17 research grants awarded through the Arab Land Initiative’s Research Innovation Fund

Knowledge creation and research on land-related topics is a cornerstone of the Arab Land Initiative and its partners’ efforts to advance good land governance in the region. The Initiative’ Research Innovation Fund is led by the Urban Training and Studies Institute (UTI / HBRC) based in Cairo, Egypt. In July 2020, a call for proposals for research grants was launched in cooperation with the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and UN-Habitat and with the financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).

The call addressed students and young land professionals from the Arab region interested in conducting research on land governance-related topics in one or several Arab countries. The main objectives of the research grant are to increase the information and empirical evidence on land-related issues in the region and foster the interest and engagement of students, young professionals and scholars in producing land-related research and become part of land sector networks in the Arab region.

The Urban Training and Studies Institute received eighty (80) submissions covering the twelve main cross-sectorial land governance themes proposed in the call. The selection criteria were: clarity and pertinence of the research objectives, soundness of the hypothesis, pertinence of the case studies, credibility of the methodology, validity of the references, innovation potential, and transferability of the expected results.

Due to the good quality and very competitive applications received, the review committee decided to increase the awarded applications from 8, as initially planned, to 17 grantees. Out of the selected research proposals, 12 are in English; 3 in Arabic and 2 in French.

The detailed list of awarded research grants is as follows:

Selected Candidate Focus Country Subject of the Research Language
Reham Reda

Mohamed Hamdy

Egypt Egyptian Slums and Land Conflict: Pre and After Slum Eviction and Relocation Land Governance Challenges English
Anas Alhowaily Egypt Policy and Regulatory Constraints to Good Land Governance in Upper Egypt; The Case Study Aswan–New Aswan English
Fatima Zahra Benhamza Morocco Urban redevelopment project’s trauma: The case of Avenue Royale Project in Casablanca – Morocco English
Shahd Mustafa Amukhtar Iraq/Syria/


Fighting corruption in public Land Management through the use of open access land information tools, such as Geoportals’ English
Layla Zibar Iraq/Syria Planning Displacement in Chronic Conflict Zones: A master plan approach for temporary camps. The case of camps in Iraqi Kurdistan English
Batoul Ibrahim

Roula Maya

Syria Towards a Spatial Polycentric Approach for Sustainable Land Administration in Syria as a Key Tool for Social and Economic Recovery and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Strategies English
Wael Alaghbari Yemen Land Problems and Disputes in Yemen: Causes, challenges and recommendations English
Mario J. Al Sayah

Rita Der Sarkissian

Lebanon A review of recent events in Lebanon (2011-2020) and their effect on national land degradation English
Petra Samaha Lebanon Land as Cash Machine. The Case of Lebanon English
Glory El-Khoury Lebanon Land use, Land cover changes and the link with the Groundwater Governance in “Nahr Al Jaouz” river basin (Lebanon). English
Rowa Elzain

Shaharin Annisa

Oman Self-organized communities, Urban Governance and the City; Lessons learned from Muscat, Oman English
Hamda AL Hajri Oman “The Land Before Lines” Social Unrest and Modern Land Management in Former Tribal Territories: The Sultanate of Oman as a Case Study English
Mohamed Abotera

Ahmed Borham

Ahmed Zaazaa

Egypt سیاسات الإخلاء وتأثیرھا على المدینة

(Eng) Evacuation policies and their impact on the city

Omar Elkousy

Ahmed AlAhwal

Egypt جدوى القيمة السوقية كمعيار للتعويض العادل لنزع الملكيات في القاهرة التاريخية; (إطار عمل مقترح لتقدير خسائر ومخاطر نزع الملكية)

(Eng) The feasibility of market value as a criterion for fair compensation for expropriation in Historic Cairo; (A proposed framework for estimating losses and risks of expropriation)

Mohamed Othman

Tansim Ballany

Syria العلاقات الاقتصادية الاجتماعية في سوق باب النصر وسويقة حلب من عام 2010 حتى 2020

(Eng) Socio-economic relations in the Bab al-Nasr market and Aleppo Suwayqa from 2010 to 2020

Issam Elkhorchani Tunisia (Eng) The impact of the governance of common agricultural land in the multiplication or prevention of tribal conflicts-Case of the governorate of Kebili – Tunisia during the decade 2010-2020.

(FR) L’impact du mode de gouvernance des terres agricoles communes dans la multiplication ou la prévention des conflits tribaux Cas du gouvernorat de Kebili – Tunisie au cours de la décennie 2010-2020.

Sali Oumarou Morocco (Eng) Land spoliation in morocco: extent and consequences.

(FR) La spoliation fonciere au Maroc : ampleur et conséquences.


These researchers will be supported by national and international Arab Land Initiative experts. By virtual meetings and desk support, the experts will provide guidance to the selected candidates who will be finalizing their research papers by November 30th, 2020.

Experts and practitioners interested in supporting these research works are welcome to reach out to the Urban Training and Studies Institute indicating which research they would like to contribute to and by writing to Dina Naguib; , who will put them in touch with the research teams.

Some of the research work will be presented at the upcoming second Arab Land Conference that will take place in Cairo, Egypt on the 22-24 February 2021 and will be published on the GLTN and Arab Land Initiative web sites.