Building on its mission to support and contribute to effective policy development and implementation, the College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently organized a webinar to launch its latest project.
Taking place on October 22, key faculty members at CPP and HBKU’s College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS) introduced menatracker.org to an expectant online audience. Funded by Qatar National Research Fund under the Rapid Response Call to Address COVID-19, the project provides a policy tracker of government responses (PTGR) to the pandemic in 10 Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. Beyond the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, menatracker.org also focuses on Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco. For each country, users can access a tailored dataset providing real-time insight and tracking of policies and measures enacted since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.
Menatracker.org focuses on three areas of government responses to COVID-19, providing qualitative and quantitative data for interventions covering public health, economic and social policies in the process. Data is drawn from international organizations, government websites, official statements, and other sources, and delivered in the form of a tailored dataset with multiple analytics. Key beneficiaries include regional policymakers, academics, and the public who, in addition to the dataset, will have opportunities to access policy briefs and participate in an online conference to share results and facilitate dialogue.
Speaking after the launch, Dr. Andreas Rechkemmer, Senior Professor at CPP and the Project Lead Principal Investigator, said: “While COVID-19 provides the foundations, menatracker.org nevertheless builds on a solid tradition of governance and policy indicators. That said, the PTGR stands on its own as a unique and precious data resource on what regional governments did – and continue to do – to tackle the pandemic. With countries now experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infections, instant and unfettered access to policy-relevant information will prove crucial when formulating responses. To this end, we’re committed to providing this to the countries covered by the initiative.”
Dr. Leslie A. Pal, Founding Dean of CPP, added: “These are exciting times for our college and faculty members. In a short space of time, we’ve launched three first-of-its-kind projects for the MENA region, including menatracker.org. This was by no means easy given the current circumstances; however, all credit goes to the project founders and leaders for their resilience and unwavering commitment to the task at hand. It goes without saying that we have high ambitions for menatracker.org. While COVID-19 will unfortunately provide us with ample data to work with, we nevertheless believe that the initiative will inspire policy and decision-making processes even after the pandemic subsides.”
For more information on the work of the College of Public Policy, please visit https://www.hbku.edu.qa/en/cpp/about
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