Our Regional Programme

Rationale
Addressing development challenges that are common across all or some countries of the region requires adopting regional and sub-regional approaches that can help through the exchange of comparative knowledge and experiences, and the application of shared analyses and critical thinking to guide policy decisions and catalyze action at the regional and country level, working in close collaboration with the thematic teams under the Regional Hub and with the country offices.

The Regional Programme has been conceived, specifically, to help:

  • promote regional cooperation and integration, including through supporting the creation and development of inter-country structures and networks (governmental and non-governmental) to address shared challenges at a sub-regional and regional levels;

  • facilitate the management of cross-border issues where costs and benefits are best addressed collaboratively on an inter-country basis, such as trade, environment and migration;

  • advance regional dialogue on sensitive and emerging development issues that may be easier to address in a multi-country context, and where advocacy efforts and the exchange of experiences and perspectives can help raise awareness and support action at regional and ultimately country levels, such as with anti-corruption and integrity, and exclusionary practices targeting certain groups;

  • promote experimentation and innovation to help overcome institutional, financial and knowledge barriers that may be too high for an individual country to surmount; and

  • generate and share development knowledge, experience and expertise, for instance, through South-South and triangular cooperation, so that countries can connect to, and benefit from, relevant experiences from across the region and beyond.

Yakup Beris                                                  

Regional Programme Coordinator, RBAS, UNDP

18 years of working experience in various organizations. Before joining RBAS, Yakup was Deputy Resident Representative and Assistant Resident Representative for Programme with the Sudan Country Office and Head of Programme with the Jordan Country Office at UNDP.

Prior to UNDP, he worked for the World Bank in its several departments in Washington, DC, focusing on social development, governance and decentralization in Africa and Middle East. He also worked for Turkish Business Association (TUSIAD), an NGO/think tank, established by business leaders in Turkey, both in its Istanbul and Washington, DC offices. Yakup co-authored book chapters and articles on governance and decentralization and wrote on political and economic reforms in Turkey.

Yakup holds an MA in public management from Maryland University, College Park in USA and a BA (double major in political science/international relations and sociology) from Bogazici University in Turkey. 

 

Alberto Natta 

Regional Programme Analyst

Provides programme management support to the formulation and implementation of the regional programme. Prior to this assignment, Alberto worked as programme and planning analyst for the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Areas of expertise: programme management – strategic planning – 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – UN coordination

Regional Projects and Initiatives

01. Arab Human Development report

AHDR collage

 This flagship series of reports championed the creation and dissemination of people-centred development knowledge and ideas throughout the region. The six reports published since 2002 have been vital advocacy instruments to induce and facilitate development debate in the region.

02. ARAB KNOWLEDGE PROJECT

AKR

Initially focusing on producing a series of three Arab Knowledge Report to assess the state of play and stimulate debate on knowledge as a cornerstone for development in the region, the project now focuses on a developing a dynamic online portal to exchange development knowledge throughout the region structured around a newly developed Arab Knowledge Index and Portal, and feeding into an annual Arab Knowledge Conference. Know more

Our Team

Hany Torky, PhD

Project Coordinator & Chief Statistician

Prior to joining the Arab Knowledge Project in 2010, Hany was an assistant professor at Alexandria University. He has around 20 years of experience in the areas of Statistics and Knowledge for Development.

Areas of Expertise: Providing guidance and advisory services regarding knowledge issues - Holding lectures on knowledge issues - Providing substantive and managerial leadership to the project staff - Supervising research and dissemination of research findings – Statistical analysis – Building indices – Modelling and simulation. 

 

Samah Hammoud

Research Analyst, Arab Knowledge project

Coordinate the preparation and production of the Arab Human Development Report, monitor political and socio-economic developments in Arab countries, and conduct research on human development performance of Arab countries.

Areas of Expertise: Project coordination, implementation and reporting; socio-political research.

 

Stéphanie Boustany

Research Assistant

After earning a B.A. in Economics, Stéphanie joined the Arab Knowledge Project as a Research Assistant in 2014.

Areas of Expertise: Conducting quantitative and qualitative research – Editing documentation – Building a database – Social media enthusiast. 

 

03. ARAB DEVELOPMENT PORTAL

This unique online platform tracks progress on key development fronts for all Arab countries; based on a dynamic database of over 400 indicators extracted from international sources and close to 4,500 indicators collated from national statistical bureaus. Know More

Our Team

Farah Choucair

Project Manager

An economist by training, 10 years of expertise conducting solid economic and statistical research in political economy, economic and social reforms, macro-fiscal policy, poverty, employment and inclusive development.

Areas of Expertise: develop regional and national development agendas, design & implementation of projects and policy advice.
 

Nader Keyrouz 

Advisor, Arab Development Portal

Advise on the development of the database of the Arab Development Portal and provide technical and substantive guidance to the team of research analysts, statistician and web developer to ensure that the portal remains updated in terms of database management and technologies and responsive to the changing needs of end-users and stakeholders.

Areas of expertise: Official economic and social statistics; Advanced data compilation, analysis and visualization; Statistical database design and management; international nomenclatures and classifications.
 

Yasser Najem

Statistics Analyst

More than 10 years of experience in conducting statistical analysis and monitoring socio-economic and human development performance of Arab countries, working for UNDP, UN-ESCWA and the National Statistical Office of Lebanon (CAS). Managing AHDR statistical database since 2010 and producing statistical reports covering human development, economic, and social.

Areas of Expertise: Managing and developing statistical databases; data compilation and statistical analysis, creator of statistical infographics and storyboards.

 

Layal Wehbe

Research Assistant

7 years of expertise in conducting economic and statistical research in political economy, gender, trade and human development.

Areas of Expertise: Conducting theoretical & empirical research – Data analysis – Project design & implementation. 
 

Diana Assaf

Web Editor

8 years of experience in the field of development and human rights, namely in communication, advocacy, social media and fundraising sectors.

Areas of Expertise: communication, social media, drafting proposals and reports, advising on production of visual content, web content management systems, and managing and implementing activities. 

 

04. AID FOR TRADE INITIATIVE

This initiative focuses on trade facilitation through cross-border operations and provides support to League of Arab States towards establishing a customs union to facilitate intra-regional trade.  

Our Team

Quang Anh Le,

Chief Technical Advisor
A seasoned advisor with 30 years of experiences on trade policy, regional economic integration and trade facilitation with specialized expertise on Customs Reform and Modernization, Single Window, international supply chain, customs and trade techniques and trade negotiations.

Areas of Expertise: development and implementation of trade-related projects, analysis and design of technical framework of international supply chain, trade facilitation measures, introduction of modernized techniques into practices and development of international instruments in trade facilitation and modernization of cross border operations.

 

Waleed El Nozahy

Institutional Trade Development Adviser

Responsible of facilitating, advising, planning and coordinating professional, managerial and technical works to assist the Economic Integration Department of the LAS Secretariat in implementing its functions, duties and responsibilities.

Areas of Expertise: Trade negotiations (managing negotiations, preparation, technical advice), Trade policy formulation (drafting policy papers, technical proposals), Institutional development (strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, training) 

 

05. ANTI-CORRUPTION & INTEGRITY PROJECT

This project helps partners to develop national capacities to enhance transparency and accountability across different sectors and stakeholders in support of implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Initially focusing on and establishing a regional network of critical integrity mechanisms and institutions, including anti-corruption commissions, the project is now expanding to focus on critical sectors that carry high risks of corruption. Know More

Our Team

Arkan El Seblani

Chief Technical Advisor & Manager

12 years of specialized expertise in supporting democratic governance reforms with an emphasis on anti-corruption, the rule of law and accountability.

Areas of Expertise: design & implementation of projects - providing policy advice -conducting & supervising of research.   

Nancy Fashho

Project Specialist

Trained as a lawyer and has 19 years of experience working on governance and democracy programmes with emphasis on rule of law, access to justice, integrity and accountability.
 
Areas of Expertise: provision of advisory services and analytical work, review of institutional and legal frameworks and development of strategic documents.
 

Natacha Sarkis

Project Analyst

Holds a Master’s degree in economics and has 7 years of experience working with international organizations and civil society on democratic governance focusing on transparency, anti-corruption, elections, political parties and local governance.

Areas of Expertise: project implementation – coordination and communication – knowledge management – research and training. 
 

06. PROMOTING SOCIAL COHESION PROJECT

This project focuses on the instrumentality of rule of law, institutions that promote social cohesion and the role of trust and social relations in creating cohesive societies in the Arab region.

Our Team

Farah Choucair

Project Coordinator
An economist by training, 10 years of expertise conducting solid economic and statistical research in political economy, economic and social reforms, macro-fiscal policy, poverty, employment and inclusive development.

Areas of Expertise: develop regional and national development agendas, design & implementation of projects and policy advice.
 

Rasha Fahs

Junior Research Officer

8 years of experience in conducting research and drafting reports on economic, social and human rights issues and conflict and political analysis.

Areas of Expertise: research and data analysis– conflict analysis and crisis response– feasibility studies and economic profiles– field work and capacity building

 

07. CLIMATE CHANGE & WATER GOVERNANCE PROJECT

The Arab Climate Resilience Initiative focuses on the water-energy-food nexus as a critical development priority and aims to foster a regional agenda for climate resilience, supporting countries of the region in their international negotiations and national plans.

In partnership with regional partners such as the Arab Water Council, the Water Governance Project in Arab States focuses on alternative water harvesting strategies and related policy challenges, building on its earlier emphasis on integrated water management approaches.
 

Our Team

Francesca Hessler

Project Manager & Chief Technical Advisor

Supporting through expertise, networking and coordination on climate change adaptation, climate negotiations, climate finance, sustainable energy, and water governance.

Areas of Expertise: design & implementation of projects; providing policy advice; coordination of research.  

 

08. ARAB CITIES DISASTER RESILIENCE PROJECT

This project aims to increase resilience of Arab cities against risks resulting from natural disasters and climate change by integrating risk management approaches in urban development planning and improving urban governance capacities.

 

09. CRISIS WARNING & RESPONSE PROJECT

This project aims to enhance response capacities within the Secretariat of the League of Arab States to crises, conflicts, and post-conflict situations; to strengthen related capacities in individual Arab countries; and support the establishment and capacity strengthening of an effective regional cooperation mechanism for early warning and crisis response among LAS member states. 

 

Jasser Alshahed

Chief Technical Adviser

He worked for different regional and international organisations such as the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the League of Arab states. These different backgrounds enabled him to accumulate experiences in political and multilateral affairs, politics of the Middle East, and security and disarmament affairs. Jasser holds an MA in International Relations with special focus on Security Studies from Warwick University, UK.

Areas of expertise: crisis management – security – multilateral affairs – early warning systems

10. WOMEN IN THE PUBLIC SPACE PROJECT (MOSHARKA)

Mosharaka promotes inclusiveness participation, focuses on the political and economic empowerment of women and supports a women peace and security network composed of members from both government and non-government organizations.
 

Our Team

Kawtar Zerouali

Project Manager
Kawtar Zerouali (Morocco) is Gender, Leadership and Participation Specialist with a solid mix of development experience in several countries including Yemen, Bangladesh, Lebanon and the USA with the UN system, World Bank and Mosaic Foundation focusing on good governance, youth inclusiveness, community centered projects, gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

 

 

11. MANAGEMENT SUPPORT UNIT

Abusabeeb H. Elsadig

Results and Resource Management Specialist

Holds MBA in Financial Management and Information Systems. Has extensive experience in financial management and programme formulation and management. Serves as UNDP SURGE Advisor.

Areas of Expertise: Result-based Management, Project Management, Resource Management, Operations Management.
 

Maya Beydoun

Project Management Specialist

Holds an MBA with emphasis on management and has 14 years of experience with the United Nations System in supporting project implementation, office management, and organizing activities in the field. 

Areas of Expertise: Project Management, Resource Management, Operations, Procurement, Finance and Human Resources
 

Maya Abi-Zeid

Monitoring, Reporting & Knowledge Specialist

14 years of specialized experience with UNDP, including two years + on the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the regional programme and projects: support in strategic planning, results-based management and reporting.

Areas of Expertise: Results-based development and management, knowledge management tracking, monitoring and evaluation.

Dany Wazen

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Analyst 

14+ years of experience with the United Nations system leading the planning, management and coordination of ICT projects and products delivery in the Arab region, overseeing the execution of ICT services in the UNDP RBAS Hub offices located in Beirut, Lebanon.

Areas of Expertise: ICT projects planning and management (PMP, PRINCE2), Knowledge and information records management, Solution Architecture and Design, Network Support & Management, Database Administration, resolving complex ICT-related issues.

 

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