Press release – JANUARY 2021
Virtual Meeting – As part of IFPMC’s long-term vision to enhance capacities in research-driven policy making, an online meeting was held with researchers and students from around Iraq that covered the basic principles of research methods. In her address to participants, IFPMC’s executive director and head of research, Dr. Rana Khalid, said that “our promise has always been to support you in this journey to understanding truth and reliable information”.
The event was an opportunity for participants to share their accounts about the main challenges they face in conducting research in Iraq. Dr. Fadi Hassan, a PhD student, said “there is a gap between universities and policy makers. The universities should be the brain of a society, however the institution is not a place where researchers actively seek to study what will have a direct impact on policy and their society, because it has no impact on policy making”.
Another participant, researcher Waleed Salem, stressed that there is a lack of trust in the data provided by government sources, as they are often biased and serve political interests. This point was also stressed by many participants, saying that there are serious security implications on researchers who decide to study an issue that would scrutinize the government’s image or interests.
To ensure that researchers are motivated and empowered to conduct impactful research in their fields, IFPMC’s project manager, Yusra Mahdi, engaged participants in breakout sessions that highlighted the importance of how to approach research, showing participants ways to choose hypotheses and bold research questions.
Furthermore, to enhance participants’ understanding of authentic and credible research, IFPMC junior researcher, Abdelssami Gasmi presented a session on the basic principles of referencing and bibliography.
At the end of the virtual meeting and after taking questions, Dr.Khalid expressed her deep appreciation for the courage and commitment of researchers in Iraq to continue their quest knowledge in the midst of all these challenges. She pledged that IFPMC will dedicate its efforts in providing beneficiary researchers the resources and references and the most innovative techniques required to improve evidence-based research in Iraq.