In light of the growing need for countries to adapt their governance mechanisms to meet the demands of an increasingly complex, globalized, and technology driven world, the Issam Fares Institute Governance and Policy Lab (IFI GovLab) aims to undertake innovative policy research and activities that address some of the most pressing policy issues and public sector challenges faced in Lebanon and the region. Further to this, the IFI GovLab’s goal is to strengthen the ability of local and regional actors to enhance governance mechanisms and the uptake of innovation within organizations, particularly those in the public sector, by providing them with the right tools and evidence to address national priorities, to the ultimate benefit of the greater public. The IFI GovLab also aims to conduct policy research affecting digital policies and internet governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the aim to advance knowledge creation and existing evidence on inclusive institutions and good governance in the region.
Since its launch on October 15, 2019, the IFI GovLab’s research has focused on two main tracks:
- The ongoing October 17 Uprising and the compounded economic crisis, under the umbrella of the Economic Crisis Observatory.
- Digital transformations and digital policies in Lebanon and the region, under the umbrella of the Google Policy Fellowship.
We build on existing programs and ongoing research at the Institute and other external programs, learn from best practices and available evidence, and use innovative methods such as design thinking in order to ensure that the potential uptake of innovation within the public sector is efficient and sustainable. To this end, the IFI GovLab will work collaboratively with multiple actors, including but not limited to academics, private and public institutions, experts, the public and global technology companies, with the aim of translating academic and policy research on relevant digital policies into action.
We currently have five ongoing projects, which are:
- Social protection and sustainable peace in the Middle East and North Africa Region: Building a new welfare-centered politics
- Privatization of the State’s Assets in Lebanon: Myths and realities
- IFI-Google Policy Fellowship
- Economic Crisis Observatory
- October 17 Uprising Media Monitoring