MBRSG serves as both an educational institution and a public policy think tank, putting research at the heart of its mandate, vision and activities.
The School’s unique regional positioning drives its passion to leading the region in multidisciplinary research related to public policy and government. To fulfil its leadership objectives in the fields of education and public policy, the School dedicates vast resources to creating original research and supplying multidisciplinary evidence both in support of its educational activities and in advancing more impactful policymaking on a regional level.
Research production at MBRSG is not just encouraged as a method of advancing careers and contributing to knowledge; in addition to these important goals, the School views research as the primary driver for higher quality educational outcomes and as a key influencer of better regional and national government.
Research Streams and Priorities
Since its establishment in 2005, MBRSG’s research themes have spanned many fields of governance-related social sciences, including digital governance, economic policies, educational policies, energy policies, entrepreneurship policies, gender policies, health policies, innovation policies, labor policies, public finance, public leadership, public management, social policy, sustainable development, and youth policies.
The School’s 2018-2021 research strategy prioritizes six research streams, led by its body of academics and scholars, and is supplemented by a growing body of graduate students pursuing related government-focused research pathways.
These research themes are:
- Future Government and Innovation: The philosophy of this research area is that building the “government of the future” depends heavily on understanding the ever-changing opportunities, challenges and policy implications brought about by emerging innovations and digital transformations. In the UAE and wider Arab region, these transformations are giving way to new models of governance where policymaking is becoming digitally-driven, data-heavy, predictive and “smart”, triggering radical changes in policymaking cycles and innovations in citizen-government interactions. This multidisciplinary area of study is built on the School’s regional research leadership in the topics of digital governance and public sector innovation over the past decade. The emerging fields of research within this theme include: digital-era societal transformations, technology policy, innovation policies, big data and governance, artificial intelligence in government, open government data, “smart cities” and future of urban development, cybersecurity policies, inclusion and citizen-government interactions in the digital age, and the ramifications of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”.
- Education Policy: This research area focuses on issues related to education access and reform in the UAE and across the region. It explores some of the main challenges, including access to higher education, skills gaps, building capacity for the knowledge economy, technology integration in education and youth unemployment. Education policy research at MBRSG pays special attention to global trends impacting education such as globalization and the rise of the digital classroom, while focusing on local issues such as the youth bulge, unemployment, Emiratization and dropout rates.
- Health Policy: Our health policy research aims to explore healthcare policy in the UAE, which is designed to improve the delivery of care and the overall health of the UAE population, based on the policy’s recommendations and implementations. MBRSG’s research is geared towards addressing the needs and challenges related to the provision of health services, particularly in accordance with the UAE National Agenda.
- Public Leadership: This research area focuses on producing empirical research into the inter-related phenomena of public leadership and strategic management in UAE and regional governments. It looks at UAE government agendas and how they work, individual leaders and managers, and strategic management and leadership studies.
- Social Policy, Well-being and Happiness: This evolving research area investigates some of the most pressing social policy issues in the UAE and the region at large, including social equality and cohesion, gender and youth focused policies, inclusive public services and policymaking, quality of life, well-being and happiness of individuals and societies. Work in this area pays special attention to women, youth, the elderly, people of determination and underprivileged groups in society. Additionally, this area of research prioritizes research topics focusing on happiness, well-being and quality of life.
- Sustainable Development Policy: This field of research digs deep into environmental policies, governmental responses to climate change, food, water and energy policies, mobility and urban sustainability, population studies, and sustainable development goals (SDGs), among others. It also focuses on sustainable development in all of its facets – economic, social and environmental, while paying special attention to the impact of market, policy and institutional actions on each of these spheres. Within economics, sustainable economic policies are explored, especially within the context of the oil-rich GCC and the impact of these policies on economic growth and equality, as well as on the environment. Issues related to social sustainability and environmental sustainability are examined within the global context of environmental treaties and development goals and the local context of energy, infrastructure and climate regulations. Finally, social sustainability is explored through the lens of development and long term social stability including equal and broad infrastructure and social development.
MBRSG will continue to disseminate its research outcome it variety of different ways. These include:
- Policy briefs
- Research reports
- Case studies
- Policy council proceedings
- Academic and professional conferences
- Journal articles
- Newspaper opinion articles
- Public research seminars
- Government conferences and workshops
- Research blog posts
- Executive education programs
- Master programs
- Books, book chapters, and book reviews