Doha, November 04 (QNA) – Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) on Sunday renewed its partnership agreement with the world-renowned Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan (UM), whereby SESRI’s capacity will be further developed and expanded as a leading social science research organization in Qatar and a key contributor to social science research in the Gulf.
QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad and UM Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Prof Philip Hanlon signed the agreement in the presence of SESRI Director Dr Darwish Al-Emadi and ISR Director Prof James Jackson.
Also attending the signing ceremony were US Ambassador to Qatar Susan L Ziadeh, QU VP and Chief Financial Officer Dr Humaid Al-Midfaa, Acting VP for Academic Affairs Dr Mazen Hasna, VP for Institutional Planning and Development Dr Saif Al-Sowaidi, Director ISR Center for Political Studies Dr Nancy Burns, several SESRI faculty, students and US Embassy staff.
The renewal of the partnership between the two parties comes after a successful near-completion of the first collaborative agreement between the University of Michigan (ISR) and QU that was initiated at the time of SESRI’s establishment in 2008. This success is demonstrated in the majority of goals and objectives of the agreement being met or exceeded.
In renewing this partnership, SESRI will continue to strengthen collaboration with ISR in designing and conducting academic research, advance relationships between ISR, SESRI and QU faculty and students, and implement training and consultation activities.
The agreement will also establish or expand upon a number of facilities and services: a Policy Analysis Center that will produce and disseminate SESRI reports dealing with important issues of public policy; archiving and dissemination services for documenting and preserving data generated by SESRI to be accessible to QU faculty and students; and a Telephone Calling Center which will draw on SESRI’s face-to-face survey interviewing operations.
Commenting on the renewed agreement, Dr Al-Emadi said: “In continuing this collaboration with ISR, we will benefit further from the experience of working with a premier research university known for its wealth of social science research and teaching experience. Importantly, QU students involved in survey research will have the opportunity to develop skills and competencies in this field that will be of immense value in their professional careers and which will ultimately contribute to advancing survey research in Qatar by seeking answers to everyday needs and concerns of the community”.
Dr Al-Emadi further noted that SESRI has been an exemplary addition to the existing research units at QU, and pointed to its omnibus survey on Life in Qatar, the first-ever conducted in the country, the Social Capital Survey, and the World Values Survey, as examples. “The Institute conducts rigorous social science research on issues such as labor and employment, modernization and shifts in social values, education, health, family structure and media impact — all areas of importance to Qatari society. As we approach the 5th year of SESRI’s inception, we renew our commitment to keeping abreast of the important social and economic developments that will impact society, such as those that will lead up to and accompany the World Cup 2022 for example, thus ensuring our contribution to the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 and Qatar National Vision 2030”, he said.
UM Vice-Provost for International Affairs Dr Mark Tessler said: “All of us at the University have consistently found our collaboration with SESRI not only to be enjoyable but also deeply rewarding. It has been particularly satisfying because of Qatar University s visionary leadership and the opportunity to work with an extraordinarily able and dedicated team of professionals at SESRI”.
He added further: “Starting from zero, SESRI has in four short years built a fully- operational survey research institute that carries out studies of a quality and scope that are unmatched in the Gulf. Indeed, SESRI is already among the very best institutes of its kind in the Arab world. Inspired and assisted by our own Institute for Social Research, the surveys SESRI conducts are state-of-the-art and consistent with the standards of leading survey research centers anywhere”. (qna)