Tag Archives: femise

Gender Equality: FEMISE signs Altafemina’s Charter of Performing Diversity

FEMISE was invited to the Altafemina Festival (November 26th, EuropaCorp Cinema, La Joliette, Marseille, France) and was honored to sign the Altafemina Charter of Performing Diversity. This charter values organizations (companies, associations, institutions) that engage and act concretely for diversity both during their events and in their governing bodies.

Constantin Tsakas (FEMISE, IM) & Samah Ben Dhia (Altafemina)

After a brief presentation of the activities of FEMISE, Dr. Constantin Tsakas (Secretary General of FEMISE, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée) emphasized that the signing of this charter is a first step to raise more awareness in the South of the Mediterranean on the question of gender diversity. FEMISE research has shown that women-owned businesses can even illustrate higher labor productivity. Nevertheless, Southern Mediterranean countries* are characterized by extremely low female participation rates. This rate is 29% on average and the gap with other regions in the world is considerable.

Thanking Altafemina for this honor, Dr Tsakas added that gender diversity is a strength for FEMISE, the administrative team is made up of both men and women, and more than 70% of the young “ChangeMakers” of FEMISE researchers are women. Above all, they are competent and dynamic people, regardless of their gender.

Dr. Tsakas also presented the activities of FEMISE that contribute to a culture of diversity and gender equality in the Mediterranean. Among them, he highlighted the recent partnership with Emerging Valley, in which FEMISE will mobilize young Mediterranean women who lead, support and / or finance projects with significant economic and social impact in their communities, societies and industries. More activities, including awareness-raising videos as part of a partnership with Altafemina, are expected in the following months.

 

FEMISE is a Think-Tank, a network of research institutes in economics, which produces research reports for policymakers on both sides of the Mediterranean. The network mobilizes more than 100 university centers from all over the Mediterranean on 4 thematic axes: Trade Integration, Private Sector Development and Innovation, Environmental Awareness and Development of new inclusive and sustainable growth models. The results of this research are disseminated through platforms that foster dialogue and policy debate among stakeholders, which include researchers, the international community and policy makers.

* Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Palestinian Territories

EV2019 workshop: Empowering Women and Youth Leaders in the Mediterranean and Africa (Dec 4th, TheCamp, Aix-en-Pce)

Mediterranean social and economic development can only be achieved through a partnership that ensures full participation of #women and youth.

FEMISE and Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) participate at the latest edition of Emerging Valley, the Emerging Innovations Hub between Europe and Africa, a unique occasion to explore emerging ecosystems and connect with African tech leaders !

Want to learn more about Social and Economic Innovations in the Mediterranean ? Join our #EV2019 workshop “Social Change Makers, Act 2 : Empowering Women and Youth Leaders in the Mediterranean and Africa” (December 4th, 14h-16h, TheCamp, Aix-en-Provence, France) !

Register by clicking here, then in the second page (sessions) please click on our workshop (4-December, 14h-16h) entitled “WORKSHOP Empowering Women and Youth Change Makers in the Mediterranean and Africa”

The Concept Note and the Programme of the IM-FEMISE workshop are available by clicking here.

Come discover the testimonies of these women and young “Change Makers” who shine with their innovative spirit in the Mediterranean! Among the speakers at the IM-FEMISE workshop:

  • Samah Ben Dhia, President AltaFemina (Tunisia-France)
  • A’Laa Chbaro, ImpACT the World (Social Business) and WonderAid (all MENA region, Lebanon)
  • Chaymae Samir, fondatrice du cabinet CS International, Founder and CEO of SUNDAY IVY (Morocco, UK)
  • Layla Al Qasim, Landmark Hotels Company and 17 Asset Management (Jordan)
  • Hajar Khamlichi, President Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (Morocco)
  • Patricia Augier, Coordinator and President of Scientific Committee, IM-FEMISE (France)
  • Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of IM, General Secretary of FEMISE (France, Greece)
  • Chiraz Karoui, European Investment Bank analyst, Women Empowerment expert (Tunisia)
  • Menna Rabie, Consultant Rainmaking, former Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Lead at Bedaya (Egypt)
  • Karine Moukaddem, Sustainable Development expert, co-organizer of Union for the Mediterraneans’ (UfM) Youth Strategy at the University for Youth and Development of North-South Center of Council of Europe.
  • Hatoumata Magassa, Bond’INNOV (France/Mali)

For a look back at the IM-FEMISE workshop “Discovering Social Change Makers” during the previous edition of EmergingValley (2018), check out the video report below.

FEMISE welcomes 6 new members !

Following the accession of the 6 new members, FEMISE is pleased to announce that the number of members of the network reaches 109 institutes: 58 of the North and 51 of the South.

This is a vote of confidence for FEMISE, which is developing to become the most impactful EU-Med network, with a growing number of economic and political researchers from both shores working together for inclusive and sustainable development and regional integration, and with a growing number of contacts with policy makers and international organizations.

 

Bios about new FEMISE members:

 

 

Institut Supérieur de Commerce et d’Administration des Enterprise (ISCAE), Morocco :  ISCAE (Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration) is a major school of business and management in Morocco. It has the status of public institute under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. ISCAE has three campuses: ISCAE Casablanca, ISCAE Rabat, and ISCAE Guinea. This Institute cooperates closely with the national economic fabric in order to achieve a perfect symbiosis between the training it provides and the evolving needs of the private sector.

 

 

 

Fondation pour les etudes et recherches sur le développement Internationales (FERDI), France : FERDI is a think tank which was created in 2003. Its primary, research-based purpose, is to influence the international discussion on major development issues. Independent and not-for-profit, FERDI mobilizes high-level researchers in the field of international development and offers relevant and innovative thinking on the key issues in development economics. FERDI is particularly active on issues related to development effectiveness, sustainable development, and global governance.

 

 

 

Institut Tunisien de la Compétitivité et des Etudes Quantitatives (ITCEQ), Tunisia :  The Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies (previously called Institute of Quantitative Economics) is a major Tunisian center for economic and social studies and competitiveness. It was created in 1973. Among its missions, it ensures the follow-up work, analysis of the Tunisian economy and its determinants at the product-level and at the macroeconomic, sectoral and regional levels and carries out surveys on the competitiveness of the private sector and the business climate.

 

Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), Cairo, Egypt : ACPSS is one of the leading think tanks in Egypt and the region, consistently rated among the top 30 think tanks in the world in the global “Go-To think Tanks” annually produced at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). ACPSS serves as a connection space where knowledge-based policies/consultancy are produced and where different challenges faced by the region are also thoroughly studied.

 

 

 

 

DIAL- UMR LEDa – Paris Dauphine, France :  The LEDa, Dauphine’s Economics Laboratory, is a research unit created in 2009. It brings together all the economist professors-researchers from Paris Dauphine University as well as IRD and CNRS researchers. Its decision-oriented research focuses on several broad-spectrum society issues: health and aging, development and mobility, macroeconomic policies, environment and climate, and finance.

 

Yaşar University, Turquie :  Yaşar University is a university, in Izmir, Turkey. The university faculty teaches in English, with programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Yaşar University presents itself as a “boutique university”. Its goal is to be identified as a small but prestigious international Turkish university.[1] Yaşar University also adheres to a policy of internationalization: a process of connecting a globalized world with the local community through a variety of social responsibility projects.

EuroMed report: Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts: Conditions, Costs and Scenarios for Reconstruction

The new EuroMed Report is now available

Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts : Conditions, Costs and Scenarios for Reconstruction*

The report is available for download here.  

 

This report discusses the issue of repatriation of refugees in impacted countries of the South Med region.

Through its four chapters, the authors start by looking into the characteristics of these refugees and the conditions affecting their decisions to return.

This overview is followed by an analysis of the possible political settlement scenarios and reconstructions’ potentials, with a focus on the possible role of the international community.

The authors then analyse the economic costs of conflicts as well as post-conflict growth scenarios.

The report concludes by highlighting the main findings and providing policy insights into how to address this issue to ensure a safe, sustainable and dignified return of refugees to their home countries.

 

 

Contributors 

 

Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi, President of FEMISE and Managing Director of ERF

Dr. Samir Makidisi, Institute of Financial Economics, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Semih Tumen, Associate Professor of Economics at TED University, Turkey

Dr. Belal Fallah, Director of research at Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute-MAS, Palestine

Dr. Roger Albinyana, Director of Mediterranean Regional Policies and Human Development, IEMED, Spain

Dr. Maryse Louis, General Manager, FEMISE

Ms. Jala Emad Youssef, AUC, Egypt

 

The Euromed Report is an annual publication of FEMISE that is addressing themes of importance and interest to the EU-Med region. The report brings value-added to the themes it covers through in-depth analysis by economists from the North and the South of the Mediterranean, using a multidisciplinary approach. This brings a common view from the two shores of the Mediterranean and provides policy recommendations that can make a contribution to the South Med countries during their transition.

* This report received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed in this seminar are the sole responsibility of the authors and the speakers.

FEMISE MedBRIEF 28: ” Migration, Comparative Advantages and Knowledge Diffusion”

Dr. Anna M. Ferragina, CELPE, University of Salerno, FEMISE

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region. The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

The latest MED BRIEF on “Migration, Comparative Advantages and Knowledge Diffusion in the EU-Mediterranean region” is available here.

 

Summary In this policy brief we report the outcomes of a project which investigates how migration flows between MENA and the EU can impact their trade relations. We explore the link between immigration and emigration with the intensive margin (IM) and the extensive margin of trade (EM). The main novelty is to try to disentangle the knowledge transmissions channels from network and preference effects in relation to migration flows.  The analysis is carried out by checking for migration effects on the degree of technology embodied in EU traded goods by considering low, medium and high technology classes. Our results and policy implications are important for harnessing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership for prosperity, growth and employment and are of relevance to policy-makers dealing with migration policies, trade-negotiators, and for civil society and businesses.

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Analyzing the impact of a EU-Tunisia DCFTA (report FEM43-16)

From a policy perspective, what do we conclude from these results: The opening
up of markets leads to opportunities and to the possibility of net welfare gains.This
result is well established from international trade theory and from a wide range of
empirical evidence. There are many sources of these gains, but only some of which
are accounted for in a modelling framework such as the one we have used. The
extent of the gains will depend critically both on the level of non-tariff barriers
between the EU and Tunisia and on the extent of any reductions in both tariff and
non-tariff barriers. It is therefore extremely important that more work is
undertaken to better understand the extent of these barriers and what specific
policies are needed to ensure their removal.

Financial Inclusion and Stability in the MED Region: Evidence from Poverty and Inequality (report FEM44-01)

Despite a significant growth in profitability and efficiency, the Middle East (MED) well developed banking system seems to be unable to reach vast segments of the population, especially the underprivileged ones. To this end, the onus of policymakers in the region is to create effective opportunities for financial inclusion, and subsequently poverty and income inequality reduction. Whether they have succeeded in their endeavor is an empirical question we seek to address in this research project. Using Panel data, GMM and GLS econometric models, and a sample of six MED countries (Al GMM and GLS econometric models and a sample of six MED countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) over the period 2002-2018, this paper assesses empirically the impact of financial inclusion on income inequality, poverty, and financial stability in the MED region. While the empirical literature on the region is relatively scarce, this paper adds to that literature by bridging a significant existing gap, especially in the aftermath of the recent financial and debt crises and the recent political, social, and military turmoil that have been unfolding in several MED countries.

Our empirical results have shown that financial inclusion decreases inequality but has no significant effect on poverty. Inflation and population increase both inequality and poverty. Other empirical results have shown that the secondary enrollment ratio, female labor force participation and the trade openness variables are found to significantly affect poverty. While the empirical evidence indicates that enhanced financial integration is a contributing factor to financial instability, an increase in financial inclusion and in population contributes positively to financial stability. This study has also shown that greater access to financial services is positively contributing to the resilience of the banking system deposit funding base. This is particularly important during times of financial crises. Enhanced resilience of bank funding supports overall financial stability of the banking sector and the entire financial system. The latest debt and financial crises have shown that financial liberalization and inclusion in MED may not always be conducive to poverty reduction and financial stability improvements.

Our empirical findings have important policy implications. MED policy makers face tradeoffs when deciding whether to focus on reforms to promote financial development (financial inclusion, innovation, financial access, etc…) or whether to focus on further improvements in financial stability. However, synergies between promoting financial development and inclusion and financial stability can also exist. The results of this study could help foster a better policy to reform the financial sector by demonstrating how broadening the use of banking can have a direct impact on income distribution.

The recent and uncoordinated liberalization attempts have rendered MED financial and banking sectors more vulnerable to the recent financial and debt crises. In particular, the fast attempts to liberalize and financially integrate the Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco’s financial markets with the more mature markets of the United States and Europe has had devastating consequences on their banking sectors and stock markets.

When deciding on whether to focus on reforms to promote financial development (financial inclusion, innovation, access to financial services, etc.) and reduce poverty and income inequality, or on whether to focus on further improvements in financial stability, MED policy makers will have to bear in mind, the tradeoff that exits between financial liberalization and integration and financial stability. Carefully designed financial liberalization policies need to be timely introduced in order not to destabilize the financial system. Moreover, the latest debt and financial crises have shown that financial liberalization and development may not always be conducive to poverty and inequality reduction on the one hand, and to stimulate growth and development, on the other. On the contrary, and in many instances policies aimed at fostering financial development and innovations have triggered recessions and in many MED countries have had detrimental effects on growth and development and have further widened the gap between the rich and poor.

The MED region stands at a crossroad, with changes sweeping many of its countries and creating an environment conducive to financial and economic reform. Having missed a number of opportunities to reduce poverty and inequality, to introduce extensive financial and institutional reforms, and make substantial progress in financial inclusion, more effort still needs to be devoted in the future. The social movements in the region and the earlier series of financial crises have exposed the weaknesses of the adopted financial development model and have raised questions as to how to reshape financial policies most effectively and create the space to address the needs of everyone in society, reaching even the most deprived. The slow pace of financial development and liberalization policies adopted in most MED countries in the past has yielded a relatively acceptable level of economic growth and, in general, managed to meet the goals of economic and financial stability. Oil booms have generated acceptable growth rates, with oil-abundant MED countries delivering much more than those less developed. However, the impact of such economic and financial policy choices has not led to the desired outcomes in terms of human development, poverty reduction and financial stability. Growth has not been inclusive and has widened the gap between the rich and poor; a case in point is Egypt and Morocco. Indeed, in certain cases, financial liberalization has actually contributed to further financial instability. In light of a critical reassessment of the achievements and failures of MED countries, a new financial development approach should be adopted. This new model should be more holistic, integrating the financial and social spheres in combination with strong financial institutions. It is vital that MED policymaking should expand to accommodate these spheres and place them on equal footing in the service of a long-term rights-based financial developmental vision.

The new model will reconsider financial policies that incorporate developmental priorities and would thus achieve structural change. Financial policies will have to be reshaped to achieve not only financial stabilization, adjustment and economic growth, but to also trigger the transformation required to generate growth that is broad-based, inclusive and sustainable. Within this context, such policy tools as financial development and inclusion, and financial sector diversification and liberalization will have to be addressed. At the same time, financial policies should not shy away from meeting the same objectives as social policy under this new financial development paradigm, in which the interests and welfare of every person in society are the target. It is also of central importance to ensure that social policy goes hand-in-hand with financial development policies to bring about the required transformation and ensure inclusive financial and economic growth. While the social and financial spheres should interconnect to create synergies, this new financial development model will not achieve its goals if political and institutional reforms remain shallow. Finally, sustainable poverty and income inequality reduction requires an acknowledgement that politics, institutions, financial and socio-economic policies are intertwined and have an impact on each other. Synchronizing financial and social policies with institutional and political reform would bring about positive, sustainable change under a clearly defined financial development vision.

Social Entrepreneurs’ Responses to the Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon (report FEM44-12)

30Following the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, an estimated 1.5 million and 1.3 million Syrian refugees sought a safe haven in Lebanon and Jordan respectively (Reuters, 2017; Ghazal, 2017). Considering that the population of Jordan is just under 10 million, and that of Lebanon – under 7 million (World Bank, 2018), this sudden and unexpected flow of refugees resulted in severe disruption, stretching the absorptive capacities of the two countries well beyond their limits, and necessitating massive relief efforts for refugees and host communities alike. In their efforts to manage the situation, the authorities in both countries have been supported by international community and civil society. Increasingly, private sector has been stepping in as well (Berfond et al., 2019). Among many institutions and individuals aiming to alleviate the situation, an increasing number of less traditional actors – social entrepreneurs – could be also observed.

Against this background, the main of this exploratory study was to explore the ways in which social entrepreneurs in Jordan and Lebanon have been helping to alleviate the refugee crisis in both countries. In our conceptualization of social enterprises (SEs), we followed an approach by Cerritelli et al. (2016), and instead of adopting a single definition of social entrepreneurship, understood SEs as entities possessing the following characteristics: i) primarily focus on the creation of social value rather than a purely economic one, ii) being financially sustainable or aiming at achieving that goal, and iii) self-identifying as a social enterprise. This approach was more inclusive of different types of socially entrepreneurial initiatives, additionally allowing for any differences that may occur between SEs based in the western countries and MENA region (as suggested, e.g. by Tauber, upcoming).

Our main finding, developed based on extensive literature review and stakeholder consultations (29 interviews with SEs and support organizations, a focus group, and a panel discussion during a workshop), is that although social entrepreneurs overcome numerous obstacles in order to achieve their goals, assessment of the real impact of their actions is not possible due lack of social impact measurement mechanisms in place. Judging their success is also impeded by the fact that the majority of the SEs examined is relatively young, being predominantly established within the past five years.

At the same time, we found that the anecdotal evidence does suggest that refugees in both countries benefit from the actions of social enterprises in a number of ways. Most notably, SEs are a source of employment opportunities, helping refugees to start new careers or resume the ones they had back in their home countries. The opportunities offered are especially valuable for female refugees, struggling to manage family-related responsibilities with work-life and facing various constraints of socio-cultural nature. SEs are uniquely positioned to assist with the labour market integration of the refuges as – unlike purely profit-oriented private companies – they can accommodate for their specific needs, focusing on the social impact of their work rather than just profit maximization (e.g. by providing free childcare for their female employees). Moreover, unlike non-profits, they can create sustainable jobs that do not (entirely) depend on donor funding. Unfortunately, ultimately the degree to which the SEs succeed in their work to large degree depends on the labour market policies of their respective governments. The issue of granting work permits to the refugees is incredibly sensitive in Jordan and Lebanon, both struggling with high unemployment rates among the native population. Recently, especially the latter has been introducing measures that may prove extremely difficult to overcome for the SEs wishing to integrate the refugees to the local labour markets.

Another group of the SEs has been focusing on providing goods and services that would facilitate the everyday existence of the refugees (and other segments of the population): from providing innovative educational solutions, through developing sanitary provisions, to designing functional temporary shelters. They, too, have however been adversely affected by existing regulatory frameworks.

Overall, the SEs face various challenges related to bureaucracy and inadequate legislation, such as high taxes, complicated customs procedures, red tape, or overregulation. Importantly, lack of legal recognition of a social enterprise as a legal entity is a major impediment, forcing social entrepreneurs to choose between registering as i) for-profits and therefore forfeiting any tax deductions, opportunity to receive (tax-exempted) grants and donations, and other benefits that non-profit organizations benefit from, or i) non-profits, limiting their opportunity to generate income. Equally worryingly, the complexities of the existing legislation do not seem to be well understood by SEs and support organizations (SOs) alike.

Another major obstacle identified by the vast majority of interviewees was securing funding to develop and grow. With bank loans and microcredits were out of scope or out of the question, most of the SEs turned to grants – and personal savings – even if finding an investor was the preferable way of going forward.

Finally, lack of adequate assistance on behalf of the support organizations was an additional factor adversely affecting the SEs, who complained that incubation and acceleration schemes available were not tailored enough and imposed unnecessary constraints on their daily operations. While some SOs did acknowledge this problem, many saw social entrepreneurs as cavalier and unwilling to learn.

The social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan and Lebanon, especially its segment working with refugees, is still relatively undeveloped, unstructured, and unorganized. However, it is quite clear that the potential to have a positive impact on the livelihood of refugees residing in both countries is real. While social entrepreneurship alone by no means the answer to the refugee crisis, in a conducive legislative environment it may become an important actor – especially thanks to the new technologies that allow the SEs to scale up their activities and potentially maximize their impacts.

Migration, Comparative Advantages and Knowledge Diffusion (report FEM44-11)

Overall, the estimation results show that the trade effect of immigration from MENA to EU is always positive while that of emigration from EU to MENA is negative or not significant. However, the trade effects of immigration encountered between EU and MENA partners are lower with respect to other EU partner areas. Besides, the migration induced effect on bilateral trade is higher in low tech than in medium and high tech. If we concentrate on trade of EU with third countries, a measure adopted as a proxy for the spillover channel, we observe that immigration from MENA increases the intensive margin of EU trade in medium tech products but not the extensive margin and emigration does not have a significant impact. Interdependencies between migration and trade policies pointed out by the results of our investigation are meaningful for migration policies of EU countries towards MENA.

FEMISE MedBRIEF 26: ” Unequal Opportunities in Early Childhood in the Mediterranean”

Moundir LASSASSI, Valérie BERENGER & Touhami ABDELKHALEK

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region.The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

 

 

 

The MED BRIEF “Unequal Opportunities in Early Childhood in 6 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries”, is available here (in french).

 

Summary

Early childhood is the most important period for human development. However, countries tend to under-invest in this phase of development, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Children face unequal opportunities to develop because of the circumstances of their birth. This research analyzes inequalities of opportunity in early childhood development in three southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) as well as in three non-European Eastern European countries (EU) (Bosnia , Serbia and Ukraine). The results show that there is a substantial inequality of opportunity from the beginning of life. Various circumstances influence early inequalities, including household standard of living, mother’s education, and geographical differences.

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union