Levant

"Food and water security in the Levant: adopting an interdisciplinary approch"

Funding

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

German-Arab short-term measures

Duration of project

October 2018 - December 2018

Project partner

The American University of Beirut
Bliss Street-Beirut
Lebanon

Summary

The proposed conference seeks to support strategic cooperation on water-food interdisciplinary research, and it intends to be the first step towards establishing the Kassel University – AUB axis as a core facilitator for developing the kind of regional academic exchange described, on behalf of German and Levant universities. Funding from DAAD is requested to enable stronger ties between water and food scientists from Germany and West Asia (Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq). The conference aims at bringing together German and Arab researchers working on food and water security to (i) improve understanding of each other’s strengths; (ii) identify a joint agenda for strategies on food and water security; (iii) connect researchers from both regions to promotte joint research; and (iv) produce an edited volume comprised of approximately 10-12 academic papers for a special issue on an interdisciplinary approach to water and food security in the MENA region. This volume will be published in an internationally well-known publishing company such as Routledge or Gerlach Books, where a high interest exists in the topics proposed. An edited volume would also act as a formalised opportunity for Arab and German researchers to engage further on joint ideas. It could serve as a bibliographical foundation for joint research projects. Selected papers will also be further developed and submitted for a special issue in a water journal such as the Journal for Water Resources Development.
Through the proposed conference, the University of Kassel will provide its expertise on institutional economics applied to natural resources management, which would improve the curriculum of the American University of Beirut in its current form. It is planned to prepare the signing a Memorandum of Understanding between UoK and AUB. The purpose is to share teaching expertise on natural resources governance between UoK and AUB with the aim of integrating UoK experience of teaching on governance and political economy into the AUB curriculum by establishing a new taught course on institutions and governance for the MSc level as part of the Food Security Programme at AUB. The MoU will also facilitate exchange opportunities for both UoK and AUB students.

This project aims at producing the following deliverables:

  • Deliver a 2-day workshop for no less than 22 participating researchers and 28 participating graduate students
  • 50% of graduate student participants are female to empower women in social sciences research
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic academic partnership between the University of Kassel and AUB;
  • Develop an outline for no less than 1 graduate-level academic course on the topic of water governance within food systems
  • Establish 4 MSc exchange opportunities (50% for female students)
  • Establish 1 PhD student exchange position