Justice & Dignity for the Middle East & North Africa

Justice & Dignity for the Middle East & North Africa

The Justice & Dignity for the Middle East & North Africa program employs a collaborative approach to respond to the needs of activists and civil society organizations working in transitional environments across the region.

Alongside eight partners with expertise in human rights, technology, and citizen action, IREX and its consortium are implementing short-term projects that respond to immediate needs articulated by groups on the ground. In addition to developing its own initiatives, IREX serves as the lead member of the consortium.

Justice and Dignity for the Middle East and North Africa

The Justice & Dignity for the Middle East & North Africa program employs a collaborative approach to respond to the needs of activists and civil society organizations working in transitional environments across the region.

Alongside eight partners with expertise in human rights, technology, and citizen action, IREX and its consortium are implementing short-term projects that respond to immediate needs articulated by groups on the ground. In addition to developing its own initiatives, IREX serves as the lead member of the consortium.

Goals

The overarching goal of the program is to effectively respond to immediate rights-related needs emerging across the Middle East. Over the past five years, IREX and its partners have worked together to:

  • Maintain space: Justice & Dignity has supported civil society groups working on marginalized issues in challenging environments during times when they have struggled to find other support.
  • Strengthen relationships: Justice & Dignity has been strengthening relationships to help civil society maintain space for social justice advocacy. By establishing relationships with a variety of stakeholders, civil society is able to work on issues that might not otherwise be possible.
  • Adjust strategies: Justice & Dignity has supported partners in examining a more diverse range of advocacy and service delivery approaches in response to conflict and other challenges that inhibit their work.

People

Project Activities

Respond rapidly to emerging needs in the MENA region as citizens seek change and governments make reforms. IREX and its partners have undertaken, and are continuing to undertake, numerous projects in the region. Some highlights include:

  • Advocate for Morocco: Engaging Civil Society for Reform: Together with its partners, IREX provided customized technical assistance to three rights-based, mission-driven civil society organizations (CSOs) that each represent a marginalized group in Morocco: persons with disabilities, women, and Amazigh people. IREX and its partners assisted the organizations in improving their ability to advocate their missions to Morocco’s new government. All three Moroccan CSOs developed stronger advocacy tools, created clear advocacy plans, improved their support bases and connections with their constituents, and built stronger relationships with the government and media.
     
  • We Love Network: Based on previous work with We Love Tripoli, a model that organizes youth from different sectarian backgrounds for civic participation activities in Lebanon, and the proliferation of 11 We Love groups in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Moroccos, Tunisia, and Palestine, the Justice & Dignity initiative is supporting the formation of a We Love Network. The Network will bring together the We Love groups and other civil society organizations interested in building citizenship, youth empowerment, citizen journalism, freedom of speech, and civic engagement. The Network hosted its first event in Sousse, Tunisia, where representatives of youth NGOs met to discuss ways they could collaborate and projects that would benefit their communities. At the event, participants established an action plan for the Network.
     
  • Advocate for Libya: Engaging Civil Society, Government, and Media for Justice Sector Reform: IREX builds the capacity of CSOs to enhance their efforts in advocating for an inclusive and fair justice system. IREX provides targeted and customized technical assistance to CSOs with a special focus on issues affecting women and minorities in advocating for justice sector reform.
     
  • Promoting Conflict-Sensitive Journalism in Libya: IREX trained journalists on conflict sensitive journalism to help them when reporting on, or amid, different kinds of conflict. The trainings explore how news and information can be presented in ways that mitigate conflict, and how inflammatory language, inaccuracies, and bias can exacerbate it. The conflict-sensitive curriculum also takes into account the impact of trauma both for journalists and the communities they cover.
     
  • National Reconciliation in Syria: IREX supported its partner, ICRD, in leading three faith-based reconciliation programs. The programs engage diverse groups—Arab tribal leaders, Kurdish tribal leaders, and members of different Syrian opposition groups—to promote improved relations and cooperation. Participants engaged in reconciliation processes and collaborative problem-solving using a framework built upon shared spiritual values that honors their ethnic, religious, and cultural identities.
     
  • Solutions for Syria: Crowd-Sourcing Youth Ingenuity to End the Conflict: IREX partner The Munathara Initiative, an organization that works to support a free and open public sphere  and promotes inclusive and factually substantiated debates through skill-building workshops, online video debates, and live debate events, implemented a project to leverage the power of social media to elevate youth voices and opinions on the Syrian conflict and potential ways to solve the crisis. This particular activity was part of a new concept called the #Solutions series which brought together artists, speakers, and performers around a hashtag theme, incorporating all means of expression. The event was live screened on Al Jazeera Mubasher.