Partnering with Arab Region Universities on Research and Training
Founded in 2001 by Suad Joseph, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, the UC Davis Arab Region (UCDAR) Consortium brings together the University of California, Davis, and five Arab region universities.
- American University of Beirut - Lebanon
- American University in Cairo - Egypt
- American University of Sharjah - United Arab Emirates
- Birzeit University - Palestine
- Lebanese American University - Lebanon
The Consortium encourages partnerships among scholars and facilitates collaborative research and training projects across all fields and disciplines. UCDAR Consortium is committed to fostering multilateral, collaborative an interdisciplinary research initiatives—from the humanities to the social sciences to STEM fields.
The meaning of "dar" in Arabic is room or house, analogous of how UCDAR Consortium brings universities and researchers together.
Mapping Gender Studies Project
The Mapping Gender Studies project is set to track all research in women and gender studies across the Arab region over the past 50 years, including:
- What research was done, by whom, what languages, in what countries, on what topics, what findings and what has been done with the findings.
The goal is to create an online library to offer this material free to the public, fostering more critical research, based on a rigorous analysis of what research has already been carried out.
Led by a group of internationally recognized scholars from the six UCDAR Consortium universities, the initiative engages in collaborative projects that connect academics, policymakers, practitioners, and activists in civil society around critical gender and women’s issues—ones that foster educational innovation and collaboration and facilitate networks working towards gender equality and social justice.
The work for this project began in 2015. Two workshops have been held in Beirut, hosted by the Lebanese American University. Another workshop in April 2015 was hosted by the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and the American University of Beirut. Funding has come from the International Institute for Education, Ford Foundation, and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences.
Water, Energy, Food Nexus
Water, energy and food security present urgent and interrelated concerns, both globally and locally. The six UCDAR Consortium partners are exploring opportunities to leverage country-based research with the goal of decreasing loss of food in the pre-harvest cycle and waste of food in the post-harvest cycle.
Reduction in food loss and waste will simultaneously reduce water and energy loss and waste. A UC Davis Global Affairs Seed Grant has supported the planning phase of this project. A number of workshops have been held, including in January of 2018 in Davis
Gendering STEM Education
Launched by a Global Affairs Seed Grant, the UCDAR Gendering STEM Education workgroup has been exploring the underlying assumptions of scientific concepts, methods, and pedagogies in STEM disciplines. Working sessions of STEM faculty at UC Davis have launched discussions of the gendered basis of some basic scientific concepts, methods, and pedagogies.
UCDAR partners joined these discussions at the March 2018 workshop in Davis, building the plan for developing an online curriculum to be publically available, remote collaborative teaching of STEM courses, and research publications to emerge from the collaborative interdisciplinary project. Another workshop is set to be held in the fall of 2018 to implement steps of the project.
Transforming Refugee Mental Health
This project assesses how public health and allied professions support the mental well-being of refugees and other vulnerable populations, focusing on the training of mental health professionals and paraprofessionals. The international team of investigators will conduct a Training Needs Assessments in Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine to inform development of a culturally- and gender-sensitive training program—in mental health, telemedicine, health informatics, and mobile health—for professionals and paraprofessionals.
Training modules will be developed for medical and nursing students, community health workers and for refugees. A workshop was held in Amman, Jordan, in January 2018. A second is planned for Fall 2018 in Beirut, Lebanon.
A Steering Committee, with one member from each university, governs the work of UCDAR Consortium. The members are appointed by the presidents/chancellors of their respective universities. Distinguished Professor Suad Joseph chairs the Steering Committee, which meets virtually several times a year, and about every two years in regional cities, typically Cairo or Beirut.
The founding meeting was in May 2001 in Beirut, co-hosted by AUB and LAU. Meetings which have included the university presidents and chancellors were held in 2007 in Cairo, 2014 and 2015 in Dubai, UAE. The MOU is reviewed every five years. For more information, including history, projects, steering committee details, please visit the UCDAR Consortium website.