The College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University has announced a major new social policy programme.

The programme for social policy evaluation and research (PROSPER) is the first project of its kind covering Qatar and the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. Multidisciplinary in scope, PROSPER will engage students and stakeholders through learning and teaching experiences covering social policy analysis and evaluation. In doing so, PROSPER hopes to bridge gaps between academia, policymakers and practitioners, and prepare the next generation of social policy and evaluation professionals.

To fulfil these objectives, PROSPER will develop a research agenda driven by the grand social policy and evaluation challenges facing Qatar and the Mena region. To assist, PROSPER will foster strategic partnerships with leading international centres and leverage knowledge from within the HBKU and Education City ecosystem.

PROSPER’s founding director is Dr Anis Ben Brik, an associate professor at CPP who has previously served as director of the Family Policy Department at the Doha International Family Institute.

Brik’s research focuses on comparative welfare systems, evaluation, family policy, child welfare, social protection and sustainable development.

Dr Leslie A Pal, founding dean of CPP, said: “Our ambitions for PROSPER are plain to see. We want to develop and maintain a programme that benefits social policy evaluation and research at the local, regional and global level. We will achieve this through a high-quality mix of education programmes, research activities and support for government departments, international organisations, civil society and private sector bodies. Doing so will help position HBKU, Qatar Foundation and our partner organisations as leading hubs for social policy evaluation and research.

“We also expect the education component of PROSPER to boost efforts to attract top-tier students and faculty to HBKU’s cutting-edge learning environment. Nurturing future generations of social policy professionals will not only enhance the reputation of our graduate programmes, but also cement our place at the cutting edge of policy-relevant debates.”

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