The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) have recently awarded grants to three research proposals that address emerging issues affecting the well-being of the Arab family, under their jointly-funded OSRA grant programme. Both organisations are members of Qatar Foundation (QF).
The awarded proposals came from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar University, and Birzeit University in Palestine. The proposals are the most recent projects to be supported through OSRA, which means ‘family’ in Arabic, and designed to encourage research which can be used to develop a ‘knowledge base’ on the Arab family.
The grant, which is in its third cycle, aims to encourage research that contributes to the development of evidence-based policies and programmes on family cohesion, families at risk, and parenthood; and to compile and unify the work of researchers studying and addressing challenges currently facing Arab families across the region.
Specific research priority areas under the third cycle of OSRA included family relationships; patterns of marriage formation; marriage and immigration; social and individual risk factors associated with divorce; and parent-child relationships within Arab families in the context of wars and conflicts, poverty and economic stress, disabilities, domestic violence and internal displacement.
The cycle also supported research on parenting styles and practices; parenting and child well-being; father involvement; motherhood; fatherhood; delayed parenthood; transition to parenthood; responsible parenting; and family-related social policies.
The call for proposals, launched in December 2017, generated interest from local, regional, and international academic research institutions, with 18 proposals subsequently undergoing a highly-competitive review process.
Speaking on the OSRA grant, Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director of DIFI, said that through the grant, they are ‘enabling’ research on Arab families and creating an environment where the combined thrust of research theories and practice will offer a first-hand look into some of the pressing family issues in the region today, in turn helping with more realistic solutions.
Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, said that QNRF’s collaboration with DIFI continues to build on the success of the previous cycles of OSRA.
The outcomes of the past and present research projects supported by this funding initiative enabled, and will continue to enable, policymakers at DIFI to better understand and address the growing challenges facing families in the Arab world and initiate an in-depth discussion on pressing issues related to Arab families.’