands.

The CoP seeks to facilitate knowledge sharing on common development problems while pursuing joint solutions. It looks to contribute to a more informed dialogue with decision-makers.

A first meeting was held in October 2002 in Amman, Jordan and a discussion forum (http://groups.undp.org/lyris/helper) has been established to serve as a basis for communication between members. Case studies on lessons learned have been commissioned in each of the member countries and an electronic library is now being built to group and consolidate available knowledge.
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