Top policy-makers have access to an enormous amount of information on institutions and organizations, and detailed statistics on economics and current events are updated on an almost daily basis. Both types of information are beneficial for effective policy-making. But, until recently, reliable information about the views, attitudes, and behaviors of ordinary Arab citizens—to say nothing of Gulf Arab citizens—was not available. Today, Qatar and the region recognizes a growing appreciation towards the importance of public opinion and the need to understand what ordinary men and women living in the Gulf—both national and expatriate—think and value.
This profusion of policy-relevant survey research in the Gulf has not translated into an indigenous capacity for implementation or analysis. And, in places where local survey institutions have been established, they operate disproportionately in the state sector, with data and results confined to internal use. With the launch in September 2014 of its new Policy Unit, the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) of Qatar University aims to fill this gap in publicly-available, empirically-based policy analysis.
The SESRI Policy Unit complements the Institute’s existing research efforts by synthesizing, probing more deeply, and analyzing from a different perspective the Institute’s expansive inventory of survey data. Backed by rigorous social science and intimate knowledge of the local context, it will produce and disseminate impartial, empirically-based research results helpful in informing policy decisions. In so doing, the Unit will offer previously-unavailable policy insights for use by opinion leaders, government officials, policy makers, journalists, the public, and the international community.
To view the Policy unit’s analyses and briefs, visit the Publications page.