Dr. Anis Ben Brik, associate professor at the College of Public Policy (CPP) and founding director of the Program for Social Policy Evaluation and Research (PROSPER), is organizing and chairing a workshop titled “Psychosocial Impacts and Social Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Gulf Region” at the 2021 Gulf Research Meeting (GRM), taking place July 23-25. Organized by the Gulf Research Centre Cambridge, the meeting is the largest gathering of researchers and scholars studying the Gulf region, and selected papers meet a high academic standard.
Dr. Ben Brik will direct the workshop with Dr. Said Aldhafri, Sultan Qaboos University, and Dr. Humoud Al Qashan, Kuwait University, which will contribute to the discourse on social policy responses to the pandemic and the role played by welfare institutions in the Gulf region. The discussions will bring a critical perspective to the social and psychological implications as well as open lines of inquiry on this development among scholars from across disciplines.
The workshop will provide a context in which to understand how state and social policies can promote physical health, behavioral adjustment, well-being, social relationships, safety, cognitive development, and social security in the Gulf countries. The effectiveness and efficiency of social protection vary across countries due to differences in the generosity of the welfare state and the specific institutional setting. Research and data to guide these efforts are lacking in the Gulf region and in this regard, the workshop will address several major deficits in knowledge regarding the psychosocial implications of the pandemic in Gulf countries.