The Hub was founded in 2020 upon the efforts of 8 organisations working within the Arab region that collectively aimed to initiate a renewed discussion around and interest in social protection in the Arab region at a time when a pandemic highlighted the lack of social protection schemes needed to ensure equitable and reliable coverage. With time, the Hub may grow to incorporate more organisations and initiatives.

No single entity owns the Hub. It is administered by Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) and run by an executive team of professionals with diverse specialisations, which ensure the Hub’s sustainability through administrative support, ethical oversight and engagement with potential partners; and was established in partnership with seven research and media partners and the support of 14 advisory board members active in countries across the region. During its inaugural years, the Hub engaged with over 70 individuals and organisations specialised in social protection, discussing potential collaborations and developing together a declaration to help solidify and publicise a unified position and intent with regards to social protection in the Arab region.

The Hub is an open collaborative space for the development of ideas and initiatives that can enhance interest in and facilitate a deeper understanding of social protection needs in the region. Such endeavours are best implemented collectively and nourished by the skills and knowledge of researchers and activists, individuals and organizations, with both national and transnational expertise.

All persons and organisations engaged in social protection in the Arab region are free to feed from and into the Hub. During its inception years (2020-22), the Hub: (a) produced and commissioned over 25 research papers and reports on issues pertaining to social protection in the region; (b) produced a comprehensive directory of knowledge that sheds light on said issues; and (c) hosted a series of live and recorded discussions with experts that facilitated dialogue and networking between professionals in the field. Such activities will continue throughout 2023 and beyond in collaboration with partners and associates. Should you wish to be among them, we invite you to join us.

Hub Partner Profiles:
in alphabetical order

Custodian: Arab Reform Initiative
ARI is an independent Arab think tank working with expert partners in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change. It conducts research and policy analysis and provides a platform for inspirational voices based on the principles of diversity, impartiality, gender equality and social justice.

Media Partner: Daraj Media
Daraj is an independent digital media platform created by experienced journalists. Our goal is to offer Arabic speakers an alternative kind of journalism, free from political funding and influence, which controls other mainstream Arab media institutions.

Research Partner: Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
EIPR has been working since 2002 to strengthen and protect basic rights and freedoms in Egypt, through research, advocacy and supporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and social rights, and criminal justice.

Media Partner: Inkyfada
Inkyfada is an independent, nonprofit media group founded in 2014 by a team of journalists, developers, and graphic designers with the goal of supporting the public interest through innovative journalistic content.

Research Partner: The Policy initiative
The Policy Initiative aims to engage key stakeholders, inform the public and empower local communities through shaping policies, incentives and behaviours of state and societal actors.

Media Partner: Mada Masr
Mada Masr is an Egypt-based media organization interested in producing intelligent and engaging journalism, and more generally in re-examining the role of media in relation to its public.

Research Partner: Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies
Phenix Center for Economics & Informatics Studies is a non-governmental organization dedicated to independent policy research and measuring public opinions on impactful current and emerging issues in areas of economics, society, and its legislative environment in Jordan.

Communication Partner: Sharq.Org
The transnational non-profit organisation Sharq.Org joined the Hub as a communication partner in 2022 to support the enhancement of both its visibility and awareness of social protection issues among a wider network of media, academic and policy professionals, as well as the wider public.

Research Partner: Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
FTDES (by its French acronym), is a non-governmental, non-partisan, independent organization established in 2011 to defend peoples’ economic and social rights at the national and international levels. It works on several themes including labor rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, migrants’ rights, and social movements.



Farah Al Shami is a Senior Fellow, leading the Social Protection Program at ARI.

Sarah Anne Rennick is Deputy Director at ARI.

Nadim Houry is the Executive Director at ARI.

Diala Ahwach is a coordinator on Human Rights and Social Justice at ARI..

Farhan Alhusban is a research assistant and website coordinator at ARI.

Ghassan Aldaoud is a intern in the Social Protection Program at ARI.

Serene Dardari is a Director of Communications at ARI.

Said Haddadi is a Director of Publications at ARI.

Andrew Findell Aghnatios is a Senior Program and Communications Coordinator at ARI.

Berfin Necimoglu is a Program Coordinator at ARI.



Fourteen members sit on the advisory board of the Hub on a voluntary basis. The board brings together prominent experts who are pioneers in the fields of social protection, social justice, public health, education, crisis management, human rights and economic development. It reflects a balanced blend of stakeholders who work with international organisations, academic institutions, and non-profit organisations; with divergent areas of expertise (themes and forms of vulnerability); and in different countries.

Fouad Fouad is an associate professor of public health practice at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and a co-director of the Refugees Health Program at the university’s Global Health Institute.

Ghada Abdel Tawab is a senior program officer on the Future of Work(ers) international team at the Ford Foundation.

Haneen Sayed is a senior expert in human development and social protection in the Arabic speaking region.

Hoda Al Sadda is the co-founder and current chair of the board of trustees of the Women and Memory Forum. She is a professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University and a women’s rights activist.

Maha Shuayb is the director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies and an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge.

Mahdi Elleuch is a senior expert at the Lebanese non-profit organisation Legal Agenda.

Marie Noelle Abi Yaghi is a co-director of the Centre for Civil Society Research and Action (CeSSRA).

Martha Chen is a senior advisor at Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO).

Oussama Safa is a senior expert in social and economic justice.

Rana Jawad is the co-founder and convener of the MENA Social Policy Network (MENASP) at Bath University.

Samar Dudin is a regional director and head of programs at Ruwwad Al Tanmeya.

Stefano Prato is the managing director of the Society for International Development (SID) and the editor of its quarterly journal ‘Development’.

Ziad Abdel Samad is the executive director of the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).

Ziad Bahaa Eldin is an Egyptian lawyer, politician, and expert in financial law, investment and company laws, governance, compliance, and economic legislation.