- Pari Esfandiari, the editor of IranDokht, talks to Nadereh Chamlou, Senior Advisor to the Chief Economist of the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. They discussed the World Bank's policies for economic empowerment of women in the Middle East, the apparent success of women in education and why it has not translated into comparable increases in employment rates. View the interview.
- Djavad Salehi Isfahani is serving as Dubai Initiative Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government this year (2009). His most recent publications include: "Poverty, Inequality, and Populist Politics in Iran,"; "Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East"; "Looking Ahead: Making Markets and Institutions Work for Young People"; "Beyond Statism: Toward a New Social Contract for Iranian Youth"; and lastly, "Oil Wealth and Economic Growth in Iran".
- Linking Reasearch to Action - Note by Baquer Namazi,- Jan. 2010
Hamyaran, Iran's NGO Resource Center, is a developmental civil society organization with a focus on poverty reduction through community empowerment. Over the last ten years it has been active in promoting this approach through advocacy, action research, policy dialogue, capacity development and pilot projects in different parts of Iran. The program's main goal is to work with communities in deprived areas. The work is supported by local and international philanthropists, international agencies, the private sector, and in some instances by local administration through interactive learning.
With support of PGN and CAWTAR, Hamyaran mobilized a fine team of researchers and undertook a participatory study on female heads-of-households. This was followed up by looking at good practices in meeting the needs of economically-challenged households. Hamyaran also examined the experiences of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), a non-governmental development organization and the trade union SEWA, also known as the Self-Employed Women's Association of India as models of effective practices.
Hamyaran is committed to the principle of linking research to action. In line with this principle, the knowledge gained was applied to two project areas where Hamayran has been active, Bam (Kerman) and Ardekan (Yazd) (please visit Hamyaran's website www.hamyaran.org). Participatory needs assessments were conducted with female heads-of-households with the objective of developing response interventions, which could serve as models to be further developed with stakeholder partners committed to serving this group. Already, local philanthropists have expressed interest in supporting the action program, though they were not keen on becoming involved in the research work.
Interestingly, Hamyaran's partner in India, SEWA, has been providing a wealth of information and knowledge as material for good practice. With help from the World Bank, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) regional meetings were set up in Iran and in Beirut a few years ago, in which SEWA participated and agreed to provide an on-going mentoring role to Hamyaran. During the last annual meeting of the World Bank-IMF, SEWA partnered with Hamyaran to sponsor a panel meeting on the theme of "Listening to Voices of the Poor". SEWA made a presentation on its strategy of scaling up livelihood programs for poor women in India. It has also launched a major project in Afghanistan for poor women, using community participatory methods. The knowledge and experience exchange with Hamyaran has been extended to this project. The joint project of SEWA with Afghan community-based partners for economic empowerment of economically disadvantaged women is a fine example of South-South cooperation. Both PGN and the Arab Gender Network (AGN) have highlighted the need of this group. As a result of this positive experience Hamyaran has been recommending creation of such linkages in inter-country studies supported by AGN, PGN and the World Bank.